Bengaluru: Following Amazon India’s advertising push late last year towards promoting its fashion business, the company is reporting a significant increase in sales of apparel, footwear and jewellery. Fashion has become one of Amazon’s top three product categories over the past four months and the online retailer is further increasing its assortment of products, launching designer and jewellery stores on its website and introducing online-only brands as it seeks to become one of the most popular fashion destinations in India, said Vikas Purohit, head of fashion at Amazon India.
“Our apparel business has grown by 300% over the past three months. That’s proof of the pudding. In India, fashion shopping is mostly occasion-based and not in the spring-summer-autumn-winter pattern. Being a horizontal player, we can cater to all needs. For instance, if I have to shop for my travels, will I go to one place to buy apparel, one place to buy luggage, one place to buy shoes or a swimming costume. In a horizontal, you can buy all these things,” Purohit said. Amazon and its local rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal are all trying to increase sales of fashion products, which typically offer higher margins than electronics and books.
Amazon needs to make a big push into fashion now, as rival Flipkart has built a dominant position in online fashion sales after acquiring Myntra in May. Indians bought fashion products worth $559 million online in 2013; this number may increase to $2.8 billion by 2016, according to an April report by venture capital firm Accel Partners, which is an investor in Flipkart. Apart from its advertising campaign, Amazon is spending heavily on marketing initiatives, such as sponsoring the India Fashion Week. Last week, the company launched a designer store on its website that offers clothes by well-known designers such as Rohit Bal and Manish Arora.
Over the past six months, Purohit has hired senior executives from several fashion retailers in India such as Madura Garments and Arvind Brands, as well as from online apparel retailers. These recruits include Vikram Raizada, a former chief executive officer of Tara Jewels, and Manish Saksena, ex-chief operating officer at Tommy Hilfiger India. Raizada is overseeing jewellery, one of Amazon’s fastest-growing products. The firm is in talks with regional jewellery retailers across the country to get them online. “We’ve launched a lot of the regional fine-jewellery brands and many more are in the process of getting on-boarded. We launched fashion jewellery one-and-a-half years back with 26,000 styles. Today, we have 350,000 styles. Sales for our sellers have grown by 3,000% over that time,” Purohit said.
Source : The Livemint