On Monday, Myntra announced the coming of a new dawn: its new shopping app, Myntra Version 2.0.
According to Shamik Sharma, Chief Technology Officer, Myntra, the e-commerce portal is focussing on making the platform more personalised and interactive, while allowing brands and users to network better by inspiring content and fashion discovery.
He says, “We are trying to fuse people’s offline and online experiences where they are able to shop and hang out together while being inspired and getting others’ opinion.”
The new application sports newer features like the 'style forum', 'fashion feed', 'profiles' and 'partner portal'. On opening the application, the user sees feeds and story cards based on his/her fashion preferences and likes. This could range from fitness to ethnic wear styles. The new app is online on Android already, but may take awhile to be available on the iOS platform.
Myntra Style Forum
Every consumer on the Myntra app will have a profile of their own, and they can post fashion queries which can be answered by other shoppers. Shoppers who are confused and cannot make a decision can put up the two items their vacillating between for vote on the Style Forum.
Myntra is also actively trying to get celebrities on the Style Forum to interact with the shoppers and share their styling insights. Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez was on the forum a few days ago where she answered more than 1,000 questions.
Apart from the consumer profiles, Myntra’s partner brands will also have profiles of their own where they can interact with the customers through story cards and specific campaigns to promote their newer collections. This will also help brands get followers for their profiles.
Nike, for example, already has 20,000 followers on the Myntra platform.
From the perspective of partner brands, this is where all the magic happens. The new backend will help consumers post content only to a specific user segment. For example, if a certain range is only for college kids, the partner brand can have ready access to that demographic and post content only to their social media feeds. Moreover, it will provide tips to brands for increasing their outreach.
These store cards created by the brands are also explored for advertisement revenue sources for Myntra, which is a subsidiary of Flipkart. However, the company says they haven’t started tapping into that yet.
Ever since Myntra went app-only in May 2015, doubts have been raised about the e-commerce platform and whether it was showing any growth in numbers.
Trying to put to rest such speculations was Ananth Narayanan, Chief Executive Officer, Myntra, who says the firm could reach $1 billion in revenue by 2016. Also, it is looking at making profits by 2016, he adds. He also reiterated that Myntra would remain an app-only platform.
The app has 7.6 million monthly active users, which was just six million a few months ago. According to Ananth, the platform is witnessing a repeat rate of 80 per cent with 66 per cent Year-on-Year growth.
“We will be speaking of Myntra as the 'House of Brands' throughout the next year. Brands, app strategy, marketing and supply chain differentiation are key to our growth for 2016. Today, we have as many as 1,700 brands on Myntra contributing to 20 per cent of our revenue,” says Ananth.
In the past few months, Myntra has been questioned on its app-only strategy. Snapdeal’s Co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl has been quoted saying that it is not a consumer–friendly move, and questions have been raised about the continued existence of the mobile site as well.
Perhaps one of the reasons behind retaining the mobile website would be to drive the number of app downloads. For instance, if Consumer X suggests a style to Consumer Y, in order for Consumer Y to purchase that style, he/she has to download the app.
Myntra is equally clear that the mobile website is for browsing rather than for transactions, which can happen only on the app.
Another question that rises is of changing tastes. Though this move of building a fashion community might be an interesting take on bettering user experience, it can equally backfire if the suggested story cards are not the brands or products that a consumer wants to subscribe to anymore. This could lead to the user getting spammed.
While riding the social way of shopping, Myntra should be wary of the complexities that technology may bring.