U-TURN Fashion ecomm player to relaunch desktop version next month after a year in app-only mode to win back customers and drive sales.

 

Fashion ecommerce retailer Myntra is withdrawing from its mobile-only strategy and will relaunch a desktop version of its website next month in an attempt to bring back lost customers and drive growth.

 

The move comes a year after Myntra shut its desktop site and become an app-only store, triggering a debate among online players on whether this strategy will work or backfire.

 

Myntra

“We have been humble enough to realise and listen to our customers’ needs and hence, we are relaunching the desktop version on June 1,“ said Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra.“This will help us bring back customers, help women shop more on different screens and suit our newly launched furnishing and jewellery categories,“ he added.

 

Experts say this step will help the ecommerce company minimise losses without making additional investment. “In such tough market conditions where funds are drying up, this will easily take care of around 10-15% sales growth and help them stay away from the red line,“ said an ex-Myntra official. The Bengaluru-based company is chasing profitability in this financial year.

 

Myntra, which is owned by Flipkart, has gradually moved towards this relaunch over the last few months. During the company’s `End of Reason’ sale in January, users without the app could view a page related to the merchandise if a link was sent to them by an app user. However, no transactions were allowed then. The company relaunched its mobile website the following month.

 

Experts said the constant changes in the app-only strategy shows it hasn’t worked as well as the company had projected. Myntra executives recently said that the company had narrowly missed its target of achieving $1billion annual gross merchandise value (GMV) last fiscal, and has now readjusted its target to reach the milestone by March 2017.However, it clocked $800 million GMV run rate in January 2016.

 

“Competition is coming from different corners -Jabong, Amazon India, Snapdeal -where they are giving multiple access points to consumers. It is good they gave up this extreme model which might be a late decision. But since they are back, competitors might lose mileage and may have a reason to worry now,“ said the ex-Myntra official.

 

According to a recent report by Assocham, shopping online through smartphones is proving to be a game changer and m-commerce could contribute up to 70% of the total revenues of the ecommerce players over the next couple of years.

 

Myntra’s desktop version, however, will not be as engaging as the mobile application. It will purely be an ecommerce site where consumers can browse and transact.“This difference is because I still believe that app will be a dominant channel,“ said Narayanan. While Myntra continues to nudge potential customers to get onto its app, it no longer wants to miss out acquiring those who don’t want to download it.