Myntra’s latest and unconventional move to go app only begs a question: Are the marketing wizards at Myntra on to something big? Shutting down the website in favor of a mobile e-commerce application may sound preposterous at first, but there seems to be a method to the madness. When you consider that 95% of its traffic was channeled through the mobile app then it all begins to make sense.
Earlier this year IT giant CISCO predicted that by year 2019 there will be a whopping 651 million smartphone users in India alone.
At the time of writing this blog post I did a quick search on Flipkart and found that the cheapest Android smartphone sold for just Rs 1599. It’s easy to see how CISCO might have arrived at that figure given the fact that India already is the world’s second largest smartphone market. It’s also easy to see why Myntra is betting big on its mobile app when buying a smartphone is cheaper than owning a PC.
By making itself available to shoppers through the application only, Myntra has prodded its audience to join an exclusive club. A mobile application provides mobile marketers the opportunity to personalize their offering based on location, demographics, browsing history, bookmarked items & purchase history. It’s safe to assume that going forward Myntra will offer personalization along similar lines to shoppers.
A mobile application has several advantages over a website –
Your online shop is just a swipe away
It’s easy for shoppers to browse through a shop’s merchandise when it’s available in the form of a mobile app. For most digital shoppers their smartphone is an ‘always on’ device they can reach out to whenever the thought of making a purchase strikes them.
An app is a rapid and early entry in the shopper’s buying journey
Your mobile device is almost always just an arm’s length away from you. This means whenever you fancy buying an item listed by a seller like Myntra, you’ll reach out for your smartphone and tap on the app icon. At that point of time you may not really want to buy but weigh your options. Shopping apps worth their salt are great at displaying a variety of options in the way you want them to be presented: ‘Low to High’, ‘High to Low’, ‘Brand’, ‘Colour’ etc. A well-known app like Myntra can jump rapidly from the ‘awareness’ stage to ‘consideration’ of a shopper’s buying journey.
It boosts engagement
Mobile apps make it easy for marketers to notify shoppers about the latest deals and discounts. Push notifications can be sent through the app or the latest content can be easily placed on the home screen. Flash sales have become a tactic that has been lapped up by ecommerce retailers who routinely offer Deal-of-the-day or promo codes for shopping between certain hours of the day. Shoppers love such promotional campaigns which can be executed in real-time through a mobile app.
Mobile apps inspire loyalty
Everybody loves a good bargain. Ecommerce retailers like Myntra are known for their discount offers and deals which shoppers keep coming back for. Shoppers see these promotional campaigns as an incentive for keeping shopping apps on their mobile handsets. Many players in this space are known for giving ‘App only’ deals to encourage shoppers to stay with them.
Branding efforts are energized
The effect an app has on an e-commerce retailer’s brand is significant. The app becomes its canvas on which it can display its brand identity through clever use of UI elements. The logo can be cleverly used as an icon and the brand colors can be used throughout the app’s layout. Every engagement instance becomes an opportunity to visually showcase the brand and ensure a lasting impression.
When shoppers download an application they do so by giving certain permissions to it. Thanks to the granted permission, app owners know exactly who their shoppers are by name, age and gender. They also know exactly what device each user owns. This helps them optimize the app for those devices. Plus there is an added advantage of getting an idea about the shopper’s spending capacity. For instance, owners of the latest iPhone and Samsung device will obviously set them apart from other users. All this information helps app owners to understand their user’s profile.
User activity on the app reveals shopper browsing habits which can throw light on frequently seen items, items that fail to grab user attention and other merchandise related preferences (brands, colors, fabrics, sizes, categories etc)
Myntra’s decision to shut down its website is undoubtedly inspired by the above discussed benefits. We will have to wait and watch how things pan out for them, from where we are sitting things look promising. We are sure that Myntra is prepared to make amends if going ‘App Only’ turns out to be a sour experience. Whenever they feel they should go back on the web they will be able to do it effortlessly.