Home goes Online

Home decor becomes popular with e-consumers as options become plenty.
Home goes Online

After fashion and CDIT ruling the e-commerce arena a new category that is evolving rapidly, is the home. Consumers are now laying hands on many home products at the click of a mouse without taking the labour of visiting stores in their spare times. The home segment which offers a wide variety of products ranging from soft furnishings including bed covers, cushions, linen and others to kitchen ware, appliances and also home décor.

This category has seen sales going up lately as people are making purchases not just for their home but also for gifting purposes. In categories like CDIT, a person makes purchases once in a year for regular ticket items and for high ticket items they make purchases once in a couple of years. But in case of home category the purchases are not so irregular, consumers keep on purchasing home related stuff for either personal use or for gifting.

“This segment is growing rapidly and more Indians with a higher disposable incomes desire to upgrade their homes and especially lifestyle. While the market share of home decor is still small compared to other categories, it is growing at a quick pace. We got into this category because there was a dearth of high quality goods being sold online, and hence we saw a need for people to buy niche products, and enjoy a hassle free shopping experience,” says Rahul Jagtiani, Managing Partner, PlushPlaza.com.

"With the e-commerce industry booming every day, the home furnishing/décor category has also witnessed tremendous growth over the last few months. We have seen more than 40-50% month on month growth in this category," says Manu Kumar Jain, MD, Jabong.com.

While Arindam Bose, Chief Customer Officer & Managing Director, Timtara.com, says, “There are large number of unorganised players in India who have made it well in online furnishing & décor, but the awareness of home decor retailing online is still to be accepted by the  Indian buyers. Though, home furnishing category is gradually increasing in online industry. Big brands like Bombay Dyeing & Fab India are contributing towards customer awareness. Due to less number of brands available online in home decor the demand is still to be created.

Who’s Buying

If we talk about home décor, the first thing that hits our mind is women, but in case of e-retailing, its not really dominated by women. We have seen that online buying is done more by men than women only because they find it a more convenient way of purchasing a product of their choice.

“Looking at the traction we have got so far in our few days of operations, its not just women who are buying home based products, a lot of men are making equal or in fact more purchases in this category. Almost a ratio 60:40, men over women, are shopping on our website,” says Rajat Nagrath, CEO, Kingschest.com.

While Jain says, "A Jabong.com customer typically is style minded young Indian (15-35 m/f; SEC A/B) .Our customer is not only in the metros but also in the small cities, where people have aspiration and purchasing power to buy but do not have accessibility to the brands/products. However, the majority purchase for home products are done by females. "

For 99labels.com, Ishita Swarup, the CEO and Co-Founder of the e-retail portal says, “We are targeting women aged above 30 who are either working or non working but are backed by finances.”

While Jagtiani says, “Our target audience is between 25-40 years old individuals with disposable incomes.”

On the other hand, Bose has a different opinion all together. He says, “Home décor category generally doesn’t have any pattern of customers because people from all age group decorate their surroundings at regular intervals. We have focused on the young lot of people as today’s youth is much more inclined towards handicrafts & antiques,  there is also a group of people who are more inclined towards spirituality and carry religious views, we have all the home décor arts for them too. Show pieces & décor accessories can be anyone’s favourite.”

Ranking of Best Selling Home products online

  • Soft furnishings including covers and linen
  • Crockery, cutlery, bar accessories and appliances
  • Decorative, antiques and art

 

 

 

Brands leading the league:

  • Bombay Dyeing
  • D'decor
  • Maspar
  • United Colours fo Benetton
  • Obsessions
  • Welspun
  • Sunev
  • Corelle
  • Treo

 

Jain says, "Products that do well in furnishing are bedsheets, curtains and cushion covers. In the décor area, showpieces, wall clocks and paintings have good sell throughs. Since people are wary of certain things they tend to buy safer options, at least when shopping online for the first time. However, this attitude is changing at a fast pace as people are now getting used to shopping online because of the various benefits like – convenience of shopping 24*7, speedy free home delivery, safer transactions,  cash on delivery, flexible return policies to name  a few. "

 

Branded or Not

With home retail going online, a lot of brands which otherwise had been either not well versed with consumers or very locally available, are creating a visibility for themselves with this platform. These websites along with offering brands like Bombay Dyeing, Tommy Hilfiger, Benetton and other international labels, also offer brands which are yet to make a mark of their own.

“We have seen that in the home category, especially in décor and linen, not much brands are available, so a lot of times we get new brands on board who offer quality product. We ensure, even if the brand is not known, the products offered are of high quality. We run a three step quality check for all our products. We tie up with these brands either on one time sales basis or on contracts which can range from 6 months to 1 year and renewable,” informs Swarup.

While PlushPlaza in order to maintain product quality, only sells its own collection. “We prefer offering our own collection since we can control the designs, quality and shipping time. However, a few select brands like Lavazza, Workshop Q, Blueberry Homes and Nextime are selling their products through our portal,” avers Jagtiani.

Growth figures

E-retailer like Kingschest.com, which is 10 day old, already offers 400-500 SKUs in terms of category and sub-category plans to expand this number to about 2000 in a short while.

While Swarup says, “We are looking at enhancing ourselves across categories with better merchandising.”

These figures clearly indicate the growing trend of people moving online for purchases for their homes. 

Website

Vertical/Horizontal

Ticket Size

Revenues/Growth/Percentage Revenue share

Margins

Plushplaza.com

Vertical

Rs.2000

(1000 visitors per day)

100% YOY

 

99label.com

Horizontal

Rs. 1000-1200 (100-200 orders per day)

10-12% contribution to total sales

10-25%

Kingschest.com

Vertical

Rs 1700-Rs 3500 (1000 visitors per day)

Very new

8-10%

Timtara.com

Horizontal

Rs 599 to 699 (50,000 standalone visitors)

5-6% of total sales

 

 

 

 

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