How Online Shopping Has Changed The Fundamentals Of Fashion-Oriented Businesses

Puneet Jain and Yatin Jain, Directors ODHNIThe Jain brothers, Puneet & Yatin are changing the fashion landscape in India by offering unique indutva and ethicwear collections through their ventures

Today, fashion brands can succeed if they target the local market, and through a holistic business presence, i.e., a perfect amalgamation of the online and offline retail. Over the past ten years, e-business or e-commerce has seen a substantial growth especially in the developed countries. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the e-commerce occupies 9.1 per share of the retail pie. Being the world's sixth-largest economy, India too is excelling high in the e-commerce sector. Two years back, in 2017, the e-commerce industry of India has generated US$ 39 Billion, which is expected to get trebled by 2020, as per the report of India Brand Equity Fund (IBEF). And, fashion industry is one of the greatest contributor to India's e-commerce sector, which is growing annually at a rate of 51 per cent. All the leading fashion brands in India are available online either through e-com portals or offering shopping carts on their own web-sites, the concept of smart retailing is enticing both brands and consumers.

Matching Market's Pace
Fashion industry is always considered fast and ever changing, but with the growing presence of smart-phones all over the country, the fashion industry of India is growing by leaps and bounds. Today, all the leading fashion brands are constantly evolving and their merchandises are rapidly attracting customers' attention on visually appealing virtual market spaces where a single click/tap offer every small or major detail of the product that one is interested to buy. Besides, with the advent of digital showrooms, people have easy access to international brands even in small towns and hilly regions.

E-commerce has turned the fashion world into a virtual town where brands from all parts of the world can showcase and sell their products to customers in the rest of the world. Influenced with these disruptions in the fashion world, brick-and-mortar retail outlets are compel to increase their market presence significantly as
consumers look for products online as well as in their local outlets. Most of the luxury fashion brands exclusively sell their products through their own websites, on the other hand, fashion start-ups opt for selected brick-and-mortar outlets and also through some e-commerce brands.

Challenges as Opportunities
Many retailers who operate offline perceive digital businesses as a threat. It is true that e-commerce has made the lives of the consumers easy, it would be wrong to say that it is a traditional threat as Indian consumers still prefer to buy using offline medium. This module has led to the rise on Omni channel retail, which basically means that consumer shopping that now, has gone beyond brick-and-mortar positions, to shopping via applications and social media.

The fashion sector is closing up to e-commerce now. Research conducted by Myntra has shown that by 2020 the number of online shoppers would increase from the current 60 million to 120 million. This has also changed not only the point of view but also the behavioral patterns of the consumers considerably. This has caused a shift in the market dynamics for fashion based businesses.

With a boom in the media industry and tremendous exposure, the masses have become more ambitious and expect more from the fashion industry

Meeting Customers' Expectations
With a boom in the media industry and tremendous exposure, the masses have become more ambitious and expect more from the fashion industry. Now, with modern telecom companies offering pocket-friendly data packs for smartphones, localized content has seen a substantial rise thus making the small town consumer less skeptical towards e-commerce. Offline retail out-lets have now taken the digital route in non-urban areas in India offering attractive offers, discounts.

Modern consumers now expect and also appreciate customized shopping experiences, whether it's through an application or a digital ad. The main agenda now is to target the right customer at the right time for all e-commerce businesses. For the modern consumer, convenience is the top-notch priority. Those brands that are able to figure this out would be able to dominate the market.

It can be said with no doubt, that e-commerce is here to stay and would grow more popular in the near future leading the increase in demand for premium luxury brands. Higher income of the people, media exposure has compelled the consumers to opt for global brands.

Open to Change
Today, most brands have stopped opting for mass media marketing. Digital marketers utilize talent and reach out to consumers where they spend most of their time i.e Online. Specific campaigns are made for specific platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pin-terest. Target audience, target channels is crucial for a successful social media campaign. Campaigns today circulate around the comforts and overall behavious of the target consumers and fashion businesses have adapted to this trend. Fashion journalists and digital influencers like Youtubers have emerged as successful partners and most brands look to target their audience through these influencers that would also match their digital marketing efforts.