Way back in 2015, a small group of engineers commenced an experiment at Flipkart. This gave birth to a model for a Progressive Web Application (PWA). In the present day, this PWA is the second largest channel in terms of payments for the online vendors, following its Android application.
The PWA is essentially a standard web page that can take action similar to an app. And at the same time it provides features such as “add to home screen” choice, easy discovery, single click log in, and browser notifications. Mobile site of Flipkart takes just 100 KB to download and is 100 times less in weight as compared to the 10 MB Android application. It is also 300 times less in weight as compared the iOS app. Repeat visits use less than 10 KB.
This permits the company to reach out to potential users in tier-III and tier-II cities without forcing them to download the application. These are the areas where slow or intermittent connectivity of network and less phone storage and memory is not odd.
“This web application leads in very less consumption of data. And succeeding page loads for revisits takes place in less than 1 second, even on 3G and 2G low-end devices or networks. Almost 60% of visitors to mobile web of Flipkart had uninstalled the application previously, mainly owing to short of internal memory storage,” claimed Amar Nagaram to the media in an interview. Nagaram is the Vice-President of engineering department at Flipkart.
The figures are pretty clear. Flipkart gets almost 1/3rd of the entire visits on mobile web from tier-III and tier-II cities and almost 60% of mobile Internet purchases are carried out from these areas. In addition to this, 50% of new users obtained from these areas are via mobile Internet. In April 2015, the retailer had closed down its initial mobile website. By July 2015, the group was operational on specifications with Google Chrome for its PWA-Flipkart Lite application.
“The previous version was more troublesome from an experience standpoint,” said Arindam Mukherjee to the media in a statement. Mukherjee is Senior Director of user experience, product, and growth at Flipkart.