“During these times when there is a lot of change in shopping behaviour we did not want customers or brand partners to miss premium offline malls. EORS is one of our biggest events where brands who are feeling the pinch of the pandemic will get to demonstrate their presence though the virtual mall,” said Lalitha Ramani, chief product officer at Myntra.
During the first edition of EORS in June, Myntra had noted 86% increase in the number of customers from tier 2 and 3 cities – the highest so far – indicating a shift in consumer behaviour and preference for online shopping amid the lockdown. It was the first online sale post Covid-19 lockdown that was being looked upon by brands to bring the first wave of normalcy and to win back shoppers. With sudden shift to online fashion amid the pandemic, fashion brands have been prioritising their investment into ecommerce channels.
According to Myntra, the virtual mall was a pre-pandemic plan accelerated now to strengthen its market position. The fashion marketplace is targeting brand-conscious customers who can now eliminate the use of filters and directly navigate to their selected brands, shop for new arrivals, latest collections and interact with customised interface like in a physical mall.
The pilot for the new feature was launched a few weeks ago when the platform learnt that one-third of the search terms on the app had a brand name in them, which meant that shoppers typically started their discovery process keeping the brand name in mind while browsing on the app.
“In the pilot phase, we noted 30% increase in the Click Through Rate (CTR) on the virtual mall as there was better customer engagement,” said Ramani.
Shoppers, however, typically visit leading marketplaces such as Myntra, Flipkart and Amazon to avail discounts. Myntra’s virtual mall showcasing new arrivals at full price has been launched at a time when discretionary spend is low amid economic downturn. The prominent display given to certain brands could also make non-participating brands feeling left out over preferential treatment.
“We are essentially a marketplace. This feature is open to all. We will continue to have the original structure of the marketplace too,” said Ramani adding, “We are not building to earn revenue in the beginning. It has been launched to give brands a platform to leapfrog and brand-conscious customers an organised digital store.”
By the end of the year 2021, Myntra expects to double the number of brands and projects one million visits per day on the digital mall.
Flipkart and Myntra together control about 70% of the online market share in the country. Myntra sells over 3000 fashion and lifestyle brands such as Nike, Wrangler, Arrow, Diesel, H&M and Biba on its marketplace. About two-thirds of its revenue comes from apparel, its single biggest category, followed by footwear, accessories, kids and personal care.