Myntra gives up on mobile-only strategy, relaunching desktop site

By : |May 4, 2016 0

Myntra is back where it started. After trying the mobile only model for a year, Myntra announced a relaunch of their desktop version next month. This might help Myntra to bring back its lost customers and also to drive growth.

However, we are all talking about a mobile-driven setup; Myntra’s not-so-successful stint does raise questions about the viability of “apps” for e-commerce. While, it might be a help and steady contributor to the overall growth of a business. It is still early to depend on a “mobile only” strategy for e-commerce to survive.

“We have been humble enough to realize and listen to our customers’ needs and hence, we are relaunching the desktop version on June 1,” said Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra. “This will help us bring back customers, help women shop more on different screens and suit our newly launched furnishing and jewellery categories,” he added.

CIOL Myntra gives up on mobile only strategy, relaunches website

Myntra, which is owned by Flipkart, is expecting 15-20 percent of its sales in the current financial year to come from the desktop website. “We found that while a majority of the growth is driven by mobile, the volume of users on the desktop hasn’t decreased.”

Myntra’s previous major move to app-only was criticized by many investors and analysts, “Users in India still depend on large screens to shop online, and a major chunk of these are office- going people. An app-only strategy has made e-commerce sites lose a customer volume which, in a market like India, is crucial,” said Harish H.V., partner with consulting firm Grant Thornton India Llp.

However, according to Narayan, “The premises of going on an app the only strategy were based on mobiles being personal devices that enable a tailored experience unlike desktops and that mobiles are the future of computing devices.”

Now, that the company is ready to go back to the desktop version, the constant changes in the app-only strategy shows it hasn’t worked well for the company as it was projected.

Myntra has set a target of generating annualized gross sales of $1 billion by March 2017; currently, its annualized gross sales are $500-600 million. “Competition is coming from different corners — Jabong, Amazon India, Snapdeal — where they are giving multiple access points to consumers. It is good they gave up this extreme model might be a late decision. But since they are back, competitors might lose mileage and may have a reason to worry now,” said the ex-Myntra official.

Myntra’s desktop version, however, will not be as engaging as the mobile application. “This difference is because I still believe that app will be a dominant channel,” said Narayanan.

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