Almost a year after Myntra took this bold move of opting for an app-only approach, the company has now reopened its mobile website. The move comes at a time when Myntra is aiming for profitability by the end of 2016 under the new CEO Ananth Narayanan.
Although Myntra has justified its app-only move time and again, citing the roughly two times increase in its active monthly user base since its app-only move, but one cannot deny that the company may be losing a fair share of users who don’t prefer installing any additional apps for shopping on their smartphones.
Myntra has gradually opened its mobile website as it had first begun by showing only catalogues of product on it mobile website during its annual End of Season sale. Now when the mobile website is fully operational, Myntra maintains its stand that the decision has nothing to do with revenues.
During the sale, we got reasonable data that many people were using the mobile site and now, we are reopening it for good.But this is not a revenue-related decision. We want to give customers an additional reason to use Myntra. This move will eventually result in more app installs.
said Ambarish Kenghe, head of products at Myntra.
He further added that this was not a change in their strategy as they continue to be heavily focused on the new app. “The mobile site will be functional and the app offers a far superior experience. We will keep nudging users to the app even on the mobile site (which will have a link to the app),” said Kenghe.
Myntra aims to reach a GMV of $1 billion by March 2017 in addition to its profitability goals. It has made cuts on the extensive discounts and supply chain costs. The company is also planning a US entry to reach those goals.
Many experts believe that to reach these goals, Myntra may also have to open its desktop website, a move which seems quite possible if there is a significant increase in its sales after reopening the mobile website. However, for now, Kenghe said that there was not any plan to reopen the desktop.
Myntra’s app only move is not entirely questionable given the case of the rapid rise of internet users and smartphone penetration in the country.
India has already surpassed the US in terms of the number of internet users and stands only behind China. And in a recent report by IDC, it has also emerged as the fastest growing market for smartphones in the Asia-Pacific region whereas China is on the brink of saturation and losing the momentum.
However, despite this, courtesy the huge population in the country, India is still way behind many countries as far as internet penetration is concerned because a large population still remains offline or without smartphones. This perhaps led Myntra to reconsider its decision of shutting down its mobile website.
One could say that in upcoming 3-5 years, with more people online through smartphones, we may see more companies opting for similar app-only strategies.