With Google’s mobile algorithm right around the corner, online advertisers have been rushing to make sure their sites are mobile-friendly and ready for the switch. However, one online retailer is taking it a step further and will be completely doing away with their desktop and mobile site presence and instead opting to rely on a mobile app alone for their business in only a few short days.
Yup, you heard me correctly. On May 1, popular Indian online retailer Myntra.com is closing the doors to their website to switch to solely operating through their mobile app. Similarly, Flipkart (who Myntra merged with in 2014) is also going to be going the route of being a mobile app-only retailer, although they haven’t announced a date yet.
According to a report by The Times of India, Myntra’s mobile app currently delivers about 80% of the company’s traffic and 60% of the company’s overall sales. While impressive, I have to ask…what’s going to happen to the desktop customers driving the remaining 40% of sales? While I would assume Myntra is banking on those customers making the switch to the app, I find it hard to believe every single customer will be bothered enough to make the switch.
However, Myntra is certainly trying to get them to. Upon arriving at their website, you’re instantly shown a huge banner ad promoting their mobile app:
Once you get to the actual site, you’re reminded again about the mobile app in a few places, (check it out below). All of the rotating banner ads feature a mini plug for the mobile app (bottom left), while the ads on the right feature a special offer for mobile app users only.
While these ads are definitely noticeable, I’m not feeling a real sense of urgency here. If it were me writing these ads, they’d definitely sound something more like “DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APP NOW OR NEVER SHOP HERE AGAIN”, with a blinking timer counting down to May 1, while “The Final Countdown” plays in the background.
I feel so inspired to download a mobile app now. And also to run like, 5 marathons.
So, is this a good move for the e-tail giant to make? While we’re excited to see how this switch performs, we have a few reservations as to why this might not be the smartest idea:
A lack of a website will make it harder to acquire new customers—especially through search engines
Many online shoppers prefer to compare prices across multiple sites when they shop online—without a website, Myntra won’t be considered by those users
Apps can go stale—Myntra is relying on users to not only download their app, but to continue to use it over time
40% of Myntra’s online sales still come from their website—will all of these shoppers actually switch to using the app, or simply shop elsewhere?
Not all online shoppers prefer to use an app—by shutting down their site, Myntra may alienate a big chunk of their customers who prefer shopping on a website.
While they have a ton of mobile app users already, they’re really putting all of their eggs in one mobile basket application, if you know what I mean.
As this change is happening in only a few short days, I’m super pumped to see what the power of a mobile app alone can have for an online retailer. While we know that mobile can account for a huge chuck of an online retailer’s sales, we’ve never seen the impact of mobile alone without it competing against desktop and mobile. However, what the results will actually show, your guess is as good as mine!
What do you think about Myntra switching to being a mobile app-only retailer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and let’s chat!