Update: The Myntrality site has been taken down.
E-commerce companies want users to download their app. Why? Two primary reasons: It is easier to give a better user-experience and the company has all the browsing data of a user. A couple of months ago, word started going around that the likes of Myntra were pondering over shutting their mobile as well as desktop websites and move to an app-only model. And that they did. There have been opposing voices to the move, but Myntra seems confident.
Now, one of the voices from the opposing camp called, MakkhiChoose, has launched Myntrality. Founded by computational neuroscientist Sai Gaddam, Makkhichoose is an extension, which aims to become the brain of every browser. For now, MakkhiChoose helps compare prices. For instance, if you're purchasing something on Flipkart and have the MakkhiChoose extension installed, it'll notify you that the same product is available on another site for a cheaper price (depends if there is). The team at MakkhiChoose is not a big fan of the app-only model. Myntrality is a website which lets users browse all the products on the Myntra app.
"The idea of going app only in a world where everyone is taking that extra step to make content accessible to people from a diverse spectrum is just baffling to us," says Sai. And thus, Myntrality. "We figured we could at least let people browse the content on the web. There is no way to buy the stuff except through the app," he says. This, of course, is also a smart way to advertise MakkhiChoose.
The Myntrality website basically pulls data from Myntra app's endpoints and provides a destination for users to browse Myntra products on the web. Is this legal? Well, one can't tell for sure. "I can't imagine them liking it. My guess is they try to make it harder to access the data and maybe ask us nicely to stop doing so. We aren't monetizing this directly or trying to hi-jack their brand so I do wonder what else they might try," says Sai.
MakkhiChoose as a product has been doing well. The extension is nearing 500k installs across browsers and it continues to grow month on month. "We are currently in the process of raising funds to build some really interesting tech. We have always thought of price as just one of the attributes for comparison. A lot of other features are important for users -- and they differ from user to user. There is enough data (product data, consumer behavior and browsing data) that we can offer personalized solutions to users, and we are building towards that," Sai informs us about the future plans.
This is an interesting move to grab a few more eyeballs for MakkhiChoose but it is not likely to deter Myntra. Reports claim that Myntra's sales dropped 10% in app-only mode but they had taken the dip into consideration. About 95% traffic for Myntra comes through mobile and more than 70% transactions also happen via smartphones. The move has been taken with the future in mind but the thought process might not apply to all businesses.