Myntra to shut website from May 1

Online fashion retailer Myntra told that they will shut their website from May 1, in what seems like a sure step towards becoming only a mobile app-based retailer.. This will be the first such instance of an online player transforming into a mobile-only entity as internet usage over smartphones increases in India.

In February 7th edition of TOI it first said that Myntra may look to phase out its web presence during this year. However, the decision to shut the website has been advanced, said sources, who did not want to be named. Flipkart, which acquired Myntra about a year ago, may also follow same lines if this experiment goes down well with the fashion e-tailer.

Both Myntra and Flipkart have already stopped their mobile websites from directing visitors to their respective apps.

Source said that Mukesh Bansal, Myntra co-founder and head of commerce at Flipkart, did not respond to TOI’s query on the shutting of the e-tailer’s website. There is an aggressive 360-degree advertising and marketing campaign being planned by Myntra to announce its app-only presence moving forward, which will be announced in the next few weeks,

Currently, Myntra draws majority of the traffic, as much as 80% of its overall traffic and 70% of overall sales are coming from its mobile app. Flipkart, too, registers more than 60% of the overall sales through its mobile app.

Bansal at Myntra had in the February 7th news report said “we are 100% focused on mobile commerce and making all our efforts and investments on the mobile platform going forward”. In a recent interaction with TOI, co-founder of Flipkart Sachin Bansal, had said that desktops weren’t giving the same ROI anymore compared to before. Bansal said Flipkart would keep an eye out for few more acquisitions in the mobile space in future.

-A recent Morgan Stanleyreport said that E-commerce customers penetration as a % of the internet users in India is expected to increase from about 9% in 2013 to nearly 36% in 2020, primarily led by mobile users. With smartphone usage increasing, advertisement costs (primarily SEO) are declining as traffic is increasing either directly to the website or through a mobile app. This is also increasing customer stickiness as once an app has been downloaded, generally customers will visit that website before visiting any other site.

Seeing this shifting trend, over the past year several younger start ups have begun operation as mobile-only platforms, a shift from the concept of mobile-first adopted by the first wave of tech companies. The Internet & Mobile Association of India estimates that total internet users amounted to over 300 million in December 2014, with close to 60% of them via a mobile connection.

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