Going by the latest estimates, it can well be said that the future of ecommerce is a promising one. As per as a study paper brought out by Assocham and Forrester, the Indian ecommerce market was worth USD 38 billion in 2016 (estimated figures) and is well poised to touch USD 120 billion by 2020. This only implies that the sector enjoys an annual growth at a whopping 51%.
Fashion Ecommerce in India: What the Figures are Saying
The unprecedented growth of the ecommerce industry is quite naturally attributed to the adoption of the internet facilities by tier 2 and tier 3 cities of the country. The youngsters inhabiting these areas make for a substantial market base. Accessories, branded clothing, gifts and jewelry constitute the highest volume of ecommerce sales as far as Indian ecommerce is concerned. Mobile shopping – notably – is at the heart flourishing ecommerce in India. Besides the increased net speed offered by the mobile companies, other factors like hassle-free online payment methods, a great variety of items and others are responsible for the success of ecommerce or for that matter mcommerce in India. The apparel industry has, in fact, registered the most promising figures in terms of growth. The sub-category has a reach of 24% online users across India.
Online shops are versatile to say the least. On one hand, they offer shoppers access to the biggest of brands within competitive price brackets- on the other hand, they have successfully bridged the gap between small brands and customers as well. Talk about the comfort of browsing more collections within a shorter period of time and we can tell you that online stores have substantially surpassed their offline counterparts in this respect.
A regular online shopper from Delhi – Prashant Agnihotri, for instance, admits that he only invests in well-known brands whenever they are accessible online. Since he is well-versed with the variations in quality and size of different brands, online shopping remains the most convenient option for him.
Names that have Made the Mark
Talk about brands and one has access to international as well as national offerings including Myntra, Jabong, Rohit Bal and Satya Paul. Going by the following figures, one can actually go on to conclude that the country remains a virtual a hotbed for retailers:
Our discourse on the present “ecommerce” scenario in India would be incomplete without the mention of the major and new (but soon-to-be-powerful) players. The ones to make a splash of sorts are:
Thanks to the virtual explosion of ecommerce in Indian economy, big names like Reliance and Birla are more than ready to explore the online avenues. Reliance’s AJIO is already a name to reckon with as far as luxury fashion is concerned. The chairman of the Aditya Birla Group – Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla has already hailed ecommerce as the “sunrise sector” in investments. Their offering Abof is already a hit with celebs.
Single-entry, Multiple-Entry and Niche: Different Brands Different Success Stories
Now, it must be noted that premium brands have charted different paths to online success. Talk about the names that have embraced multi-brand approach, names like Fashionbuzzer, Futurebazaar and Myntra will infallibly surface. FabIndia, Zodiac and Mustard are the most notable single brands.
Strapsandstrings.com revolutionized niche shopping by letting women shop lingerie online –notably, brands that were not accessible locally. BabyOye and FirstCry followed similar route as well.
One of the promising trends to be noticed in ecommerce is the mass-appeal which the premium brands are slowly on their way to acquiring. What we mean to say is that these brands are not confined to the metro cities any more. This is the reason why we can see people from Chattisgarh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh heavily investing in luxury brands like Michael Kors, Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani as well. We have already informed you about the immense participation of tier 2 and tier 3 cities when it came to ecommerce growth in India. Let us substantiate out claim further by telling you that both Jabong and Amazon witnessed more than 50% of the designer wear being ordered from the non-metro cities.
Social media has inevitably spurred a trend which is fondly dubbed as social commerce. Brands like Limeroad have been able to attract significant traffic from their social media platforms. However, social media traction hasn’t really come without efforts. Suchi Mukherjee, the CEO and Founder at Limeroad demonstrated a keen understanding of the social behaviour of buyers or potential buyers. She opined that social media users’ interest (to buy a product) is primarily stoked by “likes”. You may want to find out about a product if many like it. You may want to find out about a product if many of your friends like it. Brands can request buyers to post their latest purchases from them on social media. Investing in “social” curation of fashion trends is also advised to facilitate buying process. The buyers, in this case, can follow the curator right away.
Virtual Fitting Rooms
That Indian ecommerce has demonstrated exemplary efforts towards evolution can be gauged from the fact that buyers now have access to virtual fitting rooms. They can download apps like Trailkart which backs brands like Zovi, YepMe, Flipkart and Fashionara. FITIQUETTE – notably- is another solution which focuses on virtual fittings.
Challenges and the Future
In spite of the satisfactory trajectory, Indian ecommerce (apparel) has its fair share of challenges to meet as well. Keeping up with the ever-evolving fashion landscape (trends), increased rate of product returns, shipping and branding are the few impediments on their (i.e. these ecommerce brands) way to digital supremacy. These obstacles – however – are in no way to be regarded as factors leading to the eventual phasing out of ecommerce. No! Ecommerce is only poised to grow and at the heart of its success would be more meaningful mitigation of these risks.