Myntra made headlines by deciding to go only the app way and shut its website. The headlines had to rewritten soon as it had to relaunch its website.
What explained this move? Well, people continue to prefer desktop shopping..
Earlier this year, a K@W article titled “Can an App-only E-commerce Model Succeed in India?” looked at the pros and cons of adopting an app-only e-commerce strategy. The debate was sparked by Myntra, India’s leading fashion e-tailer, which had announced in May of last year that it was going the app-only route. It claimed to be the first big web-based e-tailer, not just in India but globally, to adopt an app-only model.
However, now Myntra has reversed that decision: On June 1, it relaunched its desktop website.
When the company announced its app-only strategy last year, nearly 90% of traffic and 70% of the company’s business was happening through its app, and Myntra seemed convinced that was the way ahead. However, a few months later, it brought back its mobile (phone and tablet) website. Myntra insisted that this was not a roll-back of its app-only strategy. At that time, CEO Ananth Narayanan said: “The mobile website will push users toward downloading the app. We are committed to our strategy of app-only.”
Myntra, Narayana said, had two primary reasons for going app-only. One, because they are personal devices, mobile phones enable a personalized experience. Two, mobile phones are the future of computing devices. Both premises continue to be true. So what sparked the return to the desktop?
Narayanan explained the roll-back rationale: “The biggest reason is the feedback from consumers, especially women. According to our data, women customers, who are a key area of focus for us, in particular, want to have the option of shopping across channels. In addition, as we enter the next phase of our rapid growth, we’re launching home furnishing and jewelry where viewing intricate patterns [on larger screens] leads to better purchase decisions.”
As someone in the article rightly says, instead of looking at these tech specifications Myntra should focus on its merchandise: