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Flipkart shows us a better, faster desktop web-app, making shopping, a breeze

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After earlier deciding that mobile apps were the way to go forward, Flipkart has come to the realization that desktop websites still have quite a lot to offer. In a direct reversal of its last year policy to focus upon selling through mobile, Flipkart is introducing a brand new website aimed at folks who prefer using desktop to shop, rather than mobile.

The company is calling its new website, a web application. And apparently, the web app will manage to combine the best of both the worlds — bringing the feel of the desktop website and mixing it up with the nimbleness of the mobile. The company is hoping to boost sales through this, rather different approach and has put a significant bit of thought into the development process.

The new interface has been developed by a 14-member team led by Surojit Chatterjee, senior vice president of product at Flipkart. The team actually took the responses of 500 real customers into account and managed to come up with a design that not only loads 30% faster, but also uses 38% less data.

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Flipkart may have gone through all sorts of ups and downs and internal instability, but if there’s one thing I have always admired about Flipkart, which gives it an edge over Amazon or a Paytm or even Snapdeal, is its India-friendly, colourful, vibrant UI. While Amazon has borrowed the same, plain US interface to India, I personally feel an interface like Flipkart’s, is a better deal for us Indians.

Flipkart’s reasoning is actually quite simple. If a website is easy to use and loads faster, well, people are more likely to use it the next time they need to shop for something. Which is also why the company is moving to the dexterity of mobile architecture. The company also admitted that decision making time for the user on the desktop has reduced by at least 30% after the launch of the website.

Speaking about the new design, Suvonil Chatterjee, Chief Design Officer at Flipkart said,

We have moved away from a website to a web app, and for the first time an ecommerce website has been built over mobile infrastructure.

Speaking about some of the changes that have been incorporated, he added,

Lot of easy decision making tools for users, like clearer compare buttons, top product features, placement of buy button, histogram price filters, and color coded rating reviews have been added. Almost all important details of the product are present in the first fold itself including highlights, services, affordability mechanisms, are all upfront.

Meanwhile, desktop is certainly important. The company did pull a couple of moves last year, when it closed down both desktop and mobile websites for Myntra, while also shutting down the mobile website for Flipkart. However, the fact that internet penetration and the portal’s popularity itself haven’t yet arrived at a level in the country that could warrant everyone installing a mobile application in their smartphones.

And that’s not even mentioning the Indian preference for making important purchases — such as televisions and other expensive items — after once visiting the particulars page on the desktop. Strange as it may sound, we have all seen it happen in our households. All this said, Flipkart has decided to keep sticking to desktop yet and improve its presence there. Let’s hope this decision turns out to be a good one.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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