Baby apparel is one of the fastest-growing segments in India.
According to Statista, the kidswear market accounted for 20 percent of the total apparel market in the year 2018 and is predicted to reach approximately Rs 1.7 trillion by 2028.
This expansion has attracted several new entrants, while pushing existing players to diversify their portfolios and reimagine their supply chains - from introducing sustainable categories and gender-neutral apparel, to setting up e-commerce portals and social selling platforms.
The pandemic has also served as a major inflection point for kids’ apparel manufacturers, who are seeking more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly ways to reach their target audiences.
Amidst this all, consumers are becoming more discerning and digitally literate, and technology is becoming more cutting-edge.
In light of the aforementioned factors, a new kind of business model has begun to emerge and thrive. One that has brands producing, packing, distributing, and shipping their products.
Roll Over B2B, It’s time for D2C!
Don’t be confused by all the jargon… D2C is an abbreviation of direct-to-consumer.
It describes a business model wherein a company produces a product in its own facility and distributes it within its own channels (e-commerce platform, social media, and retail store).
According to a KPMG report, there are more than 800 D2C brands in the country, with the industry projected to reach $100 billion by 2025!
The D2C model provides the perfect medium for brands to engage with their customers directly and for customers to shop online seamlessly.
But what does this mean for kiddie clothing brands in particular?
For one, it means having better control over a brand’s marketing and sales functions. It’s imperative to be able to consistently communicate product features and benefits in a manner that will resonate. This holds especially true for organic kids’ apparel brands that must be transparent about aspects like raw materials used and processes deployed.
It also means exercising a higher degree of creative liberty and personalization within the product range, due to the availability of targeted customer data. Insights from parents help sustainable kids’ clothing brands better understand customer expectations so that they can come up with new ways to provide convenience, comfort, and style.
A leaner supply chain also means higher profit margins for both businesses and the planet. By doing away with the middlemen, brands can optimize resources whilst reducing wastage. This means more money to plow back into the running of a sustainable model.
How is the D2C Market Evolving?
The research will tell us that one of the biggest challenges for any D2C company is the shift of responsibility in distribution. Without large resellers to support/manage the brand, one must work even harder to ensure it stands out.
This is where having a strong digital presence really matters!
What new-age kids' clothing brands have managed to do well, is provide an easily navigable and enjoyable online experience for parents. This is a very important consideration given that digitization has transformed the way consumers shop.
Simple (and visually appealing) website layouts, convenient and scrollable product listings, click-worthy descriptions and images, smart payment gateways, and much more.
But beyond just laying the right foundation that will ensure the business is sustainable and scalable, the D2C ecosystem can achieve further success by nurturing long-term relationships with customers.
By tapping into social media and influencer marketing, brands can build loyalty and advocacy. Most importantly, pave the path for customer communities.