Interview: Ayyappan Rajagopal, Chief Business Officer, Myntra

‘Beauty, personal care are among most sought-after categories’

Interview: Ayyappan Rajagopal, Chief Business Officer, Myntra

‘Beauty, personal care are among most sought-after categories’

Myntra’s End of Reason Sale held early this month registered a fourfold increase in business. Ayyappan Rajagopal is hopeful that consumer sentiment will make a full comeback by the festive season. He talks to Sheena Sachdeva about Myntra’s sustainable clothing store, changing shopping behaviour, and more. Edited excerpts:

How has Myntra made the virtual shopping experience more conducive during the pandemic?

Last year, we closely analysed our customers’ needs through our platform’s algorithms. Customers look for the correct size and fit, both in the footwear and apparel segment, to avoid the hassle of exchanging products. However, every brand has its own standardised size, which is different from others, and one size does not fit all. Through technology, we have enabled dimensions of every size and brand.

Secondly, we also took care of personalisation for every customer based on geography, gender and age group, by looking at shopping patterns from the past. Personalisation is important to ensure that the right suggestions of merchandise and brands are displayed to the customer. We have set up a virtual try-on for the personal care and beauty segment. We are ensuring customers get the same experience they would in the offline world.

On the omnichannel side, we have brought in more than 2,000 brand stores, including those from malls and high streets, on our platform.

You launched the Myntra for Earth store in June. How is that faring?

As a platform, we believe in sustainability; we have also transitioned to sustainable packaging. From a customer’s perspective, sustainable brands make business sense. Consumers are more aware now and want to know about a product’s sustainability. At Myntra, we have a filter on our platform to know if a product is sustainable or not. New-age consumers (18-24 age group) are much more ecologically conscious than the existing customer base. We are optimistic about its success.

Did you see any significant shifts in shopping behaviour in the second wave compared to the first?

During the first wave, all markets were closed. However, this year, the lockdowns were more localised, and some markets were still operational. During March-May 2021, the number of new users coming to the platform was higher compared to the previous periods; May onward, we saw twofold growth in the number of new customers, in comparison to last year, predominantly from tier II and III towns of northern India. Beauty and personal care have been among the most sought-after categories, apart from kidswear and loungewear. Going by the shopping trends on the platform, people are ready to get out, and are planning vacations.

What kind of synergies do you share with Flipkart Fashion?

Myntra’s USP is the accessibility it provides to brands, including international ones like H&M and Mango, national brands such as Biba or W, as well as local private labels. We ensure that every brand’s merchandise is available at all the pin codes. Flipkart Fashion and Myntra share the same supply chain which helps us achieve this.

With Myntra Studio and Masterclass, you seem to be betting big on content…

These are two content-led initiatives that we believe are critical for the fashion and beauty space. Myntra Studio provides users access to personalised entertaining and shoppable content at scale. Our purpose through this initiative is to improve engagement on the platform. We have brought in more than 300 influencers on Studio. We are also launching Myntra Fashion Superstar, an online and offline reality show for fashion influencers and designers. These three initiatives will play a significant role in driving Myntra’s influence in the content space. We will be launching more in this segment in the future.