Swift Sweep is a new series that looks at the eCommerce industry across the world, one country at a time. Observing the major players, what they sell, their reach and more, Swift Sweep aims to be a comprehensive encyclopedia of eCommerce.
We live in a world that increasingly looks at its phones and laptops for everything from reminders to pick the milk to seal complicated business transactions with a click. Hence, it is no wonder that we have now begun to buy our groceries, clothes and machine parts through eCommerce sites.
Be it B2B or B2C, eCommerce is one of the fastest growing industries. If you look at India, from a modest 3.8 billion USD Compound Annual Growth Rate (or CAGR) in 2009, the sector has leaped to a remarkable 12.6 billion USD in 2013.
This is not just because of smartphone use, deeper Internet penetration and raised standards of living, but also because of the emergence of a multitude of eCommerce players in the market. Competitive prices, discounts and deals, great user interface – whatever be the working factor, the players race against one another to deliver the best to the customer. With startups cropping dime a dozen, let us take a look at some of the top fashion & lifestyle eCommerce companies in India.
The duo of Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal founded this company in October 2007 that went on to become the first billion dollar company in Indian eCommerce. Flipkart is headquartered at Bangalore, Karnataka, and has a host of the usual suspects of products across categories like Baby Care, Books & Media, Clothes, Games & Toys, Mobiles, Cameras, Large Appliances, Home & Kitchen, Sports & Fitness, Laptops, Jewelry, Footwear and more. The statistics that Flipkart boasts of are astounding – 26 million registered users, 5 million shipments in a month and 8 million page visits a day! Featuring in the Alexa ranks as the top 10 websites in India, Flipkart wasted no time in stamping its ground by acquiring the fashion giant Myntra.com in 2014, imposing a threat to world leader Amazon in the Indian market. With facilities like Cash on delivery, 24 X 7 Customer Support, 30-day replacement, Same-day guarantee, Flipkart First etc, Flipkart’s ‘Offers Zone’ is a gold mine for discounted goods!
From footwear and apparel to jewelry and sports, Jabong also has a wide range of products in its kitty. One of the leading players in the fashion and lifestyle market, Jabong is based out of Gurgaon, NCR. Starting operations in January 2012, The Economist recorded that the company had a gross sale of USD 100-150 million that year. Having sensed the pulse of the Indian audience, Jabong did some innovative thinking and brought on board exclusive designer collections, top International brands and India’s first official NBA online store. Partnering with movies like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Dhoom 3, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Jabong even launched a range of products inspired from the film to widen its customer base.
A part of Flipkart since May 2014, Myntra.com has been one of the forerunning fashion e-retailer since its launch in 2007. An app-only market now, Myntra has an attractive UI/UX that makes surfing through products a breeze. As of 2014, the company has a stock of over 1,50,000 products, bringing all kinds of fashion and brands across 9000 zip codes in India.
A New Delhi based company started by Wharton graduate Kunal Bahl and IIT Delhi alumnus Rohit Bansal in 2010, Snapdeal was a daily deals platform to begin with. It soon rose to shine as an online marketplace, made many smart acquisitions and raised crucial capital from investors to expand. With reported revenue of USD 95 million as of 2012-2013, Snapdeal recently acquired a 20% stake in logistics partner GoJavas to strengthen its logistics and supply chain. Snapdeal catapulted to the position of largest mCommerce company in India with the acquisition of Freecharge in 2015.
While Amazon, by itself, rules the roost in the Indian market, it also has an exclusive Indian search and comparison portal called Junglee, which it acquired in 1998. Listing over 2500 shopping sites and a jaw-dropping 3 crore products, one can shop across 28 departments for everything from clothing to home appliances on the site, settling only for the best available offer. Indian bargain hunters who want their money’s worth, or ‘paisa vasool’ as they call it, are lenient to Junglee.
Although lacking good navigation, ShopClues probably offers some of the best deals and prices that could stun any online shopper. This online marketplace lists over 2,00,000 products, has a wholesale market and has over 42 million visitors every year. An offshoot of the US Corporation, Clues Network Inc, ShopClues was founded in July 2011 by Sandeep Aggarwal and Sanjay Sethi in Silicon Valley and headquartered currently in Gurgaon, India.
This fashion and lifestyle ‘flash sale’ website offers huge deals from top brands. With 5.7 million registered users on the site, its everyday 9 am ‘Sale Events’ are sought after. Incubated by SMILE Group and owned by Goldsquare Sales India, they raised a few rounds of funding to help the ‘shopping club’ climb new highs. With the largest Facebook page followers in the luxury retail sector in India, FashionandYou is easily the best place to buy great clothes at irresistible prices.
Begun in April 2011 and headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, YepMe is a fashion and accessories portal launched by Vivek Gaur, Sandeep Sharma and Anand Jadhav. Aiming at tier 2 and tier 3 towns who do not have access to major brands, Yepme fulfills over 500,000 deliveries a month. Going the extra mile, they also launched their own private label. In marketing the brand, they roped in Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan as their ambassador in December 2014, drawing more customers. With ‘fresh fashion’ as their brand mantra, YepMe continues to reinvent itself with exclusive cool new collections every season.
Koovs, FreeCultr, HomeShop18, Infibeam, Yebhi, Fashionara, ShoppersStop, Zovi, Inkfruit, Shop Your World and a plethora of other fashion and lifestyle e-stores fight for eyeballs and clicks every day. With many more joining the bandwagon, the road ahead in the e-retail sector in India only looks promising. As long as it remains only a problem of plenty, the customer is not complaining!