Most online marketplaces such as Flipkart.com, Snapdeal.com, etc., have had both desktop presences and mobile presences by way of a website and an app, respectively. But now, these marketplaces are slowly moving to an app-only regime which means they will shut down their internet site. Myntra.com made this move on the 15th of May. Many more marketplaces online are expected to do the same in the coming years. Flipkart.com is expected to follow suit in a year.
Why go app-only?
Myntra.com which made the move to app-only recorded statistics where 95% users accessed Myntra through the mobile application rather than use the website. It was also revealed that 70% of the purchases were done via the mobile app rather than the website. After calculating the odds, Myntra.com made the move to app-only, when it was certain that they wouldn’t lose much.
Talking about this move, Mukesh Bansal, Myntra CEO said, “Fashion is a very personal experience. We believe that only mobile can truly deliver this experience as it captures user’s lifestyle and context in manner that no other medium does. Think of all the hardware and software features that one can leverage like camera, contact, location etc. to understand the user’s context and deliver the experience that is deeply personalized.”
Why should online marketplaces/stores doubt the app-only route?
According to a survey by CouponRani, 51% of respondents said that they were not comfortable with mobile app only shopping. 39% were confident about shopping through mobile apps. 10% of the respondents were not clear if they were comfortable or not with mobile app only shopping.
Many physical stores/marketplaces have opted to being present as online stores/marketplaces and have established apps for their wide reach and sales. This multi-medium availability has been followed by ShoppersStop which allows the users lavish discounts on its app, accessibility on its website and the good old touch and feel of a physical store, making it a common and reliable name when it comes to shopping for lifestyle products.
With the rise of apps, customers have started voicing out concerns regarding their privacy. Unlike a website where one can go ‘incognito’ or deactivate cookies so that personal information or preferences are not stored by websites, apps rely on personalisation. This means that a customer’s information is left unprotected.
Are consumers ready to shop via smartphones only?
App-only creates an exclusivity to the otherwise easy online shopping. Inspite of numbers showing a preference for the mobile medium, it is availability that makes the difference. The more a seller makes a marketplace or store’s presence felt, the more it will reach people. Whatever the future trend of online shopping, the present trend favours the mutli-medium seller.