There has been a lot of buzz about the thought that Flipkart might go the “App-only” route. It does seem like an interesting thought & I am quite sure Flipkart will have studied the market before taking this decision.
Disclaimer: This post is written because I will be using a smart-phone.
There was a good article in the Times of India website on why many big-players might go the app-only route. Last year Myntra did move over to a app-only route. Now their website points to downloading an app for your smart-phone & a company blog.
The article in Times of India mentions that a lot of companies are worrying over the fact that “cookies” by their website stored on the computer of a user can be read by other companies & used to cross-sell products. This is non-issue in apps as they are independent & do not need cookies to be stored. read here
Why I won’t use an App for Shopping on Flipkart (or any other e-store):
1. Difficult to browse: With so many products under so many categories under so many sub-categories under so many brands, it is impossible to use an app to find what you are looking for. A computer lets me browse through all the categories by using a mouse & heading to a particular category quite easily.
Number of steps required to filter products in Phones by a brand –
On Computer: 2 (Select Category, Select Brand)
On App: 6 (Select Electronics, Select Phones, Select “Filter”, Select “Brand”, Select Brand you want to view, Select “Apply”)
2. Difficult to study a product: The biggest issue with any app is that the screen-space is limited. Even with a high-resolution smart-phone, I will never be able to use an app as I use website. See reviews, read ratings & view images, etc. Do independent research by opening a new tab in a browser, watching videos, comparing prices, etc.
Had it been “WSRetail” only selling these products, I might have thought about buying a product through an app. Not possible anymore as each product has quite a few sellers & I will need to see their ratings before I select a seller.
3. Making Payments: This is probably my personal concern but the thought of making a debit card payment through an app scares the hell out of me. There are a lot of malwares out there & I am not to keen on using my phone to make payments.
4. Making Comparisons: A lot of the e-stores now have a “Compare Product” features which allows me to check features of various products in a single screen. This again is not going to be easy for a person who is using a smart-phone. I could not find this feature on the Flipkart App.
In Browsers you can do “Open in a new tab” & just keep on checking out various products, studying them before you come to a decision. The issue I have with an App is, I can browse 1 thing at a time. Want to read a review – 1 screen. Want to read specs – 1 screen. Want to check out another product from your filter, go back again.
I have made these points after using apps from all e-stores including Flipkart, E-bay & Amazon. If I have to buy a product, I always go to the website & then hit the “Add-to-cart” button.
These are the reasons why I would stay away from using an app.
Would you use an app to make purchases?