To maintain its control over the ever-competitive Indian e-commerce market, Flipkart is signing up another major technology giant to help them better the platform. Post Microsoft, it’s Facebook who’ll be working with the homegrown e-commerce giant to enhance its mobile app and website experience. They are looking to make it work on low connectivity networks, as well as low-cost phones to cater to a wider audience.
The primary goal for adopting the said framework is to make the website, which is already known as Flipkart Lite, even lighter for the Indian masses. The mobile web apps, Flipkart believes, should be low-data consuming and capable of running on 2G networks, even in rural areas.
Talking about this initiative, Amar Nagaram, Vice president of engineering at Flipkart says,
I am working with Facebook to converge our solution — which allows users to skip updates to apps — and there is a platform called React Native to see if we can share each other’s learnings and make one unified product for the developer community to leverage.
At one point of time, Flipkart had decided to ditch its mobile web platform and go app-only. But, after conducting initial trials with its online fashion portal — Myntra, the company decided to bring back its mobile website. It was launched with its new avatar under the ‘Flipkart Lite‘ moniker towards the end of 2015. As per September’s data, over half of Flipkart’s 100 million registered app users visit the mobile site regularly. At least 70 million of the total user base visits Flipkart Lite, mostly on budget phones running 2G networks.
While keeping an eye on its sales and customer satisfaction, the company has steadily been adding to its platform’s capabilities to take on its fiercest rival Amazon. These two giants have been back and forth for the top spot in India’s e-commerce ecosystem, one with its deep pockets while the other with its calibrated service.
Prior to this collaboration, Flipkart had recently also partnered with Redmond giant Microsoft to adopt Azure as its exclusive cloud services. The integration of Azure’s AI capabilities and Flipkart’s data will aid the homegrown giant in simplifying operations while also providing its users with an even enriched experience. This will also provide Microsoft a strong foothold in the region while also adding to its current focus on the cloud.