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Myntra Finds Creative Solution to Costly E-Commerce Returns

In India, there’s a good chance that couriers ferrying e-commerce packages to customer doorsteps boast superior sewing skills, too.

Flipkart-owned, Walmart-backed fashion platform Myntra has set about conquering India’s “last mile” with an innovative initiative that taps local tailors to deliver parcels to nearby customers and mend poorly fitting garment purchases right on the spot. It’s a move that could prove fortuitous in shrinking the e-commerce returns problem that’s siphoning millions of dollars from Western online operators alone.

According to data provided by British analytics firm Global Data, the tailor-as-deliveryman strategy should help Myntra significantly reduce costs related to returns and refunds, although the firm acknowledges this is not necessarily a new and radical step in the field of last-mile logistics.

“Myntra started offering alternation services in Bengaluru back in 2016 and with the present move the company looks to address the discomfort of consumers in searching for tailors for altering purposes,” Shagun Sachdeva, consumer insights analyst at GlobalData, said in a statement.

Other Indian brands have attempted similar programs in the past, Global Data said, including Raymond and, a fashion platform owned by the Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest conglomerates in India. However, the vastness of India’s economy and the literal size of the massive landmass pose significant issues for India’s burgeoning e-commerce industry, which is expected to reach $69.9 billion by 2022, the analytics firm said.

Clothing retail currently accounts for about $5 billion of that growing market, the company added, and the market is remarkably fragmented—even Amazon has managed to take just a 5 percent share across all categories. Global Data said there is plenty of room for platforms like Myntra to “break the clutter” with innovative programs that elevate the online shopping experience.

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It is likely a “one-size-fits-all” approach will not work in India anytime soon but Sachdeva said Myntra’s new program is likely to offer some value for a company looking to turn a profit.

“Myntra has reduced its losses from $96M in FY2017 to $22M in FY2018 and is aiming to turn itself profitable down the line, for which such loss reducing measures might be helpful,” she concluded.

In August, Myntra also partnered with H&M to launch the brand’s clothing through its platform in India. The launch included 15,000 styles and was supported by Bollywood stars like Harshvardhan Kapoor and Aditi Rao Hydari. Although Myntra is owned directly by Flipkart, Walmart bought a 77 percent share in the Indian e-commerce firm in 2018.