“Customers Have To Love The Story Behind The Product”

Riding piggy-back on a growing economy, consumerism has also seen a steady upward swing. But consumption is not only confined to products and services anymore. Various formats of content are up for consumption as much as any other product. In a digital economy, the latter in fact is quite dependent on the former to promote it. According to an Outbrain Report, Indians have the highest content engagement rates, with tablets and smartphones accounting for 41 percent of the overall traffic, a shade below the global average.

On the sidelines of an event, Freshly Mynted caught up with Myntra’s Chief Product and Technology Officer, Shamik Sharma for a tête-à-tête on how technology and content are going hand in hand to create a great consumer experience. Here are some excerpts:

Shamik_Sharma_Myntra_CTO

Q1. Mobile ad revenue is expected to grow from $70b in 2015 to $200b in 2019, which points to even more mobile content driving sales. How will e-commerce companies straddle content?

A: The e-commerce industry is a value-driven industry. Customers are always looking for the best value while transacting with online platforms. You have to tell them why they should agree to a particular price point – what is the value in it and what will be their experience with it. To drive this engagement, one needs to convince and engage the customer through interesting content. It has to be designed in a manner that they fall in love with the story behind the product.

Q2. Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan had said at the Economist Summit 2015 that e-commerce and content will go together. What does it mean from a user engagement and experience point of view?

A: It means that not only do you have to tell them a story, you have to enable other people to tell their stories to others too. This applies both to customers and brands. Brands should have the space to create their own profiles, content, talk about new things happening and tell their story. Similarly, fashion online has to become more of a social experience for customers.

Q3. The next big user expansion is coming from Tier II and III cities and rural areas, according to Myntra CEO.

A: Yes, Myntra has a strong focus on Tier II and III cities. Growth of mobiles is happening at a very fast pace in these areas and Myntra is leveraging this growth. In fact, not just Tier II and III cities, the mobile device is a great leveler in Tier I cities as well; a large section of the population in these cities are using the internet for the first time through their mobile phones.

Q4. Tell us in what other way is Myntra leveraging technology, besides innovations on the app.

A: Fashion industry today has become technologically advanced. But the textile industry is still fragmented and yet to benefit from technology. Myntra has created a platform called ‘Nexus’ where various players from this fragmented industry can come together. This portal provides vendors the convenience of discovering and interacting with other buyers within the Myntra network. A small vendor like a fabric provider or one who manufactures buttons or buckles does not get enough exposure to other buyers and sellers otherwise. The textile industry today is losing market share because it is not technologically enabled. The portal tries to facilitate that. There are around 80 vendors on the portal so far and the numbers are increasing.

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