After closing its mobile website last month, online fashion retailer Myntra is now moving to an app-only strategy by shutting down its desktop website. The company confirmed the move by telling NDTV Gadgets it will "focus on mobile, and will soon be mobile only," but the spokesperson refused to comment on whether this would happen as soon as May 1, as claimed in sections of the media.
Myntra, which became a part of Flipkart last year, claims that around 85 percent of all users come to the site via the app anyway, and that around 63 percent of all purchases happen on the app. Therefore, maintaining both a desktop and an app presence was not warranted, the company believes.
Speaking about the growing importance of the mobile app platform in an interview last week, Prasad Kompalli, Head of e-commerce platform, Myntra told us over the phone that the growing adoption of smartphones has allowed it to become more than a catalog, which isn't necessarily possible when working on the desktop.
"Mobile apps are the best platform for Myntra today," says Kompalli, "as they allow you to integrate with contacts, calendar, and camera, which can be used to improve the user's experience in a number of ways."
The site currently sees approximately 4 million monthly active users, Kopalli says, and he adds that in terms of traffic, there are already some days where the app accounts for 90 percent of all people browsing Myntra.
We asked Flipkart if the company is going to follow a similar move, and why it shut down its mobile website. The company mailed us the following prepared statement:
We are constantly experimenting with various aspects of our service to create the best shopping options and experience for our users. This initiative happens to be one such experiment.
Given that Flipkart closed its mobile website soon after Myntra, and keeping in mind the relationship between the two companies, it looks likely that Flipkart will also close its desktop website in the near future.
What is particularly interesting in these events is that Flipkart seems to be increasingly using Myntra as a petri dish to test out new innovations, and determine what works and what doesn't.
Many other Indian companies are also shuttering their mobile websites, including MakeMyTrip and Ola, with the likes of Snapdeal also not-so-gently nudging their users towards the apps. With a growing number of smartphones and mobile Internet users, it is possible that other websites will also start to focus on an app-only approach, dropping not just the mobile Web but desktop as well, to streamline their spend on technology.