News of Myntra shutting down its web platform made big waves in the Indian tech space, but rather it being just a great business opportunity, the move to an app only model is philosophical.
There aren’t any immediate monetary benefits to be had by shutting down its web platform, in fact there could be attrition in the short term which Mukesh Bansal said the company wasn’t too worried about.
Why’d Myntra Take The Leap Of Faith?
It’s rather simple logic. The number of smartphones in India is on the rise, while the PC sales are continually dropping. Nearly 90% of India’s netizens access the Internet via smartphones, and that number is only going to grow.
Myntra is currently valued at $400 million, but its founder Mukesh sees it as a $5 billion company within the next 4-5 years. In order to achieve those sort of dreams, there’s only one thing that matters – the product.
By narrowing its focus to pushing its services to users only via the app and investing in technology and customer acquisition/retention, Myntra wants to become the first e-commerce player in India to become profitable.
Why Apps Are Better?
The statistics Myntra says are simple. Over 90% of the traffic on its platform already comes from the app, while 70% of its revenues are driven by sales made on the app. Apart from its smartphone userbase being significantly larger than the PC userbase, building apps have a few more advantages.
The time spent by consumers on the Myntra mobile app is far higher than the time users spend on the company’s website. Further, once a customer installs the app on their device, their return rate is far higher on the app than on the website.
Another reason for building for smartphones are that they’re always on, meaning shoppers can not only shop anytime from anywhere, but the company can push notifications to them about offers/discounts.
Taking into consideration the number of PC v/s smartphone users in the country, it’s clear that Myntra’s web traffic too would have been driven largely via mobile. The company was pretty straightforward in saying that the mobile web experience was far lower than what was possible via the app or even the desktop site.
What’s Myntra’s Immediate Plans?
The company recently acquired web development platform Native5, not only to grow its tech team, but to also to gain experience in providing users with great user experience. Even under technology, the company will focus on three categories – Analytics, User Experience and gaining experience in building future technologies such as wearables and VR.
The entire Myntra team is anxious about entering this new phase, however, Sachin Bansal maintained that they were highly optimistic about the same. When quizzed about why Flipkart hasn’t gone down the app-only route yet, he retorted by saying it would, but the challenges of serving numerous product categories would take more time to figure out.
Mobile Is The Future Of Online Selling In India According to Sachin Bansal:
- 90% of time spent on the Internet in India is logged via mobile
- Broadband adoption hasn’t picked up
- Wireless is far easier to roll out given infrastructure issues
- Mobile devices are becoming very more powerful very quickly
- India will move from being a mobile first nation to a mobile-only nation
Here’s an extremely positive outlook of shopping via mobile:
Gender parity is a lot higher on mobile when compared to on the PC. The fundamental reason for this is because most people access online shopping sites via PC from the workplace, which is predominantly populated by males.
However, if smartphone ownership between men and women in similar wage groups is compared, the stats are almost equal. It is for this reason that Myntra sees more balanced usage of its app than its website, while the fashion content it generates already has higher readership by women.