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Myntra bets on data science and ML to handle 20K orders per min in End of Reason Sale: Raghu Krishnananda, CTO

In an exclusive interaction with Express Computer, Raghu Krishnananda, CTO, Myntra says that the e-com firm will continue to invest heavily in data science to provide a deeply personalised experience to the users. He informs that Myntra will expand its omni-channel presence across more brands, and the 13th edition of the End of Reason Sale is by far the biggest fashion event to date in the country

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The 13th edition of Myntra’s End of Reason Sale (EORS) is underway; it would be really interesting to know about the role of emerging technologies that have made it one of the biggest events in the e-commerce industry? 

At Myntra, we continue to adopt and invest in new technologies to enhance customer experience and maintain operational efficiency as well. . For instance, we use data science to provide a personalised experience for our users. We have over nine lakh styles on our platform this EORS. Recommending the right products is very important so that the user is not overwhelmed. We leverage ML models and use a combination of market intelligence, trend prediction and demand forecasting, to make buying and selection decisions. We also use ML models across our supply chain and customer care platforms for efficiency and optimisation. In addition, we also leverage RFID technology to streamline our supply chain.  

Myntra is one of the first players to deploy omni-channel technology at scale. It has not only resulted in an improved shopper experience but has also enhanced the sales volumes at offline retail stores of partner brands. This further enhances the customer experience with access to wider selection and accelerated delivery through over 1,800 store integrations with more than 200 brands.  

Another new offering that we rolled out ahead of our flagship event EORS-13 is Myntra Mall. In the initial stage we have gone live with about 30 brand stores, each with their own unique experience. This provides brands a unique way to reach the consumer and connect with them like never before. We saw that about 30 per cent of our searches are based on brands. With Myntra Mall, our brand conscious customers can enter specific brand stores and check out the latest offerings from their favourite brands.

 

What is the objective of this End of Reason Sale and how much of sales and consumers are you targeting this time? 

The 13th edition of EORS is by far the biggest fashion event to date in the country; fashion-forward customers can look forward to nine lakh styles, from over 3,000 brands. The five-day fashion carnival, which kicked off on December 20th, is slated to cater to over four million unique customers. We are geared up to handle 9,00,000 concurrent users and 20,000 orders per minute at peak.

We are also looking at acquiring one million new customers, and preparing to ship 15 million items by the first week of the New Year safely to our customers’ doorsteps.” The biggest-ever edition of the mega fashion event is also set to witness a massive uptick in demand, at 4x over BAU (business-as-usual) and 1.5x over the last winter edition. Close to 50 per cent of the contribution is expected to come from tier two-three markets.

  

Where does the rural online consumer stand when it comes to Myntra’s sales in the rural pockets? What is your strategy to expand your presence in the inaccessible and remote parts of the country? 

We see a large percentage of our new customers coming from T2/T3 cities. This is a very important demographic for us. It is important to ensure that we have relevant offerings which are attractive to these customers. Here again, personalisation plays an important role to show the relevant products. 

Social commerce and content-led commerce will play an important role in addressing some of the need states in this consumer segment. Through our content platforms, i.e. Myntra Insider and Studio platforms, users can derive inspiration to look their best from their favourite celebrities and fashion influencers through relevant content. Each of these pieces of content is directly linked to products at Myntra which will make it very easy for our customers to shop the looks that they want to wear. We also have a visual search feature which allows users to search based on photos and images without having to type out search keywords. 

As far as delivery reach is concerned, we service over 27,000 pincodes practically covering the entire length and breadth of the country.

 

We would like to understand the adoption of emerging technologies by Myntra to boost its sales and presence across the country? 

Our mission is to use technology to democratise fashion and lifestyle. We have several exciting plans in our product roadmap to offer a superlative experience to our customers to shop for fashion online.  Our technology investments will continue to be in line with those plans.  We will continue to invest heavily in personalisation to understand our customers’ preferences and needs. Size and fit is a very unique problem for the fashion eCommerce domain, and while we have made a start in the space there is a lot more that can be done.  We plan to leverage data science and AR/VR to address these use cases. We also see a lot of potential in engaging and inspiring users through content to help them make informed fashion choices and purchases. As we extend more into the T2/T3 cities, we see this becoming even more important. Towards this, we are investing in video technologies. In addition, we plan to further expand on the omni-channel network, in terms of brands and geographical reach as well as new capabilities to be able to serve more customers.

 

How much increase have you seen in orders in the past one year and rise in order in the previous edition of End of Reason Sale? 

With the highest-ever number of wishlisters at six million, wishlisting 62 million items, the ongoing EORS is unarguably the most awaited edition ever.  The event kicked off to a roaring start, with Myntra selling around three million items within the first 24 hours, clocking more than 2X growth over the June EORS, and will go on till the 24th of December. In fact, the opening day has given us an unparalleled opportunity to serve our customers while leveraging our tech capabilities. We witnessed seven lakh concurrent users, during the first 60 minutes, the highest ever, giving our customers a seamless shopping experience without any downtime.

What are some of the lucrative offers like technology-driven fashion insights that Myntra is going to offer to its customers to see a big jump in sales? 

We have a deep understanding of the user preferences based on their browse and purchase history. We also have a deep understanding of fashion products and trends. Based on this, using our ML models, we are able to recommend the most relevant products from the huge assortment of nine lakh products that we have on the platform. We are also able to recommend the right coupons and payment options to users. Brand conscious customers can get the latest fashion from their favourite brands through our recently launched Myntra Mall featuring 30 brand stores. We are continuously enhancing our browse, product page and search experience for a more intuitive experience for our users.

What are your plans of tech adoption in the year 2021 and what according to you will be a game changer technology in the e-com industry? 

We have recently launched features such as Myntra Studio and M Mall. Myntra Studio is a platform for the top Fashion Influencers in the country to showcase their expertise and share fashion, beauty and lifestyle tips and hacks through videos and images. It is a 100 per cent shoppable experience. We will continue to invest in this in the coming year towards taking consumer engagement to a whole new level. Myntra Mall is an online Mall for brands to have their unique stores on the Myntra app to attract the brand conscious customers. We currently have 30 brands onboard, and will double the number by the end of 2021.  We will continue to invest heavily in data science to provide a deeply personalised experience to our users. We will continue to expand our omni-channel presence across more brands and stores. Size and fit is another unique problem specific to the fashion domain which we are trying to solve using technology.

 

Where does India stand compared to e-commerce sales in the western countries, particularly the USA and the UK and how can India become a major e-com market through ICT?  

The eCommerce penetration as a percentage of overall retail in India is considerably less when compared to the US. We are clearly seeing a shift in increasing online adoption in India. We need to continue to focus on consumer needs and solve for them. One unique feature in the growth of eCommerce in India is the partnership with offline through omni- channel. This is a focus area for Myntra. We currently have integrated with about 200 brands and 1,800 stores across the country.


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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