Myntra's app-only decision reportedly backfired; here's why a lite mobile website could work

Myntra, the first site that announced to go app-only, has now taken a U turn. Yes, looks like Myntra's app-only strategy has failed and the company is all set to roll out a mobile site

Myntra, the first site that announced to go app-only, has now taken a U-turn. Yes, looks like Myntra's app-only strategy has failed and the company is all set to roll out a mobile site, according to a report by The Times of India. Looks like, Flipkart is busy rectifying some mistakes as the retailer also announced to drop its app-only plan.

Those who wouldn't be aware, in May 15, fashion retailer Myntra closed down its desktop site and moved completely to an app-only platform. This meant users had no choice but to download their app. This decision was taken based on the company's quick growth of smartphones as it claimed 95 percent of its Internet traffic came through mobile and 70 percent sales were generated through smartphones.

However, the company never disclosed the ratio of users via its app and mobile site. It did expect initial turmoil of about 15 to 20 percent, but believed that would settle down eventually. Looks like, roughly six months down the line, the strategy has backfired and it's now trying to cope with loss of traffic and dip in sales.

There's more than one reason why a mobile site makes more sense rather than going app-only. It should be noted that recently Flipkart and Snapdeal released lite mobile versions of their respective site. So, we won't be surprised to see a lite version of Myntra too. Yes, smartphones are the future and we are pacing towards a full-fledged mobile world. However, in case of Myntra, the shift seemed abrupt rather than a gradual one as Indian audiences aren’t necessarily ready to completely abandon shopping from their PCs or mobile browsers. For those consumers (whether small or large) comfortable with a desktop or mobile browser should be allowed to do so. Getting too restrictive could only mean people will start looking for more convenient options.

One of the biggest hurdles for a mobile-only experience is the not-so-stable mobile Internet network in India. There is no denying that this is one of the biggest reasons why industry giants from Google to Facebook are working towards a ‘lite’ version.

Another reason is we still rely on Google searches to attract a considerable chunk of traffic. The TOI report quotes a source saying, "It would be on the lines of a catalogue available on the mobile site and simultaneously it would put Myntra back on the Google search platform." This also shows how web is not dead and companies still rely on Google searches for new users and ensure their products are on the top of the list. However, the report also adds that users will still have to make the final purchase via the Myntra app and not the mobile site. Well, we wouldn't be surprised if Myntra takes a U turn from this decision too. It would rather build a super-lite mobile app capable of delivering easy payments without any hiccups.

In the past, there have been debates in favour of as well as against the app-only decision. Several factors like mobile Internet penetration with 3G and 4G, smartphone growth and so on point towards a future of mobile shopping (maybe app-only too), but how ‘far distant future’ is still unclear.

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