Fashion and apparel are the second biggest driver of sales for the ecommerce industry, and one needs to be constantly on their toes to be in sync with the requirements of the customers.
At YourStory‘s Future of Work summit, Lalitha Ramani, Chief Product Officer, Myntra, while speaking on the topic ‘Creating market-leading innovations and consumer engagement’, provided insights on what product managers should be looking for at while remaining engaged with their customers.
In the present times of uncertainty, given the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, questions arise on the kind of innovations organisations need to develop to keep their customers engaged.
Lalitha said, “When a business is scaling fast, customer empathy at scale is what one should be solving, both from qualitative and quantitative perspective.”
She remarked that there will always be various kinds of data measured through various metrics, but a certain gut feeling is also required from a qualitative point of view.
The chief product officer of Myntra provided a few examples where the company has bought in certain innovative measures to keep its customers engaged. This includes concepts like Style Exchange, where customers are encouraged to take another product when they come in for return, or video cataloguing where customers can go through micro-details of a product.
Lalitha said, “Product managers should be very hypothesis-driven and experimental to drive customer innovation and engagement.”
According to her, the path is always to learn quickly, test, iterate, receive feedback, and then launch the innovation.
She provided the example of Myntra mall, which brings the link between offline and online as wells as vice versa. This proved to be win:win for Myntra, especially during the period of COVID-19 lockdown as their partners were able to offload the inventory and I also kept the customers engaged.
“Companies need to have lot of agility and be super responsive to the various signals,” said Lalitha.
She also gave the example of Myntra studio where the platform is content-driven and they saw that during the lockdown, when there was no movement, customers were engaging with them.
“Agility and innovation are hand-in-glove,” she said.
She also provided the example of the size and fit aspect of the fashion apparel industry, which acts as the critical decision-maker. At Myntra, it has devised various innovations to solve this issue.
The Myntra product officer believes there are various ways any organisation can drive innovation, which includes concepts like hackathons, unstructured time, and a democratic approach to ideas, among others.
“It is great to have mix and match of ideas as this fosters innovation,” said Lalitha. However, she cautioned that one needs to be laser-sharp focused on customer requirements.
She strongly believes that organisations need to have both short and long-term focus. Short-term focus will keep the momentum of business as usual while long term provides the differentiation in the market.
A big shout out to our Future of Work 2021 Co-presenting Sponsors Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Unique Solutions; Digital Excellence Partner, Google Cloud; Associate Sponsor HP and Intel; and Sponsors: Atlassian, Freight Tiger, Archon I Cohesity, TeamViewer, and Pocket Aces.