The announcement was done by chief product officer Puneet Soni at a town hall meeting last week.
In their aggressive push towards mobile e-commerce, both e-commerce giants of India had already shut down their mobile websites a long time back. Snapdeal CEO too had spoken on similar lines earlier at a Google event, saying that his company received major traffic from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities accessing via mobile internet.
On asking, Flipkart reportedly hasn’t denied the possibility. A spokesperson told ET,
India is gradually transitioning from a mobile first to a mobile only country. At Flipkart, we have been following a mobile first approach and 70-75% of our total traffic is already coming from our mobile app. We are constantly experimenting with various aspects of our service to create the best shopping experience for our users on our app. Meanwhile, we continue to offer both desktop as well as mobile option for our customers.
Before transitioning into an app-only player, Myntra had claimed that 95 percent of Internet traffic comes through mobile and 70 percent sales are generated through smartphones. The move received mixed reactions and a controversy sparked when Myntra reported a 10 percent sales figure dip.
Flipkart has 45 million registered users clocking over 10 million daily visits, and expects to more than double the gross merchandise value (GMV) of the products it sells on its platform to $8 billion this year.The company raised $2 billion in 2014-15, and it was valued at $11 billion in its last round of funding. In a similar move, it had launched a feature on its mobile app that allowed users to search products through images.
In fact, Flipkart recently underwent a major brand revamp, wherein, the e-commerce website got itself a new logo, designed specifically keeping smartphones in mind. You can find a more detailed breakdown of the same here.
It’s a bold move from Flipkart, the poster-boy of Indian’s start-up success story. True, the Indian consumer industry is witnessing exponential smartphone penetration rates, boosted by dirt-cheap high-connectivity smartphones, but for all we know, this decision ‘might’ prove to be a little ‘abrupt.’ What’s more, consumers don’t like the idea of tech giants locking them on to a particular platform: in this case, a smartphone. We’ll have to wait and see how Flipkart handles this transition.