Myntra will be app-only from May 15, to shutdown desktop site; Flipkart mulls similar route

Myntra has announced to its customers that the website is shutting down from May 15 and will move to an app-only mode.

Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | Updated: May 11, 2015 1:14 pm
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Myntra has announced to its customers that the website is shutting down from May 15 and will move to an app-only mode. In an email to its customers, Myntra wrote, “This May 15th, 2015, Myntra is taking the first step towards the future of fashion shopping – we move on from the desktop to being exclusively available on the App. We believe fashion is a very personal experience. Your sense of style, the brands you wear, the trends you choose to follow are unique to you. What inspires you to Look Good changes and evolves every day. The best fashion experience therefore, is a truly personalised and engaging one that is only possible through the device that is closest to you. A device that understands you – your mobile.”

Flipkart, which owns Myntra, has also indicated that it plans to move to an app-only mode. Senior Flipkart executive Michael Adani was quoted by the Economic Times as saying, “Last year, we had more on the app, but still did our Web and desktop. In the next year or so, we’re going to be only mobile.” Adani added that the sites mobile traffic had increased “10-fold” in the last 18 months and this tremendous growth had prompted this ‘mobile-only’ shift.

Flipkart has already shut down the mobile site. Searching for Flipkart on mobile browsers now redirects users to the respective app stores (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) in case they don’t have the app on their device.

According to an earlier Mint report, Myntra already generates more than “90 per cent of its traffic and 70 per cent  of its orders from its mobile app”, which explains the logic behind the move. Where the Myntra app is concerned, on Google Play Store it has around 5 million to 10 million installs which is a fairly high number. The reviews of the app are also fairly positive with the app getting an average rating of 4.0.

But Myntra and Flipkart’s app-only move comes with its own risks and caveats. While India is the third largest smartphone market in the world after China and the United States and mobile Internet being touted as the next thing, Internet speeds are still a matter of concern.

Mobile Internet speeds matter the most when making monetary transactions on smartphones and apps. As a recent Ericsson report showcased in India a lot of users still do not see much difference between 2G and 3G speeds. The report titled, “The Changing Mobile Broadband Landscape” had noted that 48 percent of users do not see any difference between 2G and 3G speeds. With many users still finding 3G and mobile data too expensive, Myntra and other app-only sites risk losing customers who are not on data-heavy plans.

Additionally making payments on a slow internet connection can be a task and errors like ‘Page time-out’ are not what impatient shoppers might be keen on seeing. Also with shopping websites, one of the most important factors is how the images look on the app. On a low-resolution device, users might not always get a sense of what the product really looks like.

While technical issues will be raised, e-commerce websites should take heart from the Ericsson study which also notes that 58 percent of users who were surveyed and were currently not using e-commerce services on their smartphones, stated that they would start doing so in the next 6 months. In such a scenario, Flipkart and Myntra’s app only strategy appears to be the right one and it could just pay off.

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  1. G
    May 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm
    flipkart bought myntra to take its business, and now it's killing it off, simple. hardly costs that much for them to keep the site running.
    1. G
      Girish V
      May 15, 2015 at 8:38 am
      Many individuals like me prefer the desktop/laptop form factor to access shopping sites like myntra, flipkart, snapdeal etc. I do not get the same positive shopping experience when I try the mobile apps or even the mobile version of these websites. I suspect that flikpart is trying things out with myntra to ess if making the store available only using the mobile app would be the right one.
      1. J
        Jatin Banga
        May 13, 2015 at 2:46 pm
        Flipkart's view of going to a app only platform might look good in numbers. For an individual like me and friends in my group looks always matters so considering the big screen of laptops/desktops you have the chance to view products at different angels and views but with app only platform we don't have the opportunity to d so. And even I don't feel app to be a secure platform considering the slow connection speed and transaction failure/timeout ratio. Flipkart is still not considering the tier-2 and tier 3 cities where smart phone and 3g penetration is still very low and in a way they are going to loose their prospective and existing customers if they are going to opt for this model.
        1. R
          Jun 7, 2015 at 4:30 pm
          not at all satisfied with mobile app, plz bring back to desktop app
          1. S
            Jun 3, 2015 at 11:56 am
            Desktop version will be more user friendly when compared to mobile app, to view multiple products at the same time, etc etc. So flipkart better don't make an attempt to lose your valuable customers.
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