How Myntra shored up demand during Covid lockdown

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on June 24, 2020

Its gameplan to expand into tier 2 and 3 markets paid off

Fashion e-commerce player Myntra’s strategy to expand its footprint into tier 2 and 3 markets is paying off during the Covid-19 lockdown. The online player is seeing demand picking up from hitherto untapped markets.

Amar Nagaram, CEO, Myntra, told BusinessLine that the demand from these markets is picking up because consumers there have unrestricted access to premium brands and styles through the online platform. Prior to the lockdown, customers in these geographies could travel to the nearest tier 1 or metro city to buy premium products.

With travel restrictions in place during the lockdown, customers in these regions are shifting to online shopping. Myntra had expanded its footprints by adding 4,000 new pin codes this year, most of them in untapped geographies in tier 2 and 3 markets. “Though the purchase cart value will be lower than a repeat customer, we’re bullish about the retention of the new customers coming to the platform,” Nagaram said.

Myntra has also invested in safeguards to avoid the transmission of Covid-19 via physical contact. For example, digital payments have gone up by 60 per cent on Myntra in comparison to pre-Covid times.

New normal

The fashion e-commerce player recently launched the 12th edition of its flagship ‘End of Reason Sale’ (EORS) and acquired a record high of 2.5 lakh new customers on day 1.

A recent report on consumer sentiment by BCG Consulting stated that the current situation has triggered a significant push towards the adoption of digital modes. “Many consumers are trying out digital in shopping/payments/media for the first time. There have been 20 per cent additional users reading the news online; 40 per cent new users shopping staples online; and 20 per cent new users using digital wallets.”

Ever since the lockdown was eased up, in existing markets, the Flipkart-owned player saw the demand for ‘work from home’ essentials and work casuals. In newer markets, the demand was for casual t-shirts and kurtas. “We have also seen a demand in grooming, and beauty essentials for both men and women,” Nagaram said.

He added that EORS is unique because it was completely planned and organised by all its employees working from home. During the lockdown, the fashion-tech portal picked up the pulse of the customers and coordinated with its brands and suppliers in order to meet the demand, he said.

Going forward

The only challenge that remains for the company is last-mile delivery, because of the situations on ground being inconsistent and dynamic in different parts of the country, said Nagaram. However, the company is bullish that it can overcome these headwinds with its wide network.

Speaking about the future projections for Myntra, Nagaram said: “We are facing more tailwinds than headwinds as a business and which is giving us more confidence about the coming year.”

When asked how Myntra differentiates itself from parent Flipkart’s apparels business, he said: “Right from the experience, price points and collections, there is a distinction. The overlapping fashion is negligible between the two platforms. While Flipkart caters to the masses for entry-level customers, Myntra is an outlet for premium and upper premium range of products for consumers who are comfortable going upwards in the fashion stride. This also goes hand in hand to provide a gradual transition from mass selections to becoming selective about brands.”

Published on June 24, 2020

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