Fashion may not be the number one ecommerce category right now, but there are high possibilities it could be in the future. According to a recent Google-AT Kearney report, by 2020, the fashion and lifestyle category is likely to get the most orders in online retail. Currently, along with consumer electronics and mobile phones it is one of the top three most selling categories for many horizontal online marketplaces.
Amazon was slowly but surely building its online fashion empire. The etailer put in more efforts to develop this category the moment rival marketplace Flipkart, monopolized 70% of the online fashion market. The Indian online portal gained majority share of this segment when it acquired Jabong through previous fashion portal acquisition, Myntra.
Amazon assembled a fashion A-team to counter this and joined forces with private labels. Amazon Fashion launched its in-house brand of menswear, Symbol, in September. Now it has introduced its second in-house brand Myx an ethnic wear label for women.
Amazon’s plans for its brands
Amazon Fashion’s head Arun Sirdeshmukh said, “We are just eight weeks into launching our private label in fashion. Should we do more brands or not is a question we need to see. Early customer offtake is good but what we do with it is too early to ask.”
Myntra makes 25% of its business from its private label brands. Amazon has teamed up with private brands to obtain greater traction in this department.
Arun said, “In India, we launched brands Amazon India and Amazon Fashion together, starting with watches which was followed by apparel and accessories soon after. Fashion will be and is a critical segment. Fashion as a category is one of the largest and in terms of units is right at the top.”
Solving the returns issue in the fashion category?
In the category of online fashion, returns are rampant. There’s always an issue with size and fit. To get rid of this issue Amazon’s returns policy for fashion commodities has been streamlined.
Arun mentioned, “We see that the largest reason for returns are sizing issues. We now have an auto exchange feature that lets the buyer order for a different size right from when the product is shipped to the point it is being dispatched and delivered.”
He adds that feature is specifically for Amazon’s fashion category.
In addition to this, the ecommerce company’s Prime feature will be leveraged into delivering fashion products and accessories much faster.
According to Arun, “With Prime, you can shop for a small accessory worth as less as Rs 150 and we will get it delivered as fast as we can. (This changes) your intent to shop.”
Partnering with private brands
“We will partner brands to launch their products as well as exclusive lines. For example, Van Heusen has launched a line of innerwear that is exclusively available on Amazon Fashion,” Arun said.
The etailer’s fashion segment has partnered with 150 brands this year already. Ten of these are foreign labels.
Will these efforts add the something new Amazon needs to level its fashion segment growth with Flipkart’s?