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IFF 2023: Indian apparel market to touch $135bn by 2025, omnichannel to be growth driver

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Digitisation would gain 400 million online shoppers in the next few years said experts at India Fashion Forum 

Bengaluru: According to industry leaders speaking on Day 2 of the India Fashion Forum, the Indian textile and apparel industry is predicted to grow at l0% CAGR from 2019-20 to reach $190 billion by 2025-26. This growth is attributed to the rapid digitisation of consumers and brands post-pandemic. According to a study by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, Indian apparel is expected to reach $135 billion by 2025 with online/D2C shopping accounting for 30%.

The second day witnessed a series of Masterclass sessions led by the top heads from Google, Amazon, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Puma, ICH Creative, Myntra, Nykd by Nykaa and Gloot. The sessions were based on topics such as the digitisation of consumers and brands, the omnichannel journey of Indian fashion customers, the latest innovations in the fashion verticals for shopping on Google, informative case studies on the challenges, product development, retail storytelling and commercial successes.

The Google Master class session provided ample food for thought for brands to introspect into their business with their own data, decode trends and use the information to grow their business.

Commenting on the impact of covid on buyer behaviour in fashion, Bhaskar Ramesh, Director-Omnichannel Businesses, Google India, said, The future of retail is omnichannel. The fact that Oxford dictionary added Goblin Mode’ as the most trending word of 2022 defines the phenomenon that we want everything to come to our phone or to our fingertips. Its an indication that we really want everything in our comfort zone. COVID has particularly changed consumer behaviour, and a lot of these behaviours are sticking. What happened during COVID was that commerce has taken off in a big way. A lot of companies in fashion and retail are moving their commerce business. As COVID receded, consumers actually went back to what they were familiar with and at the same time they are expecting the same digital experience. So, on one side, digital is enhancing customer experience and on the other better profitability of businesses.

With India having 700 million internet users and 500 million users consuming videos across platforms, he observed that almost 190 million were shoppers. The prospects only indicate that the base would touch 400-420 million shoppers in the next few years.  This includes not only shoppers in metros but also from Tier 2 and 3 cities and rural areas.

The surface has only been scratched with just 32% retail companies offering hybrid experiences, he added. Omnichannel format is no longer a choice; the sooner brands adopt this the better they stand to gain.

Random online searches in India are 3 billion. 88% of Indians research online before they buy. So the question here is, are you helping or aiding the consumer in their research. If you have the latest design or fabric, are they able to discover it?” noted Kaushik Dasgupta, Vertical lead for technology and retail, Google.

It can be concluded that omnichannel in the new experience, retail companies are moving towards this experience, their ability to use first party data in a first-privacy way is also the next competitive advantage,” Ramesh further remarked while talking about leveraging data.

Shubai Pai, Head, Google Youtube Sales and Solutions and Gaurav Juneja, Head-Digitisation, Google also shared their insights in the session.

IFF 2023 also launched the first-ever study on 100 Global Green Initiatives in Fashion in its India Business of Fashion Report 2023. Moderated by Devyani Hari, Director Centre for Responsible Business, the panel witnessed Dr. Naresh Tyagi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail; Shyam Patnaik, Joint President – Global Head Specialty Business, Grasim Industries Limited, Pulp & Fibre; Puneet Dudeja, Director – Business Development, South Asia WGSN, Technopak deliberate upon brands preparing to meet the expectations of the next generation consumers and identify a cause or purpose that is true to their business ethos.

The day’s line-up included discussions on technology in fashion retail, virtual try-on tools like YourFit, product returns management, AI and EI to gauge customer tastes and preferences and a Masterclass by Meta.

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