Myntra to re-launch desktop app from 1 June
Fashion e-tailer Myntra took a u-turn on its decision to go app-only, and will launch its desktop website on 1 June. Myntra said that the decision was based on consumer feedback. The company's mobile app had over 10 million downloads, Myntra stated that women customers wanted to have the choice of shopping across all channels. Myntra will also foray into jewellery and home furnishing.
In 2014, Myntra.com got acquired by its biggest competitor and India's largest retailer Flipkart.com. Both companies were to continue their function as independent entities. The acquisition was being pinned at $300 million; however neither of the players had disclosed the exact amount. This came as a direct reaction to Amazon's' entry into the Indian e-retail market.
In a bid to give its users a better and more personalised retail experience, Myntra had divulged its plans of shutting down its website and going 'app-only' from 15 May this year. This move was to facilitate Myntra's users' privacy by making it more secure. It was regarded as highly controversial but Myntra said they will make up the loss they will incur.
Myntra's decision to go app-only wasn't a favourable one with many of its users but the company remained optimistic about the decision. Myntra had claimed that 90-95% of their traffic came through the app and they were expecting a 10% drop in their sales while taking the decision. However, the company was hopeful of recovering their losses within coming weeks.
Two months after Myntra shut its website down in a highly controversial move, Flipkart, the parent company of Myntra and India's largest online retailer has announced to follow Myntra's lead and go app-only. The company's chief product officer Punit Soni announced that Flipkart will operate only through mobile application, September onwards. The company has 45 million registered users with over 10 million daily visits.
After Flipkart announced its decision to shut down its website in September, Twitter burst with people calling this a stupid move to go app-only. Many of Flipkart's customers tweeted that they were repeating Myntra's mistake. One user tweeted, "@Flipkart i like you, but not a good move going app only. How do you expect me to compare 4 TVs on a mobile screen?"
While for Myntra, 90-95% traffic came from mobile platforms, only 75% of Flipkart's total visitors are from mobile platforms. This move can make Flipkart suffer from deeper cut in sales which might induce more pain!
Taking a U-turn on its app strategy, Flipkart has decided to reintroduce its mobile web option named as Flipkart Lite. Flipkart has joined forces with Chrome and Opera to create this first-of-its-kind site and intends to take on Firefox as well. Flipkart Lite is expected to allow consumers to use Flipkart directly from the links on social media and other websites.
Myntra has relaunched its mobile website; only some popular sections like shoes, shirts, dresses etc. have become live. Myntra had become app-only in May this year. Customers can checkout the products on the website (both iOS and Android) but can purchase only on the app. The desktop version however, still points to the app. It is said that Myntra's app-only strategy had backfired.
Even though, Myntra recorded a $800 million revenue in January 2016 (70% jump from last January), the online fashion store is looking to slash discounts and curb supply-chain costs. Myntra announced that discounts will be cut by 3-4% points and number of discounted products across its platform will be lowered in order to "turn profitable by the end of next financial year".