It was the buzzword of last year. It spawned debates, discussions and also intense criticism. Its critics couldn’t understand how it made sense, but a $15 billion company was adamant it was the way to go. But it now appears that the final nail has been dug into the “app-only” coffin. Flipkart’s fashion brand Myntra, which had shut down its site and had been available solely on its app since May last year, is now back with its mobile website.
Myntra had been experimenting with letting go of its app-only approach for a while. During its end of season sale last month, it had allowed users to browse its entire catalogue on its mobile site. “During the sale, we got reasonable data that many people were using the mobile site and now, we are reopening it for good,” said Ambarish Kenghe, head of products at Myntra. Myntra’s sales had fallen as it had moved to the app last year, but had stabilized thereafter.
Late last year, Flipkart had also introduced in a lightweight version of its mobile site called Flipkart Lite. The company had seen its revenue growth slow down since its app-only push, sources told OfficeChai. Flipkart had been heavily pushing its mobile app last year, with app-only offers and app-only products. Its flagship sale, the Big Billion Day Sale, had also been app-only last year. But its Republic Day sale was available on both desktop and app, and this will be the case going forward, OfficeChai can exclusively reveal.
Flipkart’s app-only strategy had met with criticism from online commentators and comeptition alike. Snapdeal’s CEO Kunal Bahl had dubbed it the most “customer unfriendly strategy”, and Amazon had steadfastly maintained that it would always be available on desktop and mobile. It now looks like they were right.