Indian E-commerce giant, Flipkart has launched a mobile website called Flipkart Lite. The website is designed for those that haven’t installed the app and would like to access Flipkart on their smartphones. Up till now if you clicked on a Flipkart link on your smartphone, you would be prompted to download the app. If a customer doesn’t want to download the app and still shop on his smartphone, he can look at other e-commerce websites that have a mobile site. Flipkart probably realized that it’s loosing out on this audience and has reverted from its app only policy. Since mobile network speeds in India are unreliable, Flipkart has worked with Chrome and Opera to build this first-of-its-kind Lite mobile shopping website. The company plans do the same with Firefox. The USP of the Opera browser, for example, is that it compresses data so that pages load quickly on the users smartphone.
Flipkart went app only in March but it looks like the strategy didn’t last the company even a year. A big reason to launch the mobile website is that the Google search engine cannot crawl, index and display content from apps. So Flipkart is losing out on the search data to its competition. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Flipkart is among the first website operators to adopt Google’s innovations. For example, its mobile website now taps a smartphone’s graphics processor, rather than a remote computer, to render pages more quickly. The changes also improve Web performance in areas with slow or spotty cell service, by storing more data on the phone.”
Flipkart is looking to cash in on every opportunity it gets. Recently, we reported that Flipkart was getting into the offline retail space with the launch of experience stores. Flipkart is calling to offline sale, "Assisted E-Commerce Model." Under this model, the company will provide customers an experience zone, where they will be able to get a feel of the smartphone of their choice. Customers will then be helped to purchase the devices from the Flipkart app and can either take deliveries at home or from the same store.
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