Etailing may become the dominant fashion shopping option for urban Indians
Just three years…and may be at the threshold of a revolution. Jabong and Myntra, India’s biggest etailers of fashion, are clocking up impressive top line numbers and, more importantly, red hot 3-digit and 4-digit growth figures that signal a tipping point in how urban Indians will dress themselves -they will likely move most of their clothes shopping to ecommerce.
Consider the numbers. In three years of operations (2012-2014), Jabong and Myntra’s combined top line has hit `. 1,000 crore for the year ended March 2014. Growth has been more than blistering.
Jabong sales in 2013-14 jumped . 527 crore, from a mere ` to ` . 4.6 crore in 2011-12 -that’s an eyepopping 11,357% growth in sales.Myntra’s ` . 441-crore top line in 2013-14 was an only slightly less staggering 558% jump from 2011 . 67.1 crore.12’s ` And in these three years, Jabong’s and Myntra’s top lines have outperformed those of brick and mortar fashion biggies, Zara, Levis and Marks & Spencers, which have been in business in India for between 5 and 10 years. Plus, growth in the big brick and mortar chains, Shoppers Stop and Future Lifestyle Fashion, which have been in operations for two decades or more, has really slowed down in comparison, over the same period (see chart).
As Amazon chief Jeff Bezos had said, the big success of fashion etailing is the biggest learning he’s taken away from India.And market analysts and fashion conscious urban middle and upper middle classes are saying the same thing differently.
Analysts say a tipping point has been reached in etailing fashion. Consumers say the sheer convenience of browsing through thousands of big label options from the comfort of one’s home or office and the ease of returning clothes that don’t fit are the reasons they will stay with buying a dress through a mouse click. “Where will I get international brands such as Dorothy Perkins, Mango, FCUK and not-so-highpriced Harpa and Femella all in one place? I won’t ever get to browse 5,000 designs at stores and I can’t go there every day braving the traffic. But I can go to the virtual store every single day and if I don’t like what I have shopped, I can just return, all from the comfort of my chair,“ said Ruchi Sally, director at retail consultancy Elargir Solutions and an online shopper, explaining the growth of online fashion retailers.
“Online retail has passed the inflection point as customers have stopped questioning its viability and authenticity,“ said Devangshu Dutta, chief executive at retail consultancy Third Eyesight.
Fashion etailers attribute their success to multiplier effect from good customer experience and some serious brand-building efforts. Jabong and Myntra also attribute their growth to an increase in its product portfolios.