afaqs!

Jabong's Gunjan Soni talks shop...

By Sunit Roy, afaqs!, New Delhi | June 06, 2017
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Gunjan Soni

Gunjan Soni

Head, Jabong and CMO, Myntra

Jabong, online fashion retailer, recently launched 'Jabong Mood Store', a virtual store touted as the brand's big growth engine. The platform is being promoted through a campaign, 'Many Moods, Same You'.

Jabong Mood Store campaign - 'Many Moods, Same You'

"We are a fashion platform first and a product company later. This is our first innovation for this year. Once a quarter, you will hear about a new innovation - and it won't just be a campaign or an app - coming from Jabong... that, we promise," says Gunjan Soni, head of Jabong (and also, CMO of Myntra) about the platform.

Edited Excerpts


To begin with, Jabong boasted a varied collection. What then prompted the decision to launch the 'Mood Store'? What kind of research precedes decisions like these?

Let me tell you first, that the genesis was based on deep consumer insight. Our target consumer is more often than not, a woman, who is fashion forward and well-travelled. There's a very high proportion of domestic and international travellers in our consumer base, and as a result, high on affordability markers and influencers.

A lot of our customers told us that there's no point in selling us 'just apparel'; that they'd rather expect to be guided on 'What pairs with what?' Like - 'Give me the apparel and tell me what will go with it - What jewellery should I pick up? What should my footwear choices be like? Suggest an entire look...' So that was insight - Fashion shoppers like to shop for an entire 'look'.

Secondly, our research suggested that a consumer wakes up every morning and decides what she should wear that day, basis her mood. That's when we thought - 'Why is the entire shopping experience led by categories and sub-categories when the consumption behaviour is different from that?'

'Come, buy t-shirt and jeans' is a category-led approach. 'What are you in the mood for? We'll help you find that look' - that's what we're saying. So the Mood Store mimics the fashion consumption behaviour of a savvy consumer. We sell fashion, not clothes.

Also, there's price-point based selection. Price and budget is one thing that worries every Indian consumer, no matter how affluent. So we've curated the 'looks' based on price-points. You can get an entire 'partying look' under a budget of Rs. 3,000 or Rs.5,000 or Rs.7,000... there are different brands and ensembles for every kind of budget.

Whether they want to buy Anouk or Sangria (Myntra's private labels) or brands outside our private labels such as Biba, etc., the choice is the consumers'. The algorithms that we run don't differentiate between a private label and an external brand.

Are you targeting a new demographic through the Mood Store? What's your core TG for this platform like?

The TG of Jabong, the Mood Store in particular, is targeted at disproportionate markers. Just like there's an 'average Indian population' and an 'average internet population', there's also an 'average internet fashion-buying population'.

So, when we say something is disproportionate, it means average Indian population versus average internet population versus average internet fashion-buying population. So, we are disproportionately SEC-A1, because the online internet population is already an affluent population compared to all of India.

Our TG has more women in percentage terms of revenue versus the average internet as well as the average internet fashion shopper.

We also find that on an average, our consumer is disproportionately better travelled and more aware as compared to the average internet user as well as the average internet fashion shopper.

We've been able to uncover these markers with the help of research done by TGI (Target Group Index) and IMRB.

An area that's shaping up is luxury shopping. Our consumers are on the upper-edge of SEC-A, which is the highest affluence marker. So we do plan to capture the luxury shopping experience.

Myntra announced the acquisition of Jabong last July. You were named the head of Jabong earlier this year. How has it been in terms of business and marketing?

It's been a turn-around journey. If you go back, before the acquisition happened, for almost a year, Jabong had been consistently losing revenue quarter-on-quarter, to the extent of 18 percent. Secondly, on the customer experience parameter, scores (NPS or Net Promoters Score) had dropped dramatically. So, around July-August, when the acquisition actually happened, it had gone as low as 20 percent.

Post-acquisition, it's been a fantastic story. We ended this quarter (March end) at 30 percent quarter-on-quarter growth. As per NPS, from 20, this year we ended at 52 percent. This means we have actually revived consumer confidence.

We have also been able to contain cost. For more than three months, Jabong has been gross profit positive. This has come on the back of growth revival with new brand launches; between March and April 2017, we launched almost 35 brands.

We have also been able to improve our gross profitability in the last three months.

Tell us about your marketing plans. What kind of tonality will the brand take on while promoting this new platform?

We absolutely don't want to be preachy. We want to inspire our consumers and let them make their choices. The Mood Store launch is supported by a 360-degree marketing campaign across TV, outdoor, CRM and social media. The campaign went on air during the recently concluded IPL finals.

The campaign will focus heavily on digital promotions, where various influencers will showcase their looks in different moods and for different occasions. The TVC will be aired on leading TV channels across genres like entertainment, music, movies and lifestyle.

We are also going to use some amount of radio because as a concept, we believe RJs can actually bring it alive in their communication.

We won't be using the print medium at all because we use that platform more for event-based campaigns.

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