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What startups can learn from Myntra’s U-turn
Last year, Myntra, one of India’s largest online fashion stores, took the audacious decision to shut down its website and become an app-only store. The rationale given was to provide better user experience. While some of its customers protested, Myntra stuck to its decision. Myntra’s parent company, Flipkart, followed suit by turning off its mobile website too.
About nine months later, both Myntra and Flipkart have re-opened their mobile websites, first Flipkart and then Myntra. On June 1st, Myntra will re-launchits desktop site. The reasons mentioned by Myntra include: providing multi-channel access, the need for larger screens for categories like home furnishing, and sizeable desktop traffic.
I have a theory on Myntra’s original hypothesis and why it may not have worked out.
On the Internet, most shopping journeys start with a Google search. The reasons are manifold. Google has earned users’ trust for locating precisely what they are looking for, sometimes even with ambiguous search queries. And for nearly all queries, Google generates the most relevant ads. For shopping related searches, Google has a modified ad format that shows the picture of the product, its price, and any offers by the given retailer. In short, Google helps users to make better decisions.
Users have come to rely on Google so much that instead of visiting a particular website directly, they just type in the company’s name on Google and expect it to give them a link to the website. This phenomenon is so widespread that brand owners pay Google to show their ads for their own brand name searches. Even the mighty web companies like Amazon pay the Google Tax for searches of its brand, as shown in the screen capture below.
In the e-commerce competition that started earlier this decade, Myntra quickly rose to become India’s biggest online shopping destination for apparel and fashion products. Google awarded its popularity by giving Myntra a high ranking in the listing for organic searches and thus more free traffic for Myntra, making it even more popular.
Myntra received tons of traffic from Google for highly competitive and commercial search queries. Google’s ads were also effective in driving users to Myntra with high purchase intention. But when Myntra made the fatal decision to switch off its website, it effectively shut down this source of high quality and, mostly, free traffic to its site. Myntra’s bet, probably, was that it had enough mind share and trust of Indian customers that they will remember Myntraas the first destination for fashion products. So no more Google Tax! Myntra probably intended to force shoppers to make a choice –Myntra versus other shopping sites. Inadvertently, however, they forced users to make a choice between Google and Myntra.
A year ago, in May 2015, Google announced that its search traffic on mobile had surpassed desktop traffic. In India, the same inflection point may have been reached earlier, given the country’s relatively low penetration of desktops as compared to mobile.
During its first quarter results, Google announced that the paid clicks in Q1 2016 were 29% higher than in Q1 2015.In other words, Google’s search engine continues to see its usage growing significantly from an already very high base. Just to give you a sense of Google’s prowess, in August 2012, Google was performing 100 billion searches per month. No new data about search volume has been published but if you look at Google’s fabulous paid-click growth rates since then, it is safe to say that they have easily doubled that number.
Google’s mobile operating system, Android, has over a billion users worldwide. The default search application on Android-powered mobile phones is, well, obviously, Google. In India, Android has over 90% market share of smartphone operating systems.
Google continued to send traffic to Myntra even when its website was shut off. This was due to the good karma that Myntra had earned since its inception. Users searched for products on Google, clicked on Myntra’s organic result, and then immediately hit the back button when users saw a note asking them to download the app instead of finding the product that they were looking for. In web analytics parlance, this is called a ‘bounce’. As the number of users bouncing from Myntra’s website went up, Google started demoting that result. Gradually, it stops sending traffic altogether to Myntra.
From April 2015, Google publicly stated that its search-ranking algorithm would start giving importance to mobile-friendliness– a decision termed as “Mobilegeddon” in the search community. In March 2016, Google announced that itwas going to place even more importance on sites being mobile friendly. Given that Google still doesn’t have a separate index for mobile, according to the experts, it seems that there is a technical challenge to have a site only for one device and not for others. And how do you classify ‘tablets’, which are another class of devices altogether?
Here we are. Google has a massive search market share, which is growing at a breathtaking pace. Users go to Google with muscle memory, whenever they want something. And Myntra isn’t present there. It’s entirely possible that the core audience of Myntra open its app whenever they think about fashion. But, on the flip side, there is a huge population that has never purchased anything online yet and coming online for the first time. For those users, Myntra practically doesn’t exist, unless they have seen its ads on TV or in print.
Google is ready to hand over all the fashion-related traffic, worth hundreds of crores of rupees annually, to Myntra. For free. All Google asks is that Myntra have a website. And so Myntra is doing just that.
So what can startups learn from Myntra’s blunder?
First, pay the Google Tax!Second, it is important to have both a website and an app for your e-commerce enabled store.Third, ensure that your desktop site is friendly for all devices to earn Google’s favour.Myntra had to learn the above lessons the hard way and probably lost countless millions. Don’t make the same mistake!
Exclusively.in will be merged with Snapdeal, website to be shutdown
After acquiring online luxury fashion store Exclusively in February last year, Snapdeal is merging the entire catalogue of products under Exclusively with its Fashion and Apparel category. All team members at Exclusively will continue with their existing business responsibilities, the company said in a statement, while the delivery of products under the Exclusively will be fulfilled by Snapdeal post the merger.
The Exclusively.in website will soon cease to exist as a standalone website and will neither continue to accept orders from users, while the brand itself will be retained by Snapdeal, the company told MediaNama. Snapdeal however mentioned that the “integration will ensure a wider access for the fashion and lifestyle products available on Exclusively,” since all Snapdeal users will be directly buying from the inventory of products listed on Exclusively.
A Mint report said that Snapdeal is currently reviewing acquisitions and related investments it made in the past years, while it looks to cut costs in a scenario where funding has slowed down. The Exclusively.in website had been processing around 150-200 orders per day with an average purchase size of about Rs 12,000-20,000, the report added.
Expansion of logistics: After rival Amazon announced that it is building six fulfillment centres, Snapdeal said that it opened six logistics centres in Delhi-NCR, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Kolkata, in this month.
Funding: In February, Snapdeal raised $200 million in funding from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, with participation from Iron Pillar and others. It had also raised $500 millionin August last year and $627 million in October 2014.
Previous developments of Exclusively.in
Exclusively.in was previously acquired by rival Myntra in 2012. But Myntra had sold back its entire stake in the company back to founder Sunjay Guleria in second half of 2013 and it has been operating independently ever since, according to an Economic Times report. Currently it sells wide range of fashion and lifestyle products from Indian designers and international luxury brands like DKNY, Armani, Michael Kors, Porsche Design, Marc Jacobs among others.
Exclusively.in started as a flash sales site but pivoted to a standard e-commerce model offering designer apparel and accessories in 2011. The company used to ship products only to the US and UK catering to but latter shipped to destinations in India and other global destinations.
The company had raised $16 million in a Series-B funding round led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Accel Partners India and Helion Venture Partners in 2011. It had previously raised $2.8 million from Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners in November 2010.
Elsewhere in the fashion e-commerce segment
Last month, Snapdeal’s rival company Flipkart had acquired fashion commerce company Jabong via Myntra for $70 million in cash. In reality, Rocket Internet, which holds a majority stake in Jabong sold the company to Myntra through its fashion commerce arm Global Fashion Group (GFG). Flipkart had earlier acquired Myntra in 2014. Jabong’s major investors including AB Kinnevik and Rocket Internet were in talks with players since September 2015 to sell the company.
The Jabong acquisition comes after reports suggested that Snapdeal and Aditya Birla Group-backed abof.com expressed interests to buy the company. Economic Timesreported that the Jabong’s initial asking price for the sale was $250-300 million; but the final deal size came down to just $70 million with Flipkart. In November 2014, Amazon was reportedly in talks to buy Jabong for around $1.2 billion. However, the deal fell through following disagreements between the companies over valuation, according to a VCCircle report.
Never In My Wildest Dreams
You came into my world like high beams on some two lane highway in the middle of a desert night; just as I lost the fight between thirty more miles and pulling over for a nap until sunrise. Fracturing my momentary dream into a million pieces of panic and surprise as your light burned through the lids of my eyes and your horn’s noise grabbed at nerves that shook my insides alive.
I remember the giant halo of your glow and light coming head on, the fog in my brain was overwhelming, as muscle memory spurred both hands and they registered on the wheel. My grasp was wrapped tight and pulled sharply, sending me into a wrenching swerve; a sudden desperate attempt to avoid our impending collision, as you careened head long my way. In the moments that came, I couldn’t tell if you were slowing or attempting to avoid the obstruction of my vehicle that had wondered into your lane. I only knew the fear as my life flashed before my frozen, bulging eyes. I felt my knuckles strain, threatening to rip flesh, as they pulled against the tension of my grasp on the wheel.
I remember feeling my knee slam under the dash as terror took me and I over compensated. With pang in knee, I stabbed my foot back down at the break. I remember the feeling of gravity shift as my vehicle began to swerve and my body flatten into the door panel as I began the fight to regain control of my vehicle, careening down that lonely highway.
I remember my body recognized and felt something I couldn’t have truly felt. At least something felt different, this specific time, than any other before or after. Both the fear of loosing control and this new feeling are forever linked somehow. It was something I felt as my shoulder pressed into the drivers side door panel: the feel of the gravel beneath my tires, not in the normal sense of peeling out, or hot rodding around a turn, or when you are navigating a gravel incline and a tire slips, spinning a bit. But, I remember feeling every, single, piece, of gravel, as my tires slid over them, like they were brail desperately attempting to be read by someone with an untrained hand.
And suddenly, I remember, I was fighting gravity to avoid being thrown into the empty passenger seat next to me; with the dutiful assistance of my seat belt I remained square in seat. By this point my perspiration was beading at my brow and my palms were slick and damp. The smell filling my nose was terrible: rubber skidding across tar and the metal chemical burn of clutch mixed with burning metallic fumes of locked, red hot breaks. The noxious smoke produced from the instant tire tread wear of tires attempting to grapple with the texture of pavement at sixty miles per hour and the dust thrown up from the narrow desert road was thick in the air as my vehicle began to spin violently. This must have been one of my wildest dreams.
Your tail lights passed by my view out the front windshield a few times before I came to a slow, lazy roll backwards, eventually coming to a halt on the pavement; vision now dizzy and disoriented. My motion had not stopped however. The spinning had turned my head into one of those twirling carnival rides and transformed my extremities into shaking nerve noodles, who’s vibration emanated from my core.
Regaining my composure, I found myself immediately worried about who I had almost collided with and what state they were in; my concern seemingly met with reply as your hazard lights lit up from the tail lights of your vehicle ahead. I remember blood pumping in my temples as I raced toward your vehicle, grateful to be alive, and grateful you were still on the road and in one piece as well. Closing the distance to your flashing hazards just hoping you were okay. I felt embarrassed and foolish for putting myself, and you, at risk not stopping a few miles back. I prayed you were not scared or upset with me. Not knowing what to expect as I slowed to a jog nearing your vehicle, I took in the details of the multiple spins my vehicle completed as it whipped round and round directly down the center of the highway. I took in the sight of fresh tread on the pavement left by my tires, scrawled like a signature of some artist signing their work of near miss.
I remember as I looked up again to where your vehicle had come to a stop, that you too where now running my direction. As we approached each other I could tell we both did a quick visual assessment of each other, our vehicles, the tire tread scrawl on the road. We asked each other if the other was okay and learned no harm had come to the other other than shaken nerves and a bit of embarrassment on my part.
I remember hearing your laugh for the first time as we sat on the side of that highway in the middle of the night and lost track of time. We talked about everything, and nothing, as we watched the stars and smiled at each other honestly. Morning came faster than either of us expected announcing it’s a rival gloriously. The sunrise was exceptionally beautiful that morning. As we peacefully watched, finally pausing in conversation for the first time since we met, we took in it’s orange, blue, yellow, and pink shifting colors sharing glances at each other now and then, smiles and blushing cheeks as we did.
As the morning sun’s heat set upon our skin and the brightness of the desert view began to become overwhelming you turned to me with a smile. I remember taking your business card and the electricity fire through my fingertips as our hands touched for the first time.
Your touch felt so exotic then, like some distant land I had read a million books about and knew every detail of but had only learned from in the texts written in those pages. I imagine I looked like an adventurer, captivated and in awe, as they stepped of an old steam engine train onto a new landscape. Amusing the locals watching a new traveler standing starstruck seeing, smelling, and feeling the foreign environment they had read so much about but were only experiencing in person for the first time.
As I put your business card into my wallet, so many unknown feelings and pressing questions that I wanted to ask you were coming to my head fighting each other for place in line and internally pleading for one more second of your time. They were interrupted by one major new question I hadn’t considered so distracted by my internal conflict.
When would I would see you again? This question was followed by an even larger: Would I see you again? I was so caught off guard at their staggering weight I remember feeling intimidated by how much it meant to me. I chickened out. I didn’t ask and though in that moment didn’t know what to do with myself, or my shaken emotions, as we said our good byes.
Before you turned to depart I managed to make sure you too had my number and awkwardly, shuffled back, half facing you, half trying to walk away. I could tell you noticed in the words your smile always seemed to hold.
I remember you driving away and the stress I felt realizing we were going in opposite directions for the first time since we met and how something immediately felt missing in my world. I remember kicking myself not wanting to end up just some guy who you met and called you down the road or being just a story of a time you almost got hit head on by some guy in the middle a desert one night. A bit late, but just in time, I buckled my seat belt and decided not to become that guy. I threw my vehicle in drive and accelerated after you. Headed in your direction for the first time.
My heart raced as I drove fast to catch up to your vehicle once again and as I pulled up behind you, obnoxiously got your attention with my horn and the flashing of my lights. I couldn’t believe I had chased after you like a crazy! What would you think of this? Was I crazy?
As you stepped out of your vehicle your beauty was staggering and I confidently acknowledged, almost applauded myself; I had made the right decision. I jogged up to you on the pavement of that two lane highway and blurted out “When will I see you again?!”. Your laugh told me everything as it often did, I would learn.
I canceling my plans, my new job would have to wait, or I’d find a new one when I got to my destination. I suddenly had you placed at the center of my life’s main screen and didn’t for one second consider what else was on outside in my periphery. Everything seemed like it mattered just a little bit less than the focus my mind found when trained on you. I spent the day with you, headed in your direction. We played, both lost in the world together, on a new adventure, and loving every moment of it.
By that evening I was already in love, and knew it as for the first time I watched the sunset reflect forever in your eyes. I will never in my wildest dreams forget your smile when I admitted my love to you as we watched those stars again, together, that second night.
I also remember how we really met, and this isn’t it! Not even close! But it sure could have been. I mean, some things are similar to how we met all those years ago. You do remember don’t you?
The night we first met we were hurling in each other’s direction at a million miles per hour and barely missed colliding. That near miss put us into permanent dance as we orbited each other - dancing in and out of each other’s life, always friends, lovers, strangers, family; whatever we needed to be for the other at that specific moment in time. The first night we met I knew I had met the most amazing woman and I couldn’t believe that I had finally found you; never in my wildest dreams did I think you were really out there.
We did watch the stars and talked until the sun came up. We also spent the next day playing together and I really did watch the sunset reflect forever in your eyes. I did fall in love with you, only immediately, almost at first sight.
My love switch flipped the very moment you said “Hiiii” that way you did. Your mysterious brown eyes - strands coloring them wonderful, as your cheeks smiled for days. They reached into me latching onto my heart and I did not resist the comfort of your grasp. There was just something so familiar in the way you drew me in and made a place for me in your world. I felt like I had seen this smile of yours before somewhere and it belonged right after that “Hiiii”, and right in front of me. There was also something so familiar in the way you said my name, always smiling, you giggled a lot more back then.
I chased after you and that smile, following the echoes of that giggle from that moment on without any regret and loved every moment you chased me back laughing as we played. I remember how grateful I was getting to know you, and how grateful I always will be to have spent all the moments we shared through the years, building our story. The rest of that story and how we really first met is ours. A story to be remembered another time I think.
I remember the many other things that are similar in the story I have told but happened completely differently, to a completely different moment, in a completely different part of our story that I’d like to share in this letter to you. I think it is supposed to help...telling you these things, we always shared our deepest feelings with each other and It’s hard holding them all by myself. I’m working on it, love, I promised. Writing these letters to you and the chapters of our time together contained within.
In this part of our story, the true part of this story, and part of our chapters I’m sharing in this letter is a moment where I remember a collision that happened head on and it all started with a phone call.
I remember we were both asleep at the wheel and wholly unprepared as I raced down the highway to you. I remember how sudden the impact came after I reached your side. I remember the pain and jarring as your light in my world, that light that engulfed my vision completely, was in a moment no longer present. I remember my confusion as my momentum came to a complete, and immediate, stop. I remember that I didn’t even have time to scream or brace myself as everything in my world shattered in a devastating explosion and all it’s shiny pieces showered into the air around me. I remember that I didn’t even have both hands on the wheel as my life turned upside down. I remember that there was no seat belt to fasten me in as my breath choked in my throat, stalled, as if suspended mid air.
I remember the look, taste, sound, smell, touch, and feeling of every, single, thing, in that hospital room. I remember the smell of my tears in your hair. I remember how soft your skin was and that your fingernails were not painted like they normally were as I held your hand. I remember the feeling of my nerves as they achieved complete pandaemonium within me. I remember I was trembling as I struggled to breath between crying, then breathing, then crying, tasting the snot running from my nose mixed with the salt that clung to my face as I sat at your side. I remember hearing the sobs in the room as your heart rate monitor stopped blinking. I remember that exact moment you left me. I remember all of the feelings I felt at that moment as my emotions burned deep within and imprinted them as if by brand, permanently emblazoned on my soul. I remember not having the words for them then and I still do not have words for them now.
I remember every single detail, reflected in the pieces of my world as they crashed to the polished surface of the tiny room’s grey and white checkered tile floor. I remember that for the first time in a long time we were no longer running toward each other, or in the same direction together, and you weren’t there to make sure I was okay. I remember praying that you would be okay but my heart didn’t hear the echo of yours anymore to be sure. I remember hoping you were not lonely just minutes after you left and began crying: differently, because I didn’t know how to be there for you like I promised I always would be. I remember wanting so badly to chase after you, especially in the months that followed your funeral to keep that promise I made. I remember wanting to make sure you weren’t alone and be by your side as you took off on this new adventure to make sure you got under way okay. I remember trying to lighten my mood and joke about you making a new friend jealous, telling them about a guy that loved you unconditionally in another life. But, I remembered I could not chase you this time; I couldn’t be there to hold you if you happened to fall in love with him and he broke your heart. There was no catching up to you minutes down the road, just to see your smile again and hear you laugh at me for being silly. There was no way to pick you up off the ground and piece your heart back together with pieces of mine if it was broken this time.
I can only hope you receive all the letters like this one and that you are able to answer my call when I get home. We can meet in the middle of some two lane highway in the clouds, talking about life down below, or everything, or nothing, and laugh at the concept of time.
I can’t wait for that moment I see you again and we can remember all the years since the night we first met and remind each other how that story really went. I want so badly to be reminded exactly how it feels seeing the sunset reflect forever in your eyes like I used to.
I remember you every single day and wrote this letter to remind you: that more than anything, I patiently wait to learn how we finish our story, because never in my wildest dreams, could these stars be as beautiful as I remember, all those moments, I spent watching them with you.
the future should be like
➡super fast trains
THE STORY ON THIS IS ⬇HERE
Once there was 2 friends . There name was jayan and rahul. They both were playing hide and seek with there friends . They both was finding a place for hiding and fortunatinatly they found a house . Then they both entererd in that house . When they entered in that house . There were many things like washing machiens,fan and many more . It was very warm so they tried to on the fan ,so they tried to find the button and at that time rahul found a button ,so he preesd it . After 2-3 hours they comed out of the house .When they comed out of the house they seemed that the rough path at the outside of the house was changed into a plain road and there friends was not there ,Mostly cars were flying .when they seemed at they the cloak it was 12:30 and the year was 2071 .There was a robot who was running talking an old man . When they asked from other people ,1 man told that the old man was rahul's small brother .By the time rahul was aciedented with a car .After this rahul wakes up 😅😅😅😅😘😘😘😃😃😃😃