Myntra, the Flipkart-owned fashion e-commerce retailer which went app-only an year back, is relaunching its desktop website, to drive users-growth and boost sales. The e-retailer has finally decided to withdraw its ‘app-only’ strategy and return to the Web, after an year long hiatus.
Myntra, owned by the Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, was among the first platforms to take the bold step and follow the app-only strategy in February 2015. But, it seems that the plan hasn’t worked out and Myntra will roll out its Desktop Website(again) on June 1. until now, you could only see a catalogue of sorts o the web version.
Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan said,
We have been humble enough to realise and listen to our customers’ needs and hence, we are relaunching the desktop version on June 1. This will help us bring back customers, help women shop more on different screens and suit our newly launched furnishing and jewellery categories.
Myntra’s ‘app-only’ decision to cater to the youth and bank upon mobile-centered sales was an issue of debate, ever since the service was first launched. Myntra, along with its parent company Flipkart, was focused on pushing out its Web-based platform for just a mobile-only experience in 2015. The companies were encouraged by the growth of smartphones and mobile internet users in the country, which had shadowed their thinking power over this decision.
Myntra, thus finally shut down its Web and Mobile websites by the end of May 2015, and was the first commerce platform to shift gears and go ‘app-only’. However, almost instantly, the e-retailer saw a decline in traffic and sales figures, largely because Indian consumers are perhaps still not ready to trust a mobile app for buying stuff online.
In an attempt to cover losses and regain users’ trust, Myntra starting testing its mobile website during the company’s ‘End of Reason’ sale in January. The users could now view various items available on the platform, but still not pay using the m-website and had to return to the application. The complete mobile website was relaunched the following month, in Febraury 2016.
Myntra had been consumer’s first choice to make a fashion purchase, but the app-only scheme had derailed the company off its high-honchos. The decision of re-releasing the desktop website has been justified by the Myntra CEO as a choice for the users, who didn’t want to use the mobile app. He also adds that,
It was a bold experiment, but all such moves are not right and we accept that. There is a segment of Indian consumers which is looking to make purchases over desktops and we wanted to give them the choice.
The ‘app-only’ strategy seemed like a valuable and profitable proposition to Myntra, last year. But, the Indian public hasn’t been very compliant and at-ease of making purchase only on the mobile application. It was believed my many startups that mobile would be the center of attention for all in 2015, but it hasn’t proved to be so. Myntra had been driving about 70 percent traffic and 80 per cent of its sales via the mobile platform, when the web platform was closed. But, no more.
It is believed that the new Desktop Website won’t be as responsive and feature-packed as the mobile-app currently is. Myntra’s CEO believes that most of their sales would still be driven via the mobile application, and they won’t leave any stoned unturned to provide their users with a better experience. Other fashion retailers, like Jabong, YepMe, though have a reason to worry as the king of fashion retail is back online.