Noida-based Lenskart has launched an Android app called Lenskart Lite which requires no internet for shopping. The app itself is lightweight at 1MB and is designed to work with slower 2G and Edge networks.
The app overall functions like Lenskart’s main Android app, other than that users can browse the company’s inventory offline. It’s likely the company downloads the inventory in lower resolutions and saves them for offline use. For orders, the app sends SMSes from the user’s phone, as such they will still be required to spend some balance unless on a free SMS plan. However, it may be a fair tradeoff for users that do not want to turn on data or in poor network conditions.
Note that Valyoo Technologies, owner of Lenskart, began as an e-commerce website which sold glasses and eyewear, but later diversified into other accessories and launched WatchKart, BagsKart and JewelsKart. However, these shut down owing to stiff competition from other e-commerce sites such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal and the company had stated plans of selling all its other businesses to focus on Lenskart in 2014. Subsequently, it raised Rs 400 crore in funding for Lenskart in May last year.
‘Lite’ apps for slow networks: Various companies have launched ‘Lite’ apps to appeal to those with slower internet connections, with Facebook’s Lite app which launched in India and Philippines in 2015, claiming over 100 million users within a year. In November last year, Mobikwik also launched a lite version, subsequently adding regional language support to it.