In an attempt to scale its business impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Walmart-owned fashion ecommerce platform Myntra has been experimenting with a hyperlocal model of fashion retail by partnering with several brands to facilitate the same day or next day delivery.
This model will allow Myntra to build an omnichannel network, enabling it to directly deliver orders placed online by sourcing the product from the nearest offline stores. The company has also run a pilot with several high street and mall stores including Arvind and Aditya Birla Fashion Retail, Fossil, Anita Dongre, Mango, Charles and Keith, Globus, Iconic and Red Tape. Each of these brands have anywhere between 20 to 200 stores each.
Now, Myntra aims to launch over 150 brands from more than 3000 high street and mall stores in the next six months. It estimates 20-30% sales for brand stores will come from this channel in the next 6-12 months. The company believes that the model will give them a nationwide demand for their catalogue and a unified view of its inventory.
Myntra Plans Out Hyperlocal For Customers, Stores
“Even before Covid-19 we had been working on how to bring offline and online (retail) together and to augment the experiences that one will get in a store. We could actually expose an inventory of a store in Kolkata to somebody in Chennai. So all of these investments happened and then Covid-19 hit us. We went back to the whiteboard to figure out how we can help our brand partners. We helped them with all the data insights about what consumers are thinking and new normalcy,” Myntra CEO Amar Nagaram told Business Standard.
Currently, the buyers are not aware about where their product is shipped from. But Myntra plans to give them more information about the store where their product is being sourced from as the hyperlocal model expands. The company also said that its platform is optimised to seamlessly onboard hundreds of brands or stores.
Besides this, it also does mapping for store serviceability, availability of selected products at the store and proximity to delivery points. Every order is processed in real-time through a decision engine to identify the most suitable store for the customers. This includes speed, quality and availability, converting each store turns into a mini fulfilment centre. Myntra has also set up a ‘hyper care team’ that works closely with every store for remote assistance through a central store monitoring system.
As the footfall in retail stores and malls have fallen due to the pandemic, brands are likely to be receptive to this model. “We also realised that offline stores are suffering because of the lockdown and safety apprehensions. So we wanted to actually take this investment (omnichannel network) to reality even much faster than we initially thought,” Nagaram said.
Reliance-Owned Fynd’s New Competitor In The Market
As Myntra unveiled with this hyperlocal model, it has entered into direct competition with O2O fashion ecommerce platform Fynd. The company, which was acquired by Reliance in 2019, sources clothing, footwear, jewellery and accessories from prominent brands from over 8K outlets in India, and lets merchants serve customers better by acquiring new products. Customers too can place an order through the website directly.
It claims to have about 8,000 outlets on board for about 500 clients. Fynd’s in-house product the ‘Fynd Store’ helps brand stores save their in-store sales data. Fynd Store helps store managers place orders on behalf of walk-ins, in case the desired product is not stocked or not available in the right size in the store.
In general, the hyperlocal or quick delivery services have really played in favor of ecommerce platforms. While Amazon offers one-day or next-day delivery through its Prime membership, Flipkart has recently launched a hyperlocal delivery service called Flipkart Quick. Unlike Dunzo, the company allows users to book a 2-hour slot for nearly 2,000 products across several categories — grocery, fresh, dairy, meat, mobiles, electronics accessories, stationery items and home accessories.