India’s fashion market is estimated at $70 billion (2016), of which around 7-10 per cent is digitally influenced currently. By 2020, this is projected to rise to $30 billion which will be equivalent to 60-70 per cent of the total branded apparel market, said a study by Facebook and BCG in March 2017. The report also found that more first-time online buyers shopped for apparel than for smartphones, which was the norm till 2015. Fashion e-commerce is already large and will reach $12-14 billion by 2020, the report said.
The number of online fashion shoppers is expected to double from 55-60 million in 2016 to 130-135 million by 2020. Of this number, half will be women and an increasing number will be from smaller towns. Flipkart, Myntra and Jabong claim to control 70 per cent of India’s fashion e-commerce market.
The Facebook-BCG report offered an interesting insight into women shopping online. It said that women tapped into multiple online pathways, looking for trends, recommendations, fashion blogs, etc before they make a purchase. Thus fashion retailers need to focus on the entire experience of buying online, instead of just providing the information and easing the final sale process. This is probably what is driving Jabong’s focus on experience and environment.
The campaign, to be launched on the final day of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), will use television, hoardings and digital to appeal to its target audience. However, Jabong is being selective, reaching out only to affluent users and has planned for the TVC to air only on HD feeds of the IPL. The hoardings will be placed only in large metros. Jabong believes that people consider it to be a premium purchase destination.
The average customer spend on the channel is about Rs 2,400 and hence the need for a calibrated advertising strategy to ensure that the brand’s character is not diluted. At the same time, it does not want to go down the celebrity route. “We’ve not got any celebrities (for the campaign) because Jabong is about ‘Be you’. It’s about an individual’s spirit and capturing the various moods. So you’ll see the same individual in three different avatars. The same you, many moods,” added Soni, who is also chief marketing officer at Myntra. In this way it also hopes to distinguish itself from parent Myntra, which has signed up stars such as Abhay Deol in the past.
The data show that the Jabong buyer is very different from the Myntra buyer and the brands are keen to keep their identities apart. For one, women make up the majority of Jabong’s buyers while Myntra’s is about 40 per cent. When Myntra acquired the ailing Jabong, CEO Ananth Narayanan was in for a surprise, customer overlap between the two platforms was just 30 per cent. That is now down to 27 per cent, bettering the case for Myntra and Jabong to run independently, Soni explains. “One of the things we realised is that Jabong’s core strength is the loyal consumer base and that’s why we decided that the two brands will continue to have their own identity,” said Soni.
The mood store is just the first of many innovations to come, tailored to suit its customer base. One of the things Myntra did on purpose was to not merge the sourcing teams, to ensure that each had different collections despite selling apparel from the same brands.
In the current quarter, Jabong hopes to post its first year-on-year quarterly growth in sales, signifying a comeback after Rocket Internet got rid of the failing company for $70 million. And hereon, it hopes, its fashion sense will help propel the brand forward.