The ecommerce sector is no more a pure-play online. It’s now venturing into physical stores as well, adopting a more hybrid approach.
After Pepperfry and Myntra, Amazon has announced to open 12 temporary physical stores in the country to popularise its fashion sale event coming up this weekend. It will open the stores in the country’s biggest tech parks in Bengaluru, NCR and Mumbai, reported the The Times of India.
The company calls it an end of season sale. However, it also acknowledged that the brands and sellers on the platform are also looking to sell off a lot of their existing inventory before GST kicks in.
“We have tied up with the biggest tech parks in the country and these will act as activation and promotion for our sale. For our young consumers at these parks, this will be a good opportunity to step out and experience fashion at physical outlets,” Arun Sirdeshmukh, head of Amazon’s fashion business, told TOI.
Under the end of season sale, the ecommerce player will offer 50-80 per cent discount on 3 lakh units across 1,500 brands, besides offering gifts and cashbacks.
Fashion is the second biggest segment in online commerce after electronics. But it remains constrained by issues related to size, style and colour. Hence, the online player decided to clear the inventory through the temporary physical outlets.
Besides, retailers want to clear the already taxed (sales tax and VAT) stocks before the arrival of the GST regulation. “The sellers and brands might benefit if they could sell most of the old stocks before GST begins,” said Sirdeshmukh to TOI. He said the company is spending heavily on television, print and digital marketing for the event.
Amazon is hopeful the event will bring in new consumers online. “Around a third of customers try fashion first on Amazon,” said Sirdeshmukh.
Currently, Flipkart-owned Myntra and Jabong are also running end of season sales this weekend.
At present, Flipkart, together with Myntra and Jabong, dominate the fashion segment in online space. The Bengaluru based e-commerce major claims to have a 75 percent share in online fashion retail. Amazon wants to demolish Flipkart’s domination in this segment.
Unlike mobile phones and electronics, fashion has high touch and feel factor. It requires strong offline touch-points. Such offline initiatives by Amazon are temporary but going forward we may see some serious offline foray by the Jeff Bezos led company to up its ante in fashion category.