Will Myntra be able to make it big as it shuts down its desktop site & adopts ‘app only’ format from today?

| Friday, May 15, 2015 - 13:59
First Published |

Myntra adopts ‘app only’ format from today

NEW DELHI: One of the leading brands in fashion and lifestyle online shopping websites, Bengaluru based Myntra, putting an end to months of speculations has finally taken a call to close its desktop version and adopt mobile app only from Friday.

The portal left a message for its customers on its website informing about the decision that is based on the quick growth of smartphones and their enormous access in our lives.

Speaking to media, Myntra CEO & Head of Commerce at Flipkart Mukesh Bansal explained, “Keeping in mind all the data and the trend and the potential of internet in India, we believe that Myntra will now be able to service all its clients in the most excellent way if our services are available only on through app on mobile phones.”

Flipkart, that owns Myntra has as well hinted that it intends to move to an ‘app-only’ format. The company aims at a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of $1 billion (Rs 6,436 crore) by 2016 and $5 billion (Rs 32,182 crore) over three to four years, against $400 million (Rs 2,569.7 crore) now. 

Myntra adapting to mobile app-only stores will see the end of desktop and browser based shopping. This initiative is intended to speed up a consumer shift towards using smartphones as the favored medium of shopping online.

Myntra believes that the mobile apps are an important use in an individual’s life today and according to a recent study, 90% of smartphones users in India use apps, which is close to 158 million as of today. Therefore, investing their resources completely would certainly give a boost to the company’s growth and expansion plans.

While Flipkart makes approximately 75% of its traffic from the mobile app, the number for Myntra is 90%. However, both the shopping giants are amongst 15 most downloaded apps on Google Inc.’s Android supported mobile phones in India.

Here is what Myntra aims at:

• Myntra aims to turn profitable by July-December 2016. 
• $1 bn (Rs 6,436 cr) Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is seen by 2016 VS $400 mn
• $5 bn (Rs 32,182 cr) GMV targeted in three to four years

With large targets and plans, Myntra is sure to do big but we cannot ignore the fact that every fresh business move has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Let’s understand how moving on mobile app-only store may help Myntra:

• Along with the business opportunity that is offered by the increasing use of mobile phones for shopping, it is to be noted that there are also cost benefits of going ‘app-only’ for online business.
• Secondly, reports suggest that advertising is relatively cheaper on apps as compared with the desktop.
• The apps based business enables more targeted and personalized marketing as compared to any other platform. 
• The experience given by the apps offer more new and innovative features which otherwise are not really possible. 

Reasons it may lead to a downfall for the company

• Even if we keep the competitive pressures aside, the infrastructure concerns that are totally beyond Flipkart’s control are probable to put at risk any potential efforts by the company and Myntra to become app-only.
• Apart from this, payment failure rates are considerably higher on the mobile due to inconsistencies in mobile Internet speed which is also possible of hurting the customer’s experience on the mobile. 
• The questions over if mobile operating systems on low-cost smartphones are able to support apps such as Myntra and others in a faultless manner is another tedious task to get sorted.

The shoppers in the end would decide the destiny of Myntra and Flipkart who certainly have taken a bold move to become app-only platforms and closing their desktop version. 

While Myntra adopts their fresh policy today, Flipkart is yet to make any formal announcement on the same.

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