Myntra realises the importance and role that digital avatars and virtual reality plays in Gen Z's lives: Sunder Balasubramanian

Since digital avatars and virtual reality play an important role in the lives of Myntra's target audience- the GenZs, the e-commerce platform has gone ahead to bet big on its efforts around Generative AI and Virtual reality by launching its own virtual fashion influencer- Maya, Fashion GPT, My Stylist and more as per Myntra's CMO Balasubramanian

Shreya Negi
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Sunder Balasubramanian

With End Of Reason Sale 18 (EORS) beginning tomorrow, Myntra has put a big bet on technological initiatives - such as Generative AI and a Virtual Influencer to woo the GenZs and have a higher brand recall and reach among them.

Ahead of EORS 18, the Indian fashion e-commerce player has launched its own CGI-based virtual fashion influencer, Maya, which has been developed by and currently has a follower base of 177K on Instagram.

Commenting on the rationale behind launching the brand’s own virtual influencer, Sunder Balasubramanian, Chief Marketing Officer, Myntra, stated that the conceptualisation of Maya came from one of the most important consumer cohorts for the Indian fashion e-commerce player- the GenZs.

“We had recently ​​curated a set of uber-stylish content creators, the Style Squad and had launched ‘FWD’ for GenZs sometime back and while we did a lot of the work, we realised the importance and role that digital avatars and virtual reality plays in their lives- maybe not things which are top-of-mind to other audiences, but for GenZs it always comes across as a part and parcel of their daily lives,” he said.

Balasubramanian also went on to point out that while most youngsters today look up to social media influencers, Myntra aims to up the ante with the launch of Maya - a digital avatar and a virtual influencer who is a Zoomer herself.

Throwing light on how the brand plans to leverage Maya for EORS 18, he stated that her content will speak to GenZs as she has been conceptualised as someone who has a stylist’s day job and is opinionated - while also championing equality and inclusivity.

“Her role for EORS, and Myntra at large, is to be a style hacker which allows her followers to see the latest trends and offers. She will also share her wishlist and recommendations,” he said.

Moreover, he highlighted that Myntra aims to keep its consumers on top of the latest trends and changes in the fashion and beauty world, alongside a keen focus on the tech world, and Maya is a culmination of both of these and more than the tech part of it, the rationale is to enable GenZs to get the best style hacks and offers while they decode the fashion language that they best understand.

He also highlighted that Maya already has in place her own Myntra Studio profile and is likely to conduct M-Lives, the platform's live commerce proposition, in the near future, which will enable the e-commerce player to partner with brands and collaborate with them to augment key launches and events. 

Additionally, there are 100+ live sessions planned on Myntra's M-Live for EORS 18, which will be hosted by social media stars and content creators such as Varun Sood, Baseer Ali, Akash Choudhary, Ritvi Shah and Gaurav Kumar, among others.

From Balasubramanian’s viewpoint, Myntra is all about offering consumers a simpler and smoother experiences during their consumer journeys, whether it is on the app or post-purchase, therefore, the aim is to solve the problems or even unlock the different points of triggers, challenges, opportunities, etc. for consumers through Artificial Intelligence.

In the recent past, the fashion e-commerce player had also launched My Stylist, an AI-powered personal style guide feature - that allows one to have a complete look at what he/she wants to wear just from the article that one is interested in and acts as an assistive shopping friend.

“A week back, we also launched the Fashion GPT on the Myntra App, which falls in line with how the world is moving from simple keyword searches to more conversational searches. When a consumer taps on the feature, he/she doesn’t have to type in the relevant keywords but can simply ask a question, for example- What do I wear to Goa for a work conference, and it would give the output based on the command,” he added.

Touching upon how much of an important role influencer marketing plays in Myntra’s media mix, the CMO stated that social media influencers, now coupled with Maya, will continue to play a huge role in the brand’s marketing strategy because of the authenticity that they bring with their conversations across fashion and beauty. 

“For us, there are some reach mediums that go across the country, such as both Print and Television, along with Digital mediums - including DOOH and CTV - which become all the more important as it enables us to talk to different cohorts, especially about what they are interested in depending on the nuances or choices based on geography, age group, etc. which further help us in targeting the consumers with well-planned offers on selected items,” he said.

In terms of ad spends for the upcoming bi-annual sale, Balasubramanian stated that because EORS holds a very strategic role for Myntra’s overall brand purpose, it always attracts a sizeable investment, not just from the marketing perspective but also from the tech features POV, for the e-commerce player sees many new users come into the fold at this point.

“You will also see Maya, our virtual influencer partner with a real influencer and talk about things together in the coming days as well as the entire complementation and amalgamation of the virtual and the real world will be an exciting part to watch in the coming days in terms of the influencer space,” he added.

As per the onboarding of actor Shah Rukh Khan as the face of EORS, Balasubramanian stated that Khan was a viable fit because the brand was eyeing to put across the message to over 200 million consumers in the country - including the GenZ and millennials residing in metros and tier I cities as well as tier II and III towns.

Sharing more intel on the tonality of the upcoming brand campaigns, he stated that since Myntra always has a humour-ish take on things, the e-commerce player will continue to do so in the upcoming campaign- “Save Fashion, Save on Fashion”, which uses a spoof style humour in the main videos as well as a similar approach in the influencer leg.

“In that spirit, the biggest ever sale that Myntra has put out, EORS 18, will have more than two million styles and over six thousand brands which will have offers on them and these will be across categories such as the predominant women’s western and casual wear along with a much higher involvement and excitement being built around ethnic wear, men’s casual, kidswear, footwear, apparel and cosmetics, luggage and travel, etc,” he opined.

virtual influencer End of Reason Sale Artificial Intelligence Sunder Balasubramanian beauty and apparel fashion and beauty influencers Maya Fashion GPT Generative AI EORS Myntra