The Indian eCommerce market is pegged to reach 20 $ billion by the end of 2016 as the base of Internet shoppers has grown drastically. The combined average growth rate of the eCommerce industry is 37% according to 2014-2015 report published by Motilal Oswal Securities. The research group formally stated that not only has the number of online shoppers increased in value but the proper transaction economic value has also grown along with a spurt in capital flow brought on by investors. Online travel and e-tailing are now the leaders in the eCommerce segment. E-tailing is predicted to be the winner in future with fashion becoming the main driver in the segment. The fashion e-tailing sector is expected to reach more than 6 billion by the end of 2016. The high discounts given in the fashion e-tailing are reflective of the intense industry competition.
Challenges faced by e-Retailers
There are many challenges which an e-Retailer faces just after the decision of going online is made. It is obvious that all retailers want to keep healthy margins on their products, but the Indian e-Retail market is extremely competitive. Each e-retailer tries to engage in price war with each other and sells products at perennially higher MOP (Market Operating Price). It is a constant struggle for e-retailers to keep trying to lower their prices in order to retain their position.
The second challenge deals with the fact that the average online customer is very target oriented. The day they do not find what they are searching for, they immediately navigate away to another website. The e-retailers have tie ups with different distributors who ensure that desired stock of products are always available on time. In case regular distributors fail to deliver stock on time, the e-retailer has to quickly set up an alternative supply chain arrangement.
Logistics issues are constantly encountered by e-retailers. Constant orders fly in from metro cities and from very remote places. There should be a strong logistics network both for inter city and intra city services. TPSP or third Party Service Providers do not work well under all circumstances as surface networks are used. Utilisation of air networks also has to be done appropriately to solve supply chain issues.
The main challenge for any e-retailer is to provide to the point time bound delivery at far away locations which have less serviceability. TPSP networks have to be tested constantly to see if they can supply to all serviceable locations with different pin codes. Some retailers have the strategy of tying up with multiple service providers who can do one to one mapping based on pin codes. Once a customer places an order, the system tracks the address pin code instantly and a product delivery requisition will be immediately given to the TPSP who is partnered with. Customers are also given the facility of tracking their orders on the website of third party providers by using the Order number or the way bill number.
Fashion Retailing Woes
Where Fashion e-retailers in India are in question there are some common challenges like knowing how to set up strong infrastructure, making catalogues for products and photographs, integrating online and offline interfaces, designing an efficient customer engagement systems and handling order processing requirements, multiple payment paths etc. Obviously, a lot of resources are required to appropriately respond to such aspects. It is, therefore, highly recommended that all individual fashion labels keep outsourcing these engagements to a player who has access to these kinds of resources. Most labels would do well to depend on a uni technology platform, which can help them manage all multichannel sales.
This is where end to end solution providers like eShopbox come in to help both startup fashion labels and big fashion brands.
Role of Solution Providers
Solution Providers set up efficient infrastructure for discrete and exclusive websites. The entire process of inventory management, packaging goods and delivery management including pickup and delivery set up is managed by it. Cataloguing products, handling product photography requirements and setting up purchase T&C are other functions that it can handle. It is also possible to manage loyalty programmes, advertisement banners, CPM and add banners using the unique services of a solution provider. Thus, multichannel integration is made easy as all the numbers and analytics are handled under one roof.
How eShopbox provides solutions
For a fashion label that is tentatively trying to gain a foothold in the big bad world of the Internet, a service like eShopbox can help set up, marketing, analysis, traffic management and so much more. In fact, the driving force behind the conception of Shop Box by Mayur Karwa (an ex IIT Bombay Alumnus) was that management of fashion brands on an eCommerce platform is particularly challenging. eShopbox was designed to take care of all extraneous functions and leave the brands to innovate and creatively improve their product line.
Labels and fashion brands often end up losing the urge in product development because all their resources have been spent in developing their eCommerce platform. eShopBox has the best team of experts in technology who build the perfectly customised platform that will meet the need of the brand. The entire product range is managed and set up well and through customised analysis and SEO strategies, more traffic is driven to the brand’s website and all the multiple channel market spaces can be integrated in a sustainable and scientific method.
The unique business proposition offered by eShopbox boasts of more than 1 lakh items which can be kept in stock from more than 22 brands and more than 2,000 different fashion styles. Currently, more than 50 clients are there from regions like NCR, Delhi, Banaras, Jaipur, Ludhiana and they will go live in the next fresh season coming up.
eShopbox was launched only a few years back in July 2014 but it has scaled up to shipping 12,000 items in the month of April of 2015 and the forecast was to ship 25,000 pieces in the May Month.
Benefits to Fashion Retailers
Some intelligent platforms constructed by eShopbox are as follows.
· eShopbox Web Stores is a strong eCommerce platform that can manage all the functions of an eCommerce store
· eShopbox Insights is a holistic analytical and business intelligence driven solution that helps most brands to optimise prices, channelise productivity and drive on replenishments
· eShopbox Sync is especially built as a multiple management tool which can synchronise catalogues and inventories across all different shopping search tools like Junglee and Google Shop etc
The consumer ranges in India for the e-markets are steadily expanding as national and international brands have started penetrating the Indian market. Therefore, stupendous opportunities wait in the eCommerce segment for intelligent solution providers.
What Does the Future Say?
Fashion eCommerce can truly be made easy for the modern consumer segments via intelligent technologically updated solutions that are coupled with daily management. This can bridge the gap between the insistent consumer demand and the limited logistical and production capacities of most fashion labels. There is a pressing need for e-firms like eShopbox to come up with multifunctional, multichannel integrated platforms.
There is huge competition for businesses like eShopbox too as many SaaS companies like KartRocket, Shopify, PowerStore, Kartrocket etc allow fashion retailers to set up their own web fronts while allowing for varying levels of integration. ERP (Enterprise Resource Process) Solution management service providers like Primaseller, Vinuculum and UniCommerce are also present in the market though they exclusively focus on delivering operations management solutions. Healthy competition in retail segment will help brands like eShopbox come up with even more innovative solutions in the future.