Sunder Balasubramanian, CMO, Myntra, says the brand is looking for 10 million Gen Z users over the next two years.
On April 30, 2023, several users took to Myntra's social media pages to complain about a 'glitch' (cryptic and hazy visuals popping up) on the app. What seemed like a 'glitch', turned out to be a campaign by the brand.
The Walmart-owned e-commerce platform’s app was down for 10 hours, starting midnight, April 30, to May 1, 2023. Adding to the curiosity of its social media users, Myntra changed its bio on Instagram as "It’s Gettin’ LIT in Here" and "St-y/t-n-d". This was followed by many glitchy videos posted by influencers like Sanket Mehta, Mehak Ghai, Somya Gupta, Sapna Malik, Diksha Rawat, and more.
These influencers created distorted visual content that abruptly ended with strange messages like “Error 404: Trend Not Found”, “Access Denied” and “Dropping Soon.
As soon as #Myntraglitch started trending, the brand announced the launch of FWD (pronounced as 'forward') on its platform. FWD is an app-in-app experience for Gen Z users. With 65,000-plus styles and access to over 500 popular global brands, catering to both men and women, Myntra FWD is a one-stop-shop for all things related to Gen Z fashion.
"The Myntra Glitch campaign was something that we started a few days prior to the launch of FWD on social media. On the day of the launch, the kind of traffic that we saw from Gen Z users, made us realise that there is interest in this proposition," shares Sunder Balasubramanian, chief marketing officer, Myntra.
Speaking on what went behind the launch, he mentions that over the last year, the brand has been testing the waters to understand the Gen Z cohort better.
"We know that when Gen Z users come to our platform, what kind of trends, silhouettes, and styles they will look for on our app."
H&M, Trendyol, bebe, Tokyo Talkies, Sassafras, Hersheinbox, Street 9, Athena, Bonkers Corner, Boohoo, among others, are some brands that are set to be a part of FWD. As a part of the launch, Myntra expects to add 10 million Gen Z users to its customer base over the next two years.
How does the brand plan to reach 10 million Gen Z users?
"With a strong base of around eight million Gen Z users on our app, we want to scale the app with 10 million more. For this, we're using influencers and creators, as they are the source of inspiration for Gen Z," states Balasubramanian.
"They (the creators) talk about trends in an authentic manner that connects with the audience. We have over 500-plus Gen Z-focussed creators working with us today."
Last year, the brand launched a College Campus Ambassador program to engage with Gen Z consumers in India.
The program is a part of the overall Myntra StyleCast Creator initiative that includes over 1,000 uber-trendy and fashion-first Gen Z influencers, who create fresh digital content. The brand chooses campus influencers on the basis of their relevance with the Gen Z audience, their understanding of the content creation industry, their knack for edgy and trendy fashion, and their diversity and reach.
To create relatable content for Gen Z consumers, the brand is working with influencers like Radhika Seth, Sanket Mehta, Aditi Bhatia, Manav Chhabra, among others, and many nano-influencers too.
"We're looking at a mix of influencers, who will look at scale perspective, global perspective and hyper-local trends too," says Balasubramanian.
As per the brand, the Gen Z community (first jobbers) is quite big.
"This is going to be one of the largest cohorts that businesses and brands will deliver to. This cohort will have a huge scale and purchasing propensity."
Balasubramanian points out that the app-in-app experience is different from other shopping experiences, because of three key features - visual content, daily drop widget and image search.
Visual content: To make the purchase journey smoother for Gen Z users, shoppable video content for them will appear on the FWD homepage in the form of Reels.
"As users go through the Myntra app, they will realise that it's almost like you're in a social media app. Users will see a lot more video content, because they look for trends. The videos will be created by influencers," shares Balasubramanian.
Daily drop widget: The platform will also feature a daily drop widget, providing intel on fresh styles as well as an automated flow of content and trends, as per the the shoppers’ tastes and preferences.
"Refresh is super important for Gen Z users. So, daily drops are something that we have kind of highlighted in our app."
Image search: Users will also be able to shop for their favourite celeb/influencer looks via the Celeb Style Files. Myntra’s tech-enabled photo search feature is being elevated, with Gen Z shoppers in mind. It will soon let users take a picture or screenshot of a style they spot around them, or on social media, and directly forward it to the Myntra app, which will instantly show similar shoppable results from FWD.
The brand is looking forward to updating these trends on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
"It will not be a static business. It will be a business that's continuously evolving, that we will keep iterating, as the needs of this cohort keep changing," says Balasubramanian.
Myntra is a strong social commerce-led platform, where influencers put out content in the form of live perspective, video on demand perspective and static perspective. Hence, to promote FWD, the brand is spending the most on its own app and influencers for ads.
"Over the last few years, we have seen strong engagement on the video content that we've put out on our app/website. The virality starts from our own app. Second is reaching out to Gen Z users where they look for inspiration, i.e., Instagram and YouTube. We will use a mix of both influencer content and paid content to do it."
Pointing to some of key 2023 trends (till now), Balasubramanian says that 'Viva Magenta' is the colour of the year. Apart from this, co-ords, tie-dye, 'retro with swag', etc., are other trends getting picked on by Gen Z users.