There is no doubt that eCommerce has changed the scenario of how we trade now. With offline retailers shifting to eCommerce platforms for selling their products, we are quite sure of how the world is moving in a different direction.
Having said that, if we put alongside eCommerce industry now and 5 years before, we can witness an evolution. What has played a major role in such evolution? The Answer is Data. Data has helped the eCommerce industry to implement strategic decisions and grow continuously… Collecting, storing and analyzing data has sparked “Data Science”, which is doing wonders for the e-commerce industry
Recently, we got an opportunity to talk to Mr. Jeyandran Venugopal, SVP and Chief Technology Officer, Myntra. By sharing his knowledge, he threw some light on the fact that many companies in the e-commerce industry are vigorously reliant on data science and future technologies.
Myntra is using Data Science across a variety of business processes. It is used for buying and planning decisions at Myntra. Data from social media, fashion images etc., all of these are trained in algorithms and they come up with predictions of what to buy, how much to buy and then take decisions accordingly.
Myntra, uniquely, uses Artificial intelligence for creativity. One of the brands of the Myntra’s fashion brand is completely AI driven. The entire design process is done through machines. Some cutting-edge technology and sales data, social trends etc. are used to come up with new designs. Moreover, designing is automated.That is working pretty well for Myntra compared to human-generated designs. Three times sales growth at double the margin!
With such a large number of contentions on AI replacing humans and regularization on AI, his perspective on other hand was totally extraordinary.
The jobs so replaced are probably the ones where humans are maybe not that efficient and machines are better suited for that job. Myntra is using AI where they believe machines are most capable of doing the job. The humans displaced from the jobs will get retrained and will have the opportunity to move on to other jobs which are more meaningful. Moreover, machines don’t have human creativity, insights, and ingenuity, which will ultimately be more meaningful for them as well. We are very far away from when humans will be replaced.
Talking about future technologies Myntra does a lot of personalization and recommender systems play a key part of how they actually provide visibility to specific items which they believe can earn more interest from users. This is based on a lot of information like what they are searching for, what they have clicked on, what they want etc. Again thousands of pieces of information as a variable go into the model which will eventually come up with something which they believe users will find it more interesting. This has given some great measurable impacts to Myntra in terms of uplifts and conversions.
Nonetheless, customer habits are changing in the blink of an eye these days, it becomes crucial to stay on top and make products more visible to users. A lot of machine learning and data science like unsupervised learning, clustering mechanism is used at Myntra to enhance the shopping experience of consumers.
Myntra creates the right kind of visibility of the products to the users which they are looking for. What kind of things they are looking to buy. Whether it’s party wear, formals, semi-formals or ethnic wear. It quickly tries to catch hold of that and show products relevant to their intent. Machine learning has helped us to create a catalog of several lakh products. It’s important to offer value-added services to users which can help in engaging users of the online community. Past experiences of users have enabled Myntra to use machine learning at scale. With some machine learning algorithms, they are trying to improve the experience of returns and cut it short from a very long lengthy process.
With so many things going around in this field, I believe Data Science is helping eCommerce in providing a richer understanding of the users by taking hold of and integrating the information of how users are behaving online and eventually forming decisions around it. Myntra with the help of data science is developing a competitive advantage and moving ahead on the right path.