FLIPKART & MYNTRA – SUCESSFUL STRATEGY 0R HIGH STUPIDITY?

With the largest and the biggest e-commerce websites going app- only, the only thing that is remaining is to watch and wait to see the results of the “long planned strategy”. While Myntra is app-only (it has closed down its pc/ desktop version) and its parent company i.e. Flipkart, going ‘app – only’ within a year, its rival competitors have decided to not route in the same direction.

Myntra has shifted to app- only on May 15th and though Flipkart has maintained its website on desktop till now- any person who is using a smartphone has to download their app to browse or buy their products.

This change has created quite uproar on twitter. Various experts are debating on the strategy, unsure of the outcome.

The reasons are the numbers – Flipkart generates about 75% of its traffic from the mobile app, while that number is 90% for Myntra. Both the shopping apps are among the 15 most-downloaded apps on Google Inc.’s Android-backed phones in India.

Flipkart, which claims to have 26 million registered users, has app downloads of more than 11 million while Myntra app downloads have exceeded six million so far.

Apart from the business opportunity offered by the growing use of mobile phones for shopping, there are cost benefits of going app-only for e-commerce companies.

Advertising on the app is cheaper compared with the desktop, said Mausam Bhatt, senior director, mobile commerce and digital marketing, at Flipkart.

“More importantly, mobile enables much more targeted and personalized marketing compared with other platforms. The mobile experience is going to improve significantly as we roll out new and innovative features that will make shopping seamless. This kind of experience is not possible to give on the desktop,” Bhatt said.

 

It seems like a next step from a business point of view, when the company observes its increase in sales through mobile- app. But the step also brings a huge barrel of risks.

Jumping to app – only, forces a customer to download their app, thereby restricting the people’s choice in this matter. This very step is an irony to their tacit mission – People are their priority. Moreover, it might lead to customer loss.

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.

Whether the strategy will be successful or a failure, only time will tell.

Here are some of the reviews of the customers –

  1. Wherever you go, you see people opposing this move and bidding them farewell. Who would not like to see a bigger picture of the item you are shopping for? The smart phones, however large their screen may be today, they just can’t match the size of 15″ and above laptop/desktop screen. The smartphone just wasn’t made for this stuff. Regarding the sales figures coming from their app, everyone knows about the discount they offer when buying via their app. However they easily forgot that most of the buyers first visit their website, select the item they want to buy and then avail the further discount by purchasing it via their app. Whom are they trying to fool? They are surely doomed unless they undo this move. – Sohfay on livemint
  2. STUPID MOVE MYNTRA…Myntra is so hypocritical…Their app purchases are gone up not because app is convenient, it’s because they themselves are providing more discount on apps. So, myntra themselves are telling us their app purchases are gone up, while they themselves give us more discount on app purchases? 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. We can compare products, prices extremely quickly by opening them in new tabs…Just imagine how difficult it is compare prices of same products from 2 different vendors on app, and it’s a headache!! They want us to feel the headache and just buy from their app and be done with it. Also, on desktop, we can install extensions like CompareHatke etc. to compare prices from different sites, see how the prices have moved in past period of time and what might be the correct time to buy it. On app however, we cannot do that!! For example, if a product is supposing Rs.1000 MSRP and with 50% discount, we get it for Rs.500 today. – Sammed Pandharkar on livemint

 

  1. This is not about saving costs. Maintaining a full-fledged website would require approx. 100 people at Flipkart. With unlimited funding available, this is hardly a cost that Flipkart would try to save. Trying to make profits through cost optimization is completely alien concept for these companies. The real reason to do away from desktop and mobile sites is to stop getting captured in search results like Google or price comparison sites like Junglee. Looking at Indian customer’s preference for price and total lack of loyalty to any e-commerce brand, they search for the product and then click on the link that gives the best price. Hence, Flipkart is seeing search engines as potentially biggest competitor and value destroyer in the long term. Today combination of Flipkart and Myntra has significant market dominance and 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. Companies so far spent huge money to fine tune their sites and get a higher ranking on search engines. – Nilesh on livemint

 

  1. “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. “Wi-Fi 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. – an user on economic times

 

By Hema Sanghavi

(Pour Out Zone)

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