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App-pocalypse

Have you recently tried to shop on any Indian e-commerce website? If you have, you too would be frustrated by the constant nagging done by these sites to download their app. Myntra has gone ahead and shut its website down completely! Others like Flipkart won't let you browse any product in peace and will immediately try to "connect" you to their app - even when you are already at their site and trying to buy a product. Amazon India will release "app-only" offers and discounts.


All this is done in the garb of making customer experience better.


Only problem is that it makes user experience even worse. These companies are trying to lure the consumer into a walled garden so that they make bad, misinformed buying decisions. Let me elaborate.

On a desktop browser, you can easily search for and compare products across various websites with just a few tabs open. You don't need to switch context and lose track of what you were trying to compare when you move to a different product.

On a mobile screen, only one product is visible at a time. Even with only one product visible, you cannot see all the information about that product on one screen - reviews, ratings, QnAs. To read each review or product detail, the screen changes constantly leaving the consumer totally clueless.

I understand the monetary benefits of maintaining only an app with reduced IT, development and maintenance costs. But that should not come at the cost of user experience. 

Apps should exist as a choice. These companies should stop trying to make them the only option and need to actually follow up on their mantra to let consumers "shop anywhere, anytime".

As XKCD has put it very correctly, Flipkart, Amazon IN and others, if you are reading this please just stop. 


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