While niche online fashion players are struggling to attract new customers and intact existing ones in India, a slew of fashion-focused Chinese websites are gradually enticing them with lower price-points and fresh flavors.
Fashion retailers such as SheIn, Club Factory, DealXtreme and Alibaba’s Ali Express are shipping about 10,000-15,000 orders on a daily basis. Increased digital spends and targeting via social networks Facebook and Instagram are driving their cross-border business in India.
According to a TOI report, a majority of the online fashion retailers present in India ship 10,000-30,000 orders on a daily basis. Taking this into an account, orders processed by aforementioned Chinese companies appear impressive.
During recently concluded Single’s Day (also known as 11.11 Global Shopping Festival) these websites have done significant business in India. Besides fashion, Indian consumers have shown decent interest in buying gadgets and accessories.
In-depth catalog, low pricing, and free shipping are primary drivers in luring Indian customers. Importantly, one of the biggest deterrents for the growth of Chinese online retailers is that they don’t offer Cash on Delivery (CoD) as a payment option.
“These sites are performing well because they provide affordable goods to Indian consumers. And with growing familiarity of online shopping, people are willing to experiment with buying from international websites,” says an executive from a logistics company which specialises in e-commerce to TOI.
A quick look at online fashion in India
Besides Myntra, none of the online fashion play has made a significant dent in India. Majority of the niche fashion e-commerce players are unable to woo customers consistently. Sequoia-funded CraftsVilla, Voonik, YepMe amongst several others are struggling to retain customers and raise fresh funding.
Post cutting down its team size to half this year, online ethnic fashion retailer Craftsvilla had pivoted from the marketplace to develop its own in-house brand. Voonik was unable to raise funds that led to layoffs of hundreds of employees. YepMe suspended operations owing to fund crunch.
Meanwhile, funding for online fashion retail has been experiencing all-time low in last three years. Investment into niche online fashion has plunged to $39.5 million so far this year from $350 million in 2015 and $126 million last year, as per data from research platform Tracxn.
Flipkart seems to be an undisputed leader in online fashion segment as its affiliates Myntra and Jabong account for about 30% of the entire market. According to the RedSeer Consulting online marketplaces such as Flipkart and Amazon dominate another 60%.
Going by above figure, niche players in online fashion are competing against deep-pocketed Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm for a meager 10% market share of total gross merchandise volume (GMV) processed by entire online fashion segment.