Fashion retailer Myntra, which became the first web-based e-commerce firm to go app-only, has taken a step back. It is rolling out a mobile website, which is currently in pilot stage. The move may have been fuelled by its app-only strategy backfiring and the retailer losing traffic and sales post the development.

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In May 15, fashion retailer Myntra closed down its desktop site and moved completely to an app-only platform. This meant users had no choice but to download their app. This decision was taken based on the company’s quick growth of smartphones as it claimed 95 percent of its Internet traffic came through mobile and 70 percent sales were generated through smartphones.

Myntra’s alexa ranking fell from 17 to an all-time low of 289 in India; it fell 713 positions from global ranking perspective [in just three months]. Customers too expressed dissatisfaction against the app within months as there was surge 1 star ratings.

However, the company never disclosed the ratio of users via its app and mobile site. It did expect initial turmoil of about 15 to 20 percent, but believed that would settle down eventually. Looks like, roughly six months down the line, the strategy has backfired and it’s now trying to cope with loss of traffic and dip in sales.

They also fell to the competition from their rivals like Jabong and Snapdeal as many customers reported facing app crashes while purchasing from Myntra’s app.

“Dedicated customers would have the app installed, but for a new customer to install an app for every purchase can be a hassle. The mobile website, thus, brings Myntra in top Google searches via which a new customer may then check the products and, based on the liking, might as well install the app to complete the purchase,” Mohit Bahl of KPMG India said. He said that shrinking dedicated space for separate mobile apps is also a reason for the tweak in Myntra’s strategy.

Myntra’s parent Flipkart recently launched a ‘Lite’ version of it portal for mobile users. Their rival Snapdeal also came out with a similar strategy in November this year.

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Sangeeta Ghosh

Sangeeta is an engineering graduate and is passionate about painting and music. She is always blooming with new ideas and is a real go to person when you are searching for one. Exploring good dining places across the city is her favourite off-field indulgence. At KnowStartup, she is an integral part of the editorial team.

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