Bengaluru: Myntra is aiming to become the Facebook of fashion.
The fashion ecommerce portal, which turned mobile-only earlier this year, is working on an array of features to make buying on its app a more social experience. The firm is looking to tap all the sensors available in the phone – such as the camera and GPS – to help users make their purchase closer to a physical shopping experience in real time. This comes after Flipkart, which is now Myntra’s parent, launched Ping – a WhatsApp kind of interface that allows shoppers to chat with friends while buying on the ecommerce platform.
In the works at Myntra are features that will facilitate consumers chat with fellow shoppers – even strangers – and base their purchase decision on information and trends such as what is trending in their city, narrowed down even to a particular college or locality.
Most companies are trying to make the shopping experience more social and Ping is just one of the ways where a buyer can seek opinion from others, Myntra’s chief technology and product officer, Shamik Sharma, told ET.
The second use case – where decisions are based on what others are looking at, buying or wearing – is not explored much, he said. “Most of your shopping is alone online. But, even if you went to a mall without a friend, you are looking at other people, or window shopping, or what others are buying. We have to create the same buzz and engagement online where we tell the user things like twenty people are looking at this, what is the opinion of the product, etc.,” he said.
Such kind of engagement will mean that the customer will not only be able to interact with fellow shoppers but also with brands and retailers selling on the platform. “Over the next two months, you will see a lot of such features. We want to become a Facebook of fashion, and allow people to engage with each other,” he said.
After Myntra moved to an app-only model, it has been striving to enhance the buying experience on the small screen. Sharma said a mobile has a lot of sensors such a camera, GPS or the gyrascope (which tells you how the phone is positioned) which haven’t been used much by ecommerce companies. “But that time is now coming,” he added. While some of these sensors are already being deployed by Myntra and Flipkart, others are being worked on. For instance, Flipkart has a feature through which a person can click a picture of something he or she likes, upload it on the website and look for similar-looking products available on the portal. Similarly, why does a customer need to enter the address during every purchase? The GPS should pick it up the way it happens with an Ola or Uber app, Sharma said. Also, the GPS can be used to study the trends in a particular location, giving more targeted recommendations to the customer.
Myntra is already using artificial intelligence and analytics in a substantial way through ‘Artie’, a robot character created by the company to design its Moda Rapido range of in-house brand. According to Myntra, Artie offers new styles and designs to its consumers every week based on popular and recent purchases. Launched two months ago, Sharma said, Moda Rapido men’s Tshirts are already the most sold currently on the app. The range has now been expanded to jeans and very soon Artie will be able to design women’s wear as well, said Sharma.
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