Consumption in India is undergoing a gradual, yet tectonic shift. Consumer expenditure in India is expected to grow at 12 per cent year-on-year till 2022, driving the consumption of the growing urban population, two-thirds of which live in 400+ tier 2 and below cities.Therefore, aspirational demand for branded products from these new geographies is expected to surge over the next few years. Reaching these consumers through traditional brick-and-mortar route forces the brands to incur heavy capital investments.
Further, with growing access to digital content, consumers today are increasingly updated with latest fashion trends. Online shopping options and virtual showrooms are already revolutionising consumers’ shopping journey. In order to tap the emerging opportunities, organisations are deploying unique strategies to penetrate new markets and differentiate their offerings.
Rise of content-based commerce
Brands have realised the power of social media and are increasingly leveraging these platforms that support interactions among users, encourage their contribution and provide advocacy from influencers. High engagement purchase categories have found stronger merit in social commerce as it accentuates trust, referrals and connects with a relatable community.
Indian language internet users to drive next wave of growth
India is expected to see a four-fold growth in the number of Indian language e-tailing users between 2016 (42 million) and 2021 (165 million). By 2021, the number of Hindi internet users is expected to be more than English users.
E-tailers could realise their next big growth-wave by targeting these vernacular language internet users by creating local content and engaging with them in the language of their choice.
Emergence of assisted commerce
Business models that leverage the existing physical retail network of local merchants or kiraana stores have emerged to penetrate the 67 per cent of population that is either not connected to the internet, or have no means to access aspirational products that do not reach them due to logistical challenges.
Both traditional and internet businesses can adopt such strategies to tap into the less-penetrated markets of today, and lock these potential consumers to their brand(s) for tomorrow.
Omni-channel for balancing consumers’ expectations
While online platforms allow convenience, information and assortment, traditional retail allows touch-and-feel and comfort of face-to-face interaction with brand or store representative.
However, brands —both e-commerce and traditional –have realised the power of integrating the two channels. Omni-channel is now observed as not only the means to win consumers, but also the path to higher profitability.
Evolving fashion trends of Indian consumers
The fashion spectrum in India is evolving where the affluent wants the latest to keep up with fashion trends, and the masses look for more aspirational products that offers value for money.
Secondly, the growing propensity of Indian consumers towards fast-fashion is allowing the brands and retailers to sell their products year-round.
Thirdly, custom-fit apparel have begun gaining popularity again, and premium brands are targeting niche customers with both made-to-measure and bespoke fit offerings.
Micro-targeting by brands through online-only strategy
Traditional brick-and-mortar brands are adopting digital channels for engaging with and selling to Indian consumers while defending their competitive positioning.
Building online brands is helping companies to not only reach a wider audience, but also test the market before committing to a large-scale investment.
With similar objectives, established global brands, such as Under Armour, Bjorn Borg and Replay, are entering India through online-only routes to cater to their target consumers at minimal investments.
(The above mentioned article has been extracted from Facebook-KPMG Fashion report titled ‘Eliminating Friction in Fashion Path to Purchase.)