Flipkart Fashion eyes half of online market pie

As fashion continues to lead the growth of e-commerce globally, home-grown giant Flipkart says it is targeting around half the online fashion market with its unit Flipkart Fashion. 

The online fashion market in India, which currently stands at around $4 billion (Rs 260 billion), is estimated to touch $15 billion (Rs 975 billion) in five years.

Flipkart Fashion, which claims to be the leader in the online fashion category with a market share of 35 per cent, says it wants to extend its lead and control 50 per cent of the pie by 2023. 

The parent company says it controls 75 per cent of the online fashion market if its subsidiaries Myntra and Jabong are accounted for.

Rival Amazon Fashion, however, contests this claim, saying it is the single-largest online retailer in the country, with fashion sales growing at 80-100 per cent in the past one year.

“Online is a dominant sales category with 34 million shoppers looking for fashion products on the web in India at present. This will rise to 100 million in the next five years. Currently about 70 per cent of all fashion shoppers shop on Flipkart, and we will have a base of 73 million in the next five years,” said Rishi Vasudev, head of Flipkart Fashion.

The company is working towards personalising lines and building selections so that the growing customer traffic finds more options. The SoftBank-backed company will continue to partner celebrities who drive aspirations for fashion.

“About one-fourth of all the selection that will be available on Flipkart this year will be available exclusively on our platform. We are partnering closely an array of brands such as Fossil, Puma, and Wildcraft to develop exclusive lines, which India wouldn’t have seen outside Flipkart. This will give shoppers a superior selection on the platform,” said Vasudev.

Flipkart, however, will continue to be an online-only platform unlike rival Amazon, which launched a fashion studio in Gurugram in September, its third store, after New York and London. 

While fashion is one among the largest categories in e-commerce in India, it continues to pale in comparison to smartphones in driving gross merchandise value (GMV). However, as it focuses on driving revenues, fashion is finding favour over electronics because it offers higher margins and can drive larger volumes.

“From a customer and transaction point of view, more than 50 per cent of our platform today is driven by fashion. But in terms of GMV, it will take time as 85 per cent of fashion products are still unbranded in India,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive officer, Flipkart.

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