“Prepping for this to be the biggest festive sale,” says Myntra CEO

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The Walmart-owned fashion company expects this year’s festive sale, which kicks off on September 23, to be its biggest sale event ever.
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Myntra is stacking up international labels including Macy’s and H&M Home as well as direct-to-consumer brands as it prepares to ride an anticipated bounce-back in festive season shopping this year.

The Walmart-owned fashion e-tailer expects its upcoming festive sale, Big Fashion Festival, which kicks off on September 23, to be its biggest sale event ever–projecting a 20% increase in the number of unique shoppers.

“There has been a huge buildup towards the festive season. It has been evident in the festivals that we’ve had in this quarter,” said CEO Nandita Sinha, who took over the reins of the company in January following a flurry of senior-level exits.

“Whether it is Rakhi, Ganesh Chaturthi, or Onam, we’ve seen a huge uptake as to how customers are responding, especially to festive selections,” she said in an exclusive interview with YourStory.

Participation of online shoppers during festive season sales this year is expected to jump from 18% in 2018 to 38%, according to a report by RedSeer Consulting. The fashion category is expected to see strong growth driven by an increase in shoppers from Tier II and smaller cities and first-time shoppers.

Overall, the ecommerce sector is expected to register growth of 20-25% in gross merchandise value (GMV), or the total value of sales, in the second half of this year, YourStory reported earlier this week.

Chasing international brands 

Aspirational and international brands are expected to be key growth drivers for online fashion platforms this festive season–a trend not lost on Myntra.

“We’ve launched about 15 international brands this year, including Macy’s. We’re also launching South Korean fashion brand 8Seconds in India… There are eight more brands that will be launched in this calendar year,” Nandita said. 

Myntra has also launched Italian fashion brand Freesoul, home decor and accessories brands H&M Home, and UCB Home. It has also stitched collaborations via its cross-border programme, Myntra Global initiative, with international brands including Turkey-based fashion brand Trendyol, fashion and accessories brand Urbanic, Southeast Asian fashion and lifestyle brand Zalora, and fashion brand JC Mode. 

“Listing of international brands on platforms like Myntra helps in democratisation of sorts. The target group for these brands is more metro-focused and listing on these online portals would give people living in tier 2, tier 3 cities also access to these brands,” said Sanjay Kothari, Associate Partner, RedSeer Consulting, who sees international brands as a good strategy for online platforms to target brand-conscious customers. 

D2C strategy & focus on beauty

Myntra is targeting 100 brand launches for the upcoming festive season sales. In all, Myntra customers will have access to about 6,000 brands and over 1.5 million styles on the platform--50% higher than during last year’s festive season sale.

Of these, nearly 100 D2C brands across personal care, apparels, and accessories are expected to be live on the platform for the sale, including Label Life, Almo, and Breakbounce that it onboarded this year. 

“Sales during these discount and festive periods usually doubles with more people shopping online,” said Vedang Patel, Co-founder of The Souled Store, a casual-wear apparel brand listed on Myntra for about two years, and typically generates about Rs 3 crore in monthly sales on the platform.

Myntra is also betting big on the beauty and personal care segment, with over 1,400 brands including Minimalist, Pilgrim, Kimrica, and Deconstruct. “For beauty and personal care, which is a strategic category for us… our selection has doubled over the last year,” Nandita said.

The company also plans to engage with customers via social commerce, with brands such as H&M, Nike, and Puma participating in 350 M-Lives, a mix of brand-led and celeb-led videos. M-Lives is housed within Myntra Studio, its social commerce platform  

Festive season jump

Myntra, founded in 2007 and acquired by Flipkart in 2014, has worked on strengthening different pillars of the ecosystem such as seller partners, logistics, and tech interfaces. 

For this year’s season sales, the company built capacity to handle as many as 13,000 orders per minute at peak, and 900,000 concurrent users. This is a jump from last year, when it had capability to handle 11,000 orders per minute at peak, and 740,000 concurrent users.  

In terms of scale, Myntra is expecting 6 million unique customers to shop on its platform this festive season, up from over 5 million customers last year and 4 million in the year before. 

Even so, competition in the domestic fashion ecommerce market, which according to industry estimates is $8-10 billion, is also heating up. 

Reliance Retail-owned Ajio has already kicked off its ‘All Stars’ sale, Meesho will be hosting its ‘Mega Blockbuster sale’ on September 23, and Nykaa is in the process of announcing dates for its ‘Grand Festive sale’. 

Nykaa commands a market share of nearly 28.6% in the beauty and personal care market, according to a report by ICICI Securities.   

“Competition is becoming more intense now. After two years, online retailers are going to face the challenge from offline retailers,” said Arvind Singhal, Chairman and Managing Director, Technopak Advisors. “In the online fashion space, Myntra has been an outlier and ahead of the game. (But) it’s a difficult space to crack and players like Amazon have also been struggling to crack the fashion and apparels segment.”

(The story was updated to correct an error in the brand name ‘JC Mode’ as clarified by Myntra)

Edited by Teja Lele

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