Recently, Myntra closed down its desktop and mobile websites and started an app-only method of purchase. Users are now forced to install Myntra’s mobile application in order to make any kind of purchase.
Myntra says that 90% of traffic and 70% of sales has been coming from mobiles. Traffic and sales from mobiles might have gone upto 70% but that doesn’t necessarily mean that desktop users have reduced. It is quite possible that desktop users have remained stable in their purchasing procedures and they would not like to shift to the mobile version.
Another reason that Myntra offers to explain its move is that by converting all the purchases through the mobile app, they are trying to make shopping more personalized. Mobiles are no doubt far more personal devices than a desktop and they know about your location, choices and habits. The Myntra app will locate the users and will therefore deliver different content to them based on their location, such as country, state, city, zip code, etc. and hence offer a more personalized experience for the shopper.
Myntra is offering different incentives to its mobile app users through special offers and additional discounts, in order to attract more users to shop from mobiles. Hence, a shift of customers from desktop to mobile apps is not a natural one. Myntra plays a smart move to pull in users towards its mobile app.
Myntra app vs desktop version
- The search options are same on both app and website. In fact, the app shows fewer results due to the size of the screen.
- The option to view different styles is available on both versions but, is seen better on desktop, which offers the option of opening multiple tabs at the same time and thus, helps compare different products.
- Tracking of shopping history is also available on both the versions, with no difference at all.
- The option of setting up a profile is also available on both mobile and website.
- Push notifications is one feature that is not available for desktop users. Myntra can send notifications to its users about its new products, upgrades and offers on mobile.
So, it can be seen that Myntra’s mobile app is not drastically different from its website version, except for its one feature of push notifications. In fact, the other features are better experienced in the desktop version.
Why did Myntra go app-only?
There are lots of e-commerce websites that are competing with each other on the same grounds – cheaper price, larger discounts and targeting a large number of audiences.
Myntra’s parent company is Flipkart, which has an advantage that none of their competitors have – the option to have two different brands to play with. Flipkart can experiment with two different plans at the same time. Hence, Flipkart has taken a chance to go app-only with Myntra and experiment with how the users would accept this change.
There is no guarantee that this experiment is going to be a success. But, this is a bold move taken by Flipkart. If this move works, it can set Myntra on a completely different platform and height. If it doesn’t work, then there is still Flipkart to get back on!
How do users respond to this app-only move?
According to a survey, 51% people are not comfortable with the mobile app. There are various reasons for users not appreciating this move.
- Firstly, downloading the app occupies too much space on the phone, which results in the phone working slower or getting hanged.
- Such apps are not supported on all types of mobiles.
- Products are better viewed in detail on desktops. The images on mobiles do not give the users a clear detailed view of what they are seeing.
- Due to the inconsistencies in mobile Internet speed, there are chances of payment transactions to fail on such apps.
- Majority of the people are not brand loyal and hence, they would prefer comparing the same product with different brands for better price offers. The mobile app refrains the users from doing so.
Competitors like Snapdeal and Jabong say that they would not be shifting to such a move. Customers should have the liberty to shop from whichever platform they are comfortable with. It is not right to force users to do what the brand wants. Hence, there is a possibility that users who find the app usage difficult, might opt to shift to other e-commerce websites for a better shopping experience. But, at the same time, it is also possible that people will gradually adapt this new move and this may lead to a new mobile revolution in the country. Looking at the 70% of sales from mobiles, it is likely that loyal customers will not leave Myntra.