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Role of e-commerce in aiding India’s increasing fashion consciousness, ET Retail


The Indian fashion industry is constantly evolving. A multifaceted market, it is a thriving landscape that caters to a broad spectrum of consumers. Research suggests that the sector is slated for buoyant growth in the coming years. For instance, the Indian textile and apparel industry is predicted to grow at 10% CAGR from 2019-20 to reach $190 billion by 2025-26. This growth is attributed to the rapid digitization of consumers and brands post-pandemic.

In recent times, the rise of e-commerce has added a new dimension to the Indian fashion industry, fostering a prolific market. While fashion has always been an aspirational category, e-commerce is solving for accessibility and affordability in a big way. The online fashion market in India has been expanding rapidly over the last few years, contributing significantly to the overall fashion industry.

Impact of e-commerce on increasing fashion consciousness

With seamless transactions and accessibility, e-commerce in fashion has addressed people’s growing fashion aspirations with a simple tap of the button – bringing the entire ‘fashionable’ world to their fingertips. Today, consumers across India and Bharat have access to international brands and wide product portfolios ,available in the remotest regions of the country. On the other side of the spectrum, the Indian fashion industry has reached new heights with the help of e-commerce. Specifically, it has allowed small and medium-sized enterprises to expand their reach beyond geographic limitations and reach a wider audience.Home to over 700 million internet users and 500 million users consuming videos across platforms, almost 190 million were shoppers, and experts at the India Fashion forum expect to reach 400 million online shoppers in the next few years. It is important to note that this includes not only shoppers in metros, but also from Tier 2 and 3 cities and rural areas. E-commerce has brought all users on the same platform, creating a level playing field for both sellers and shoppers. The demarcations, which existed in the traditional retail world are now blurred, creating parity, where in a few clicks, you can go from browsing an international brand to a street wear collection. The aspirational shoppers from all socioeconomic backgrounds get access to every single collection, equally, at an affordable price. They can now stay on-trend and adorn to the newest looks and ensembles. With the availability of an enhanced product portfolio, young Indian consumers can explore different fashion styles and trends and express themselves with confidence. E-commerce is empowering consumers and breaking down barriers to embrace their true self, especially in Tier 2 markets and beyond.

Further, e-commerce platforms have also enabled features such as returns policy and ‘buy now pay later’ to enhance consumer convenience, technology has helped take personalization to newer heights. When a consumer goes online to buy clothes, e-commerce platforms can provide customized recommendations, based on their shopping patterns. This considerably reduces the hassle of sifting through scores of products to find the perfect fit that the consumer is looking for. This essentially means that even if two people are searching for the same product, they will see different results, which cater to their tastes.

Personalisation creates a valuable shopping experience, where customers are provided with recommendations to complete their shopping journey and ‘shop for the right look’. The right look not only in terms of style but also in terms of budget, e-commerce platforms allow users to apply price range and discount filters to find the best pick within their budget. The End of Season Sales are eagerly awaited across the country, customers step online to shop in high numbers, as they yearn to upgrade their wardrobes and obtain maximum value for their money.

Tech innovations helping the consumer make an informed choice

Besides democratizing access to everything fashionable, online shopping has also eased the experience with the aid of several tech innovations. Technology-enabled innovations such as video cataloging, live-commerce, and virtual try-on (VTO) have further improved the online shopping experience, making it easier for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.

Moving from text-based search to Image search has enhanced the consumers’ shopping experience. Research suggests that the human brain can process an entire image in just 13 milliseconds, meaning they’re processed 6 to 600 times faster than text. To this effect, filtering products by category and manually searching prove to be time-consuming for consumers, who often give up after several failed experiences of finding the desired product. With e-commerce platforms introducing Image search options it has proved to be a powerful tool, enabling shoppers to identify products and make quicker purchase decisions.

E-commerce is providing the tailwinds for the growth of the Indian fashion industry. It is also helping consumers have greater access to a wider range of products and enabling them in exploring different fashion styles and trends. With support from e-commerce, India’s fashion landscape will continue to evolve, offering more opportunities for consumers to express themselves through fashion.

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

  • Published On Oct 4, 2023 at 04:43 PM IST

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