Tuesday 12 April 2016

Flipkart ties-up with Alibaba’s UCWeb to strengthen its M-Commerce arm

Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart has collaborated with UCWeb, a Chinese mobile Internet company owned by Alibaba.
Flipkart’s m-site is now integrated with UC Browser and is available on its home screen. The main objective of this tie-up is to offer users with slow internet connection and low network a seamless mobile browsing & shopping experience.
Robert Bu, GM, UCWeb India spelled out the reason behind this partnership,
“The m-commerce market is thriving with local e-tailors offering big-ticket discounts and mega offers. UC Browser, as the most popular browser in the country and Flipkart, the leading e-commerce company in India, would give users the best and most enjoyable shopping experience, along with the best offerings you can find on the internet.”

Strengthening m-commerce platform

In India, the popularity of mobile shopping is real, so is shaky broadband & network connection. With this tie-up, Flipkart is doing both – cashing in on the popularity and resolving the bad connectivity issue. This step will help the etailer to strengthen its m-commerce platform and grab the attention of ever-growing smartphone users.
The new m-site has basic features as of now, such as search, offers and cart option. Gradually, more advanced features will be added to the site.
Surojit Chatterjee, Senior VP – Product, Flipkart emphasized,
“Flipkart has always believed in providing a superior and convenient shopping experience to its users across all touch points. With mobile becoming the main front where the next gen of shoppers come from, this launch strengthens our mission to create an extremely responsive interface for users, even on the mobile web. We are excited to partner with UCWeb and revolutionise the e-commerce landscape in the country.”

App-only on the back burner?

Not too long ago, there was a widespread speculation that Flipkart will shift to an app-only platform just like Myntra. It was further fuelled by the etailer’s moves like launching app-only Big Billion Sale and products.
While it is still not clear if the desktop site will live or no, but it seems that app-only transition will not happen. The company has realized that a large portion of m-commerce traffic comes from mobile sites and mobile web browsers. Also, that restricting users to app will drive them away.
In India, UCWeb’s browser is the most preferred mobile web browser with 52% market share, followed by Opera (20%) and Chrome (13%).  It is also the third most popular app after Facebook and Whatsapp.
Therefore, Flipkart is looking to gain a huge advantage with this partnership and win the m-commerce war. Time for Amazon and Snapdeal to make their move.

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