“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
I am an avid Shopaholic, a compulsive one! At times, I feel this is some kind of a disorder I am going through. The moment my salary is credited into my account, I start shopping! And within the first week, I am broke, I am left with no bones! And the rest of the month goes in waiting for the next salary! Its like my wallet has a hole. I guess it has...
Anyways, boom of the online shopping sites have actually galvanised this disorder, much to my disdain. The moment I get little time in office, at home or for that matter anywhere on this planet, I just open my laptop and start browsing, drooling over the thousands and thousands of pretty shoes, dresses, accessories, just craving to see them in my wardrobe!
I just always open these sites with an idea, rather a very clear one of 'window shopping' but then, in the middle I don't know what goes wrong with that clear idea of mine, I end up buying something. Yes, it is out of compulsion! I just told you about my disorder above. How so ever hard I try not to shop, but then, it becomes impossible for me to control my desires!
There are sites, that have very limited stuff on them. I generally do not shop much on them probably because of the limited choice and scope. I only order from these sides, if there is something really unique.
But then on sites like Myntra, Flipkart and Jabong, it becomes mandatory for shopaholics like me to buy something, every time we browse through them. Why? Because there are always so many choices to go through, so many things to browse through. Its like never-ending stuff they have on their sites. So, we Shopaholics end up buying something or the other! Now, you know the reason of these companies flourishing. Thanks to people like me!
But from last few days, I am happy! Because these companies are planning to give people like us a chance to have some savings now. How? By going 'only mobile'! Myntra has already removed their desktop version and is, only mobile now and Flipkart is also planning the same.
I have no idea what they thought, who their strategist is. Because its an insane move! The reason Myntra has given for this step is: their 85% of the sales are from mobile. Its because you made us use mobile by giving huge discounts on orders placed via mobile app. You know what I used to do (and many of my friends too), we used to browse through the Myntra site, choose the stuff, dump it into our cart and then, login via same account to our mobile apps, avail the discount and tada, we were done with the shopping, with the desired discount!
Thats how probably you got 85% sales from mobile, because you guys compelled people to do shopping via app.
Now, the reason that I could see of these companies choosing mobile only would be: the exclusiveness. Let me elaborate this with an example: If as a user I am looking out for something in particular, lets say Red stilettos, I would open all the sites (Jabong, Myntra, Snapdeal, Faballey, Flipkart, Amazon etc) on the tabs of my browser, filter Red stilettos in all of them and choose the best amongst all. The horizon for a user is wide, quite wide. But now, if I want Red stilettos, and I go to Myntra mobile app, I would be 'inside' their app, which constrains my capability of browsing through the same stuff on other sites! Out of compulsion, I would end up buying from their app only! And also, I really can't have many shopping mobile apps in my phone, I will only have 2-3 max. See, the competition is killed! Boom...
But what Myntra do not realize is Mobile can never be a first choice for user to shop! It can't be. Why? Let me give you some pointers:
1. Its very uncomfortable: Yes, it is absolutely painful to keep on moving your thumb to scroll down the screen for hundreds of pages! Did you do a user test before taking this decision?
2. I cannot open 2-3 products of the same kind and compare in an app, I can do that so easily on the website! You know, you are making my whole shopping experience so inconvenient and troublesome.
3. It is really not a very wonderful experience to see the zoomed in products on mobile. God, they don't even look like zoomed in! A user can't see the design, the cloth material or for that matter, anything on mobile clearly!
4. Poor interface: Now come on, you will agree that the interface of a mobile app can never be compared to the full fledged interface of a website! Using the later is easy, convenient, everything is there in front of the user's eyes and all that is required is a tap on the required link.
5. Now if you think I would do shopping on the go, wasting my 3G data, you are wrong Mr. Myntra and Mr, XYZ.. A user would not! Even if I want to, I can't! Thanks to the amazing uneven network that our mobile operators provide. Rather, I would wait to go into a wi-fi zone, connect my laptop and browse through other websites, rather than torturing my eyes browsing through your mobile app on a small screen!
6. It is easy to delete! The day, I realize i have been wasting a lot of money in shopping, all I have to do is long press on your icon and tap on the cross button! You will be deleted from a user's life (and may be forever)! And installing the same again, forget it... We users are just too lazy to again undergo the whole process. BTW, I did that. I was a religious shopper on your site and last week, I deleted you because I got so frustrated by browsing on mobile!
7. You are taking away my freedom! You are adamant to make my shopping experience complicated and challenging! Do not force us please. Let us make our own choice!
Its true, the world is moving towards being mobile, but not everything is applicable to everyone! You need to see your suitability and then take decisions.
Also, you should have given ample amount of time to the users to evolve and get ready for this shift.
- A shopaholic, a religious user of your website, a professional working for a company that create mobile apps (so, I can't be unbiased, as I have my own fascination towards apps), an iPhone 6 user (just to make you realise that even after being the user of one of the best designed phones, I do not prefer using mobile app on top of a laptop for certain things)
P.S. Thank you once again for pushing me towards some savings! Even, your competitors would be thanking you too by leaps and bounds