India’s largest fashion portal Myntra will re-launch its desktop website on June 1, officially ending the company’s tryst with turning into an app-only marketplace.
Myntra, owned by Flipkart which re-launched its mobile website in February this year, was facing immense pressure from its users to bring back its web presence.
The move comes after a top level management change, including the exit of Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal and Chief Product Officer Punit Soni, who was driving the app-only strategy at parent Flipkart.
“We found that while a majority of the growth is driven by mobile, the volume of users on desktop hasn’t decreased. We’ve launched a number of new categories such as home furnishing and (fine) jewellery where customers want to see products on a larger screen,”
Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra, said in a statement.
In May 2015, when Myntra shut off its mobile and desktop websites, Sachin Bansal, the then CEO of Flipkart, said it was only a matter of time before the parent marketplace followed suit. The move was criticised by several analysts, competitors and users, yet Flipkart went ahead and shut down its own mobile web presence having the risk-factor high.
With months passed by, they witnessed a drop in traffic and sales as consumers did not transition to buying over apps as easily as expected by the company. While people browse on their smartphones, not all of those customers install apps despite e-commerce players doling out offers exclusively on their app.
This was also the time when Flipkart shut its mobile website and was planning to follow the suit and become app-only.
When Myntra shut its web presence, it was drawing as much as 80% of its traffic and 70% of sales from its mobile app. The fashion etailer which was bought by cross-town rival Flipkart in 2014 clocked a revenue of Rs 758 crore during the financial year 2014-15 with its losses inching to as much as Rs 740 crore, documents filed with the registrar of companies (RoC) said, reported in TOI.
“It is part of the Myntra culture to try bold things. We tried to do this last year because we thought we can offer consumers a much better experience on the mobile. While that is still true that the mobile experience is far superior to the web, we have recognized that some consumers still want the option to shop on the web we’re humble enough to listen to our customers,”
According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), mobile internet users in India grew from 173 million in December 2014 to 213 million by the end of June 2014 and that number is expected to go up to 314 million by 2017.
Naspers had estimated that the company had 50 million monthly active users, nearly three times that of its rivals Amazon and Snapdeal.
Myntra App has seen over 10 million downloads on the Google Playstore. The Flipkart App was also the first Indian mobile app to cross the 50 million installs mark on Google’s Play Store.