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Five home-grown fashion e-marketplaces

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These ‘made in India’ e-commerce retail platforms rule the country’s online fashion market

The online fashion market in India has been experiencing an unprecedented surge in the recent years contributing significantly to the growth of the country’s overall fashion industry. The share of online fashion retail market in India is expected to increase by $22.97 billion from 2021 to 2026, as per global technology research company Technavio. The company also expects the market’s growth momentum to accelerate at a CAGR of 18.83%.

Growing in a crowded and fast-moving market like fashion retail is all about adapting to customer expectations and staying focused on differentiating brand and experience. Take a dive into the list of five major homegrown online retailers which are working rigorously to maintain their position and gain a larger share of India’s burgeoning fashion market, every year.

  1. Ajio

Reliance Retail’s digital commerce initiative Ajio was launched in 2016. Headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka, the retailer offers products such as apparel, footwear, fashion products and electronic solutions for women, men, and kids.

In 2020, the brand expanded its portfolio to house global luxury brands under the sub-brand Ajio Luxe. The brand has been able to make profitable deals by entering into contracts with luxury brands such as Superdry, Gas, Steve Madden, Dune London, and Cult Gaia among others.

Ajio continues to ramp up its performance. As of January 2023, it registered a 33% growth in its customer base and a 62% increase in catalogue size on a YoY (year-over-year) basis.

  1. Flipkart 

Flipkart is an Indian e-commerce company, headquartered in Bengaluru. The company initially focused on online book sales before expanding into other product categories such as consumer electronics, home essentials, groceries, fashion and lifestyle products. In 2012, Flipkart forayed into Fashion. In 2018, with Myntra and Jabong in its fold, the Flipkart Group held 70% of the online fashion market focusing on making fashion affordable as per data from the e-marketplace’s website.

To cement its image among customers in tier 2 and 3 Cities, Flipkart banked on digital ads collaborating with Indian celebrities and its yearly flagship sale called The Big Billion Days, which offers massive discounts on branded products.

Flipkart reported an 18% jump in its revenue for FY (fiscal year) 2022 at Rs 51,176 crore according to the company’s MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) filings shared by Tofler. As per media reports, fashion, unbranded-fashion in particular, contributes largely to the growth of the platform especially in tier-2 markets.

  1. Meesho

Meesho is a social commerce platform founded in 2015 founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal. The Bengaluru-based reseller platform undertakes retail distribution, enabling small retail merchants to connect and sell their products effectively via social media channels. The platform primarily connects manufacturers and resellers. Manufacturers list their items on the Meesho shopping app, which enables retailers to select and sell them to clients using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

The platform claims to offer over 50 lakh products across more than 650 product categories ranging from apparel, accessories and cosmetics to furniture and homeware.

Customers irrespective of income class tend to shop from Meesho due to its budget-friendly products coupled with the wide selection. To drive costs lower, Meesho follows an asset-light model and outsources the delivery to third-party players such as Delhivery, Ecomm Express, and Shadowfax, as per a report by BQPrime.

According to an ET Retail report, Softbank and Meta-backed Meesho logged 120 million active users in CY (calendar year) 2022, of which nearly 100 million users were added in the last two years.

  1. Myntra

Bengaluru-based e-commerce company Myntra was founded in 2007 by Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania and Vineet Saxena.

The retailer operated on the B2B (business-to-business) model during its initial years and between 2007 and 2010, the website allowed customers to personalize products such as t-shirts and mugs. In 2011, Myntra started selling fashion and lifestyle products and moved away from personalisation. In May 2014, online marketplace Flipkart acquired Myntra. In 2016, Myntra acquired Jabong beating contenders Snapdeal and Future Group, bolstering Myntra’s share in the Indian fashion market.

Today, Myntra houses over 6,000 international as well as Indian fashion and lifestyle brands and services over 19,000 pin codes across the country. In the financial year 2022, Myntra’s operating revenue surged 45.5% to Rs. 35.01 billion according to the company’s consolidated annual financial statements.

  1. Tata CLiQ 

Mumbai-based Tata CLiQ is a flagship digital commerce initiative by Tata Unistore Ltd. of the Tata Group. Founded in May 2016, Tata CLiQ operates in categories such as fashion, footwear and accessories.

Prior to focussing entirely on fashion, Tata CliQ used to sell electronics as well before exiting the category in 2022.

In December 2016, the company launched Tata CLiQ Luxury, a luxury fashion and lifestyle venture, which offers apparel and accessories for men and women by over 100 luxury and bridge-to-luxury brands including Balmain, Burberry, Aldo, Armani Jeans, Swarovski, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Gucci, Fossil, Michael Kors, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.

Tata Unistore Ltd the company that owns and operates Tata Cliq reported a 137% increase in revenue to reach Rs 844.6 crore in FY22 as per a report by Outlook India.

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