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How Amazon India is curbing its ‘returns’ explains Arun Sirdeshmukh

In an exclusive conversation with Arun Sirdeshmukh, Head, Amazon Fashion sheds light on how technology is changing the equation for fashion category.

Tags: Amazon, Myx, Symbol

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  September 25, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Arun Sirdeshmukh

Amazon India, last week, announced a 44,000 sq.ft. digital imaging studio in Gurgaon. Called BLINK, it is the third in the world - after New York and London - and would churn out images for fashion products on its site. During the launch, caught up with Arun Sirdeshmukh..

This days online fashion is highly driven by technology with tech enabled features such as virtual trials etc. Kindly shed light how Amazon India is leveraging the technology to improve the experience?

There are certain elements in technology that affects entire shopping experience whether it is delivery experience, placement of inventory in the right location, etc. Let me give you an example, we launched ‘Prime’ service almost a year back which ensures speedy delivery of goods.  The concept of ‘Prime’ was introduced to uplift the entire shopping journey. Let’s say, if you a Delhi based customer and looking at certain product which is classified under Prime, it means the product is available in our Delhi’s fulfillment centre and can be deliver to designated customer within next 24 hours.

If you look at the technology we are using right now, we are mapping not just the demand overall but also moving the inventory and placing at the location where the demand is high. The kind of algorithms we are running are very high end.

Fashion is also a category where ‘returns’ are usually high. How Amazon is ensuring fewer returns?

Yes I do agree, but based on our research we have found that there are lot of returns happen not because of customer wish to return the item, many a times it is just a right fit issue. So, we work on technology side to make exchanges very easy and seamless. So, we have enabled a feature called ‘Auto Exchange’. With this new feature, you just have to move cursor towards new size and our delivery guy will deliver the new and take back the old item.

Returns are also related how the image is displayed. So, we are working immensely towards technologies related to catalogue content to display the product as accurate as it is possible.  Let me start with some of the basics, with our latest launch of ‘Blink studio’, we are making ample efforts to ensure what is visible on virtual is equivalent to natural light. The cameras we use that all are video enabled. We are using a lot of technology in generating video content.

 From technology aspect, there is a lot of innovations happening at back which in turn helping us showcasing the product in the right manner. We zoom the specific feature of the garment based on what the item is, technology tells us what are the complexities on the garment according we display eight  images vs, four  images vs. two  images.

Personalization is yet another element which can create a difference. What is Amazon doing to ensure personalization?

We do look at your clicks and behavior even when you are not a logged –in user. One of thing, that we are tend to show more often is, fashion products and best going on deals on those products. The algorithms that are working at back are very complexed  and personalized entire shopping experience very comprehensively. Our algorithms reads are equipped to read the buying behavior in accordingly we offer the content.

While back, Amazon India has opened temporary offline stores for its fashion sale. What more is happening in that aspect? Are you also contemplating to go offline?

Time to time we look at what is the best option for the customers. As of now, we are not doing anything which is offline oriented. Our history and capability is on all online.

Which your largest category within fashion space?

Clothing and footwear are two our largest categories. Two of brands are largest brands includes Symbol and Myx, both these brands are our private labels. Symbol, it is a Western wear brand. Myx is yet another brand which is doing pretty well. It is an ethnic wear brand that we have launched just for Indian market.  

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