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It has been around two weeks, to Myntra’s app only status. Where brands like Snapdeal (75% mobile orders) and Amazon (45% mobile traffic) are still testing waters, Myntra has already set off the sail. The industry biggies, although in no mood of ‘following soon’, are definitely watching closely the trend this move might lead to. They say “Future is mobile” and Myntra, with 90% traffic and 70% orders from mobile, might get a first mover advantage with this. Also, it was in news that soon Flipkart, its parent company, will also follow the trend in next one year.

However, the consumer views are driving another story along. According to a survey done by CouponRani team, 51% people are NOT comfortable shopping only through mobile app. While 63% prefer shopping through website on desktop or laptop, for 61%, the major concern was the product viewing time. Since the viewing space is limited, a lot of clicks and scrolls are needed to check the products as well as the reviews and other details. Payment security is yet another major concern for 42% of the respondents, but 70% find COD or Digital wallet a way to handle this.

And why do we go too far? A tweet posted in the Myntra’s testimonial section on web homepage says the same story.

myntra

Where many shoppers are already in love with the app, some are also criticizing it for its intrusiveness. Here is what people think “Why Myntra has gone app-only”?

1. Cost Optimization: Maintaining both the web and mobile site seems costly. Also, advertising on app is cheaper than the desktop version.

@ sammed: One ‘acceptable’ reason is that they only have one thing to worry about, their app. So resources can be concentrated more efficiently. But that’s about it. From consumer side, the desktop version of the website is a million times more convenient to use.”

2. Free Marketing Data: As posted by a user on Economic Times, “Actually the reason for App only is to gain access to your personal data. When installing the App check the “permissions” it needs access to. “Wifi networks, SMS, Photos”.”  Even, the app asks permissions to access contacts, call information and location. Now being a fashion apparel selling portal, what myntra will do with people’s personal data, is definitely a question to be raised.

3. Battle Search Engines: Nilesh on Livemint, cited a very different and more logical reason for the shift. Given the mentality of Indian shoppers with total lack of loyalty to a specific ecommerce brand, they shop only where prices are comparatively less. Flipkart is seeing search engines as potentially biggest competitor and value destroyer in the long term.

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Considering the market dominance both Flipkart and Myntra have, it is the best time for them to break consumer’s habit of going to search engines as the first step. “Search engines today are not able to search contents of a mobile app. This is like turning the complete SEO science on its head,” he added.

4. Amalgamate Myntra: Going a step ahead, some also feel that it is Flipkart’s strategy to shut down Myntra permanently and merge everything in Flipkart.

@Pratik: Myntra has better website design than FK. I think Myntra’s filter option, on click discount rates, brand logo are more handy compared to FK. Another biggie by Myntra’s side is Roadster brand which has more reach than FK Digixxx brand! So, closing Myntra would provide other eCommerce start-ups to fill that space, at least apparel zone for sure!”

@Pradeep: It might be possible that they are trying to lure the desktop traffic to Flipkart by offering Myntra Catalogue there.”

Here are some more reasons by consumers to justify “Why Myntra Will Fail?”

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@Anonymous: From customer is king , these startups with much hyped investments from overseas think they can dictate to consumers. Flipkart is losing ₹2.8 pef every ₹1 of revenue and yet these e portals think they know all. More soap bubbles about to bur$t !

@Chandrasekaran: One of the biggest mobile only app moved to Desktop recently – Whatsapp. I don’t think it was really wise to go app only. You are just restricting the choice to the users. From that angle, app only takes away the choice and does not seem to be right

@Vishwanath: This decision will be followed and repeated by many other ecommerce sites and that will ultimately kill the app industry! Try loading half a dozen apps and see how your system hangs and craves for memory and battery! I bet the uninstall rate for apps will be easily upwards of 50% within first two weeks.

@Ram: An iPad Air with 16GB storage costs $499 whereas 32GB model costs $599. This means that the extra 16 GB costs 6000 INR. Who would want to install stupid apps in the meagre storage available.

@Anuj: Myntra’s claim that close to 95% of their internet traffic and over 70% of sales comes through mobile devices. Which means 5% Desktop traffic is contributing to 30% of their sales, I don’t have words to ridicule the step.

@Abhishek:  The app is available to Android, iOS, Windows. What about Java platforms? Well there are other players who sooner or later will catch up like BlackBerry, or low cost Firefox OS. Would if i was in their position, i wouldn’t leave such a technical loophole.

Editor’s take

Well, That’s interesting. Where people are busy pulling legs and guessing Myntra’s future, nobody seems to be in a hurry right now at Myntra. The Bansals seem confident that people will gradually adapt its new avatar and who knows, if this is the path to new m-revolution in the country. Although, a mobile app does not guarantee a best shopping experience, but looking at the drastically falling PC sales over the last 5 years, one can not entirely deny the option. Also, with 70% sales from mobiles, definitely there would be a bunch of loyal consumer base, which will not leave Myntra.

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