We have changed the way fashion is served to consumers: Amazon India Fashion Head, Arun Sirdeshmukh

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This Diwali, Amazon Fashion is all set to delight its customers by doubling its fashion offerings as compared to 2016’s festive season sale. The online retailer is hosting its Great Indian Festival sale from September 20-24.
Apart from this, the e-commerce giant has also been taking many steps to deliver the best consumer experience to its patrons this festive season. Elaborating on the same, Head Fashion, Amazon India, Arun Sirdeshmukh told Indiaretailing Bureau, “When you look at our journey over the last 12 months many things have changed in terms of how fashion is served to the customers on the platform. The first is the collection that we are carrying is double the collection that we carried last Diwali, and the second is the inventory and operational capability. We have doubled our fulfillment capacity. ”
He further added, “The third aspect is that we are doing with the brands. If you look at past 18 months, we have launched 200 international brands and many of them are exclusive to Amazon. In the last 7-8 months, we have launched many international brands like Mothercare, Marks & Spencer, GAP, Under Armour, New Balance and apart from this the existing brands are also launching exclusive collections with us. For example, when Van Heusen launched innerwear, they launched it exclusively with us, Speedo did a special googles for underwater, Arrow launched smart shirt. With all these things happenings, we are very much ready with the festive season ahead. And from the customer point of view, all these ingredients are going to deliver them the best customer experience.”
This season, there have been more than 50 brands which have worked with Amazon to launch their seasonal collection i.e Autumn Winter collection, first on Amazon even before launching it on their physical stores.
“We have 160 million products, while the next largest competitor has maybe one-fifth of these,” Vice President – Category Management, Amazon India, Manish Tiwary told Indiaretailing Bureau.
Private Labels
Amazon, which has more than 15,000 brands and 2 million unique SKUs in the fashion category, is also betting big on its private labels – Symbol and Myx for the Diwali sales.
“We have launched two private brands – Symbol which is a western wear brand and the other is Myx which is a ethnic wear brand. In both the brands we have tried to put up quality products and ensure customer acceptance is there and we have found out that the response has been very strong and very good. We started with men’s business shirts, but now we expanded the portfolio quite a bit with large number of SKUs. Now we have denims, T-shirts and polos. We were very happy with the launch of women blouses in Symbol, and now we are expanding that selection. We are also launching our footwear collection for the festive season. Whereas for Myx we are currently staying focussed on kurtis, kurtas and more ethnic wear,” revealed Sirdeshmukh.
He further added, “What is important for these two brands is the expansion of the selection and other is the inventory that we are carrying and the volume that we are projecting.”
However, Sirdeshmuch accepted that there is a lot of scope to add more categories in these private brands and he said that Amazon may add more brands to this portfolio if it finds something that is the right fit.
“We are following market trends, we are keeping a close watch on what the customer is shopping for and there are many segments that we have not covered in these private brands, so we might launch a few brands in the future. However, at present we are focussed on building these two brands,” asserted Sirdeshmukh.
Amazon has also introduced the largest standalone Fashion Imaging Studio in India in Gurgaon to support its rapidly growing India Fashion business. This is Amazon’s third studio after New York and London.
“In addition to 16 individual high-tech photography bays, the studio also has a large editorial suite, video editing facilities and creative spaces. Established as Center for Creative Excellence, the studio will enable Amazon Fashion to creatively collaborate with fashion brands and partners to produce lakhs of high quality images for its fashion merchandize every year,” said Tiwary.
Technology – The Enabler
Amazon has been constantly experimenting with new innovations in technology to enhance customer experience. In addition to providing customers with an intuitive search and browse experience, Amazon Fashion has elevated experience by allowing customers to shop seamlessly for their favorite brands using the ‘Top Brands’ filter.
The website has also recently launched an ‘auto-exchange’ feature for easy and convenient returns.
Sirdeshmukh said, “Analytics, data and technology, these aspects are at the heart of many things that we do as a business. For example:- Last festive season, Prime had just been launched and now this festive season one out of three fashion consumers on the site is also a Prime customer. With the analytics we gather and the available technology, we are studying patterns which tell us what should we carry online and which markets we should showcase them in.”
“Carrying inventory in one location is fine, but imagine the fashion category with the number of SKUs we carry! If we carry all SKUs and flood them in fulfillment centres, we will be full of stock, and that is something we cannot do. Instead, we study patterns to try and understand demand – for colours, styles, price and more – and try to ensure that we are carrying a sub-set of the selection in Delhi based on what the customer in Delhi likes and so on.”
“There are two worlds from where customers shop – one is collection of styles that is unbranded, interesting styles that one finds in a high street and the other what we call is the branded world. Now, when the customer comes on the platform we do not know what they are looking for, so how should we carry a green channel experience? The answer – through technology. We have launched a very interesting filter – Top Brands – which means when a customer comes on Amazon and selects this filter, all non-branded items are automatically weeded out. Top Brands – which is an analytics driven approach – is giving us fantastic results and from the customer point of view, gives convenience,” he concluded.

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