Friday, 10 April 2015

Is Myntra going 'app only' too early?

This week, popular fashion website Myntra announced that they are downing the shutters on their desktop website and moving to an app only strategy. Backed by numbers (85% of all users come to the site via the app; 63% purchases are app based. Source: NDTV Gadget) the strategy looks sound. But I have been hearing murmurs of discontentment among the avid young online shoppers in my organisation. They say they will miss the 'big screen' shopping experience. This made me pause a bit and think. If I was a decision maker at Myntra, what would I do?

Finally I got my answer. I would do the same if I was Myntra but not if I was a head of a start up operation offering exactly the same service. Reason?

For a start up operation or a new online brand, three key decision parameters would be:

1. SEO and SEM
Success of a new brand depends on being searchable and optimisable.

2. Lead Generation and Conversion 
Till the brand has a regular customer base, undoubtedly an important point of consideration

3. Cost Optimisation 
Most start ups don't have billions of dollars of seed funding. Cost does play a key role in all decisions.

Keeping these 3 factors in mind, I would perhaps opt for a website based or at best a mobile website based site.

However, Myntra is an epic success. It has overcome all 3 of the concerns stated above. As they move to their next level of strategy, I would imagine their objective would now be :

1. Customer retention and Loyalty 
The most coveted piece of real estate today is the mobile screen. With a strong brand connect, the Myntra app is definite going to earn itself a piece of that real estate. This assures 'front of mind' visibility leading to meeting this objective.

2. A clutter free 'shopping window' experience
Inherent nature of app designs allow for a more focused, less cluttered shopping experience.

3. Increase duration of visit  
All mobile usage data underlines that consumers tend to spend more time on apps than on website or a mobile site. More time would translate to more items in the shopping cart, perhaps?

I feel going 'app only' makes perfect sense. Good luck Myntra. I hope its the beginning of yet another great journey. Where your customers are concerned, they are loyal. They will always miss 'what was' but its just a matter of time. They will soon click on the app to buy the next black dress. No worries.

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