Monday, July 20, 2015

So, What's The Position, Flipkart?

So it seems Flipkart is deciding to break up with one segment of its loyalists. While they are toying with the idea, there is precious little we can do but wait and watch. But we can share our views on the matter, and hope still that the final decision will not be totally unfavourable to any parties involved.

I understand their decision is based on a certain fact and a shrewd business-sense. The certain fact, indisputable as it may be, is that in recent times Flipkart is finding more profitable business via its mobile applications than the website. This, of course, stems from other certain facts that have recently reshaped the mobile technology market and the encouragement by the retail segment--in terms of special discounts--to their customers upon the use of the said technology. It also stems, at least to a small extent, from strategic partnerships among retailers, mobile device manufacturers and mobile signal carriers.

It seems, however, that the shrewd business sense is a sort of double-edged sword. Nobody could blame any service provider if it decided to discontinue its defunct or loss-making units or channels of business so that it may shift its complete focus on maintaining the profitable ones. Undoubtedly that would be a very sensible thing to do. However--in this particular case--to shut down one of the functional channels of revenue--I fail to understand how that could be good for business, specially when the said channel is more advantageous to retail customers.

Yes, websites and larger screen monitors offer advantages to a retail purchaser in comparison to a smart phone application. For instance, with websites one may compare multiple products side by side from different sources and vendors, be it within a retail outlet or across many. As another instance, with websites one may also view more clearly the features and larger images of the products under consideration as compared to the small screen of a smart phone, and this is not a small advantage.

On the whole, therefore, I agree with the facts of Flipkart, that presently almost 80% of its revenues are coming off mobile applications. However, I cannot agree that the remaining 20% of the market is "insignificant" or "irrelevant". Saying so, I think, is--shrewd or otherwise--certainly not very good business sense. We can only wait and watch what sort of business sense Flipart really upholds in the end.

If they do shut down their web-site for business, personally for me it would mark the end of online shopping, because I trust no other mode as much as I do websites, and no other online retail outlet as much as I do Flipkart.

Edit (Aug 2017):

Firstly, Flipkart has not shut down its website for e-commerce at least as yet, and it seems those concerns are no longer relevant. At least they are currently not being discussed.

Secondly, I found that Amazon and Pepperfry offer a much better shopping experience. Hereafter I couldn't care less what Flipkart does.

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