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Myntra Mobile Strategy Trumps All

With a current revenue run rate of $1 billion, Myntra has proved that a mobile only strategy works best in the Indian e-commerce industry. No wonder it's parent company, Flipkart has been spending a lot of money on TV advertisement asking people to download the app

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With a current revenue run rate of $1 billion (revenues which the company expects by next year) Myntra has proved that a mobile only strategy works best in the Indian e-commerce industry. Remember that they are a market place and real revenues could be measured as net of commissions plus revenues from own brands. However, technology wise the smart phone is here to conquer. No wonder it's parent company, Flipkart has been spending a lot of money on TV advertisement asking people to download the app.

So the question is whether Flipkart will go all app by mid 2016. Sources in the company say that this may not be true because at least 30 per cent of the revenues still account from other form-factors such as desktops and laptops.

Meanwhile, Myntra is upping the ante in technology. It's data systems and user interface is going to customise fashion according to the shoppers preference. Soon the shopper will have a home page customised by his shopping habits, where he or she can upload their fashion wear pictures on their profile page in Myntra. This data point will further allow Myntra to customise their inventory and style range according to the list of profile users.

This was how the likes of Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle, the brick and mortar retailers, were successful. But it was a far cruder system where they used the points accrued by loyal shoppers to understand the kind of apparel and accessories that they bought in the stores. By doing so they managed their inventory and safely sold set styles and sizes to their loyal shoppers. However, the size and fit, especially in western wear, would not suit the Indian body type. This is exactly what Myntra wants to solve with their technology solutions. They are using distributed computing engines to slice data by variables ranging from price, fitting, colour, size, supplier output and social data. There could be over 500 data points which the company is experimenting upon to create social fashion on the mobile. Only time will tell if they get it right.

"Fashion is such a large industry that our data shows that most of the youngsters are on the mobile and want fashion to be accessed on the go," says Mukesh Bansal, founder of Myntra and head of Flipkart's commerce platform.

Startups like CandidlyCouture and Kaaryah are already working on creating customised fit for Indian women with intelligent supply chain and customised order manufacturing. Myntra is going to continue investing in seven or eight of their own brands to build a customised portfolio.

The size of the fashion industry is $60 billion currently and will grow to the size of $200 billion by 2025, according to a report by Wazir Advisors.

"The fashion industry has been the most organised of the retail industry and it is only going to increase with mobile penetration," says Harminder Sahni, founder of Wazir Advisors.

Myntra has clearly beaten every other Internet fashion company. All it has to do now is to focus on building a large apparel retail business, which it has already created plans for. It may hive off some of its brands to be sold in brick and mortar formats or even create stand alone stores. That, however, is still a germ of an idea in the eyes of Mukesh Bansal and team.

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