Amazon Fashion has continued to accelerate its brand associations, from bringing in global brands that wanted to start their India journey with it like Under Armour, Kate Spade, etc. to working with top global and Indian brands like Mothercare, Adidas, Puma, Samsonite, Fossil, Casio, UCB, Levi’s, Amrapali, Malabar Jewels, Hidesign, Michael Kors, Armani, Diesel, or celebrity-led brands like Rheson by Sonam and Rhea Kapoor, NUSH by Anushka Sharma, PROWL by Tiger Shroff, One8 by Virat Kohli and Just F by Jacqueline Fernandes, to name a few.
This festive season, Amazon Fashion has launched more than 6,200 new brands on Amazon Fashion this year with more than 170+ top-tier brands namely.
In an exclusive conversation, Arun Sirdeshmukh, Business Head, Amazon Fashion India, talks about the journey of the brand so far. He further elaborates on how Amazon Fashion is enhancing the online shopping journey of consumers.
What has been Amazon Fashion's journey so far? When was it incepted and what has been the growth story so far?
Since the inception of Amazon Fashion, the focus has always been on offering the best and widest selection of not only well-loved and most popular brands but also younger, emerging brands from all parts of the country to our customers across 100% pin codes. We continue to invest in everything that goes behind fashion, including continually refining our site experience, allowing customers to search and find their products and make an informed buying decision based on the detailed imagery and content offered. We have also made significant advancement to our delivery and fulfilment centers and have strived to better our promise to customers of fast, efficient, and secure delivery with no-questions-asked returns.
This festive season, we have launched more than 6,200 new brands on Amazon Fashion this year over the last festive season with more than 170+ top tier brands namely, Seven by M.S Dhoni, American Eagle, Hopscotch, Gusto 2.0 from Timex, New Balance, Levi’s X Royal Field among others. Recently, Amazon Fashion entered into a special collaboration with Easybuy, India’s leading value fashion retailer offering “super styles” at “super prices” having close to 100 stores in more than 50 cities, further expanding our value fashion portfolio. In addition to this, Amazon Fashion launched RIVER, a designer brand with a vision to reimagine designer wear by offering affordable, accessible designer-wear by some of India’s most loved designers, Ashish Soni, Suneet Varma, JJ Valaya, and Manish Arora. Through this launch, we aim to strengthen the backbone of the fashion fraternity: artisans, weavers, craftsmen, tailors, embroiders, and karigars and encourage partners to keep the designer segment active in times of the global pandemic.
At Amazon, we continue to lay focus on enabling our seller partners and small and medium businesses. We have more than 6,50,000 sellers and a significant number of these sellers include micro-entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses as well as women sellers, artisans and weavers, and many more. We are seeing a 50% increase in new seller registrations vs pre-COVID-19. The sellers on Amazon.in have been receiving orders for products across categories including personal grooming products and apparel.
Today, we continue to be a fast growing e-commerce marketplace in scale and are growing year on year. At present, we offer the widest selection of fashion brands for customers across categories, allowing them to instantly discover and buy exactly what they are looking for with fast, secured, and efficient delivery to 100% serviceable pin codes in India. We are proud to say that Amazon Fashion is the largest fashion destination for customers seeking everyday essentials and trending brands with access to a selection across 40 lakh styles from over 1,200 fashion brands.
Can you give a brief overview of the current state of the fashion and e-commerce sector in India?
COVID-19 has brought upon us unprecedented times and it has affected the sense of normalcy for everyone. Customers have now realized that e-commerce is the safest way for them to get what they need at their doorstep, and sellers increasingly recognized that e-commerce is the best way for them to serve their customers as their footfalls were impacted as well. We continue to lay focus on enabling sellers and SMBs to accelerate their growth and help them get back on their feet. Fashion is a very fundamental need for all of us and for our customers, how we look at it is important to us. In that context, we are seeing an increased demand for essentials like loungewear, innerwear, kidswear among others. We are also seeing huge demand online for apparel overall to fulfill customer’s fashion needs.
This festive season, we saw huge traction from new sellers signing up on our platform across the country. Our SMB & seller partners got a boost in their sales with orders coming from more than 19,000 pin codes. This helped our seller partners expand their reach to distant parts of India and receive orders from J&K, Leh, Kanyakumari, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tripura, Sikkim, and Daman & Diu.
Over 4 crore products from Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs); products from over 20,000 local shops across 100 cities will be available during the Great Indian Festival and they witnessed the strongest ever start for SMBs with record sales; over 5,000 sellers clock sales worth INR 1MM (10 lakh) in SMB pre-festive lead up & first 48 hours of the Great Indian Festival. With over 1.1 Lakh sellers receiving orders, we are humbled how sellers, brands and ecosystem partners nationwide have come together during these unprecedented times to spread joy across the country.
Fashion Trends - what are the consumer changes towards buying Fashion you have noticed? How do you keep up with the changing customer preferences and styles?
In terms of consumer behavior towards fashion due to COVID-19, we have seen an immediate spike in apparel- essential clothing such as innerwear for men, women, and kids. Besides, comfort wear has seen a massive spike across genders (t-shirts, shorts, and track pants) and kidswear (cotton dresses and pyjamas).
There has also been an increased demand for maternity wear and new-born apparel (rompers and clothing sets). In light of the current pandemic, customers are adopting safety products and we have seen the demand for masks multiply week on week.
During this time, we have seen an increased penetration and coverage of online shopping from tier 2 and 3 markets. Today, we see more than 80% of our new shoppers from these markets.
Do you think that fashion has become a technology-driven business now? How are you embedding technology in your business?
Technology indeed plays a big part in terms of the shopping experience for our customers online. We try new ways on how to enhance their shopping experience. There are certain areas where we have invested a lot to bring out what the customers want. One has to do with the entire imagery of fashion products. We have India’s largest fashion studio ( 40,000+ Sq ft) in Gurgaon called Blink, and that is where we shoot our fashion shows and images as well to make sure customers have the best-in-class imagery. If you go to any product page, you will see 4-5 different angles of hi-res images. Some brands have started adding videos as well to really give the best experience to our customers.
Second is the exact size and fit which is another important thing in our fashion buying experience. We work with each brand for a brand-specific size chart to mark their size most accurately. The customer rating is another major part of this section. We have added a 30-day return policy for all our products.
In the past few months, we have done a lot of innovations on the online shopping journey for Amazon Fashion. We have launched specific stores like Designer Boutique, Premium Fashion, The Wedding Store, and so on to give customers the best experience. All these innovations are undertaken to make the journey as close to what the customers expect from Amazon Fashion and we will continue our efforts on this front.