Online shopping has become the best way to shop for all kinds of products throughout the country. Starting from the desktop website for making transactions to the mobile browsers and now to mobile applications for the same; there is a very tough competition between online shopping websites. Many e-retailers like Myntra and Flipkart are closing down their desktop and mobile websites and are now forcing users to install their mobile application for making any kind of purchase.
Myntra says that there is an increasing use of mobile phones for shopping. Hence, there are many cost benefits of going ‘app-only’ for online business. Advertising is relatively cheaper on apps as compared to the desktop websites. The mobile ‘app-only’ purchase will enable more targeted and personalized marketing as compared to any other platform since it will offer new and innovative features to the users. By converting all the purchases through the mobile app, they are trying to make shopping more personalized. The 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.
But, on the basis of regular talks with the product managers of these websites, there is a different story that comes to the limelight, which states that they want to stop price comparison, and the best way to do this is by forcing mobile ‘app-only’ purchase. Comparing prices on mobile apps becomes very difficult and thus, to save time and resources, customers will have to accept the price that is quoted by the mobile app that they are surfing.
There seem to be many negative markings that will affect the business of such companies. Every individual will not prefer downloading the app since it would cost too much space usage on the phone and thus, result in the phone working too slow and at times, even getting hanged. Also, due to the inconsistencies in mobile Internet speed experienced in the country, there are chances of payment transactions to fail on such apps. Such apps are not necessarily supported on all types of mobiles hence, the loss of customers.
Products are better viewed in detail on desktops. Customers have not been satisfied with how the products look through the mobile version due to such low resolution; hence, reducing the number of transactions since users would not want to spend on something without going through the product’s details properly.
Not all ecommerce portals in India are following this strategy. They are strictly against the closing of desktop websites and forcing the users into something that the company wants. Hence, customers, even those who have been loyal to Myntra, are now shifting to other shopping sites that provide them the liberty of using different platforms to buy.
Jabong, the strongest competitor of Myntra, has confessed that 50% of the sales are done on their mobile app but, they can’t force their customers to purchase only via mobile app. Amazon has also admitted that their 50% sales are happening on their mobile app. But, it should be the customers who should decide which platform is the best for them to make their purchases. Snapdeal has said that they have lots of users purchasing through the desktop website and it is not advisable to shut down such websites.
Myntra’s decision, as of now, seems to be just not right for the future of their business since there are quite a number of customers who are now shifting to desktop online shopping websites. Even the new purchasers will prefer choosing products on browsers rather than mobile app, which hinders them from making comparisons between different products and site offers.
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