The concepts of e-commerce and e-marketplace have revolutionised the fashion industry in more than one way. Not only can one shop from the convenience of the home, one can ensure that favoured brands will still find a way into ones wardrobe.
Research has proved that apparel sales on e-commerce portals have soared beyond the expectation while surpassing the sales of all other categories. B2C growth analysis reports from around the world, especially India, have shown that the influence of the Internet in dictating purchases and shaping sales patterns has increased significantly.
In fact, a study concluded that apparel and accessories are among the highest grossing sales categories in northern America, western Europe and developed Asian countries. The global share of online product purchasers, especially in apparel fashion is more in these countries than in other parts of the world. Many a times this figure beats other popular categories such as books and video games. The conclusion that we can draw from these reports is that the apparel fashion industry in countries such as India is seeing a boom due to the presence of online shopping portals.
Popularising regional and traditional garments
In India, e-commerce portals have boosted sales of regional apparel. Right from special variants of ethnic wedding dresses to traditional costumes, the onset of shopping in the digital age has brought Indias handicraft heritage into the limelight.
There are many traditional garments in the country whose sales were originally limited to the geographical area where the weaving community was located. However, nowadays even small and medium enterprises can get an e-commerce portal built and offer their products to a larger audience.
The rise of e-commerce is one of the biggest reasons for traditional and regional apparel becoming trendy. For instance, a Bhagalpuri silk saree was once appreciated by only a select few. However, when it is marketed on an e-commerce portal, a visitor is bound to come across the name, even if it is by accident, thereby increasing the level of awareness among the populace about this kind of saree. Awareness means that there is a potential customer base that can be tapped if needed.
Apparel, accessories, jewellery, footwear, books, games, electronics nothing becomes popular until and unless younger men and women are talking about it. It could be boho, it could be elegant, may be couture or simply traditional, but the aim is to generate a buzz within the 15-35 age group. Its important to consider this range because there are many different types of young audiences that can be taken care of by e-commerce portals. There are teenagers who are exploring different kinds of styles and are more open to experimenting with different apparel.
Then come the collegians, the ones who frequent parties, special occasions and social gatherings and therefore always on the lookout for new and inventive or traditional and reinvented clothes. Next, are working men and women who have the maximum amount of purchasing power, especially if theyre flying solo.
Lastly, there are adults — working men and women who are settling into their groove and therefore stocking up the wardrobe, especially with traditional, exotic garments that will help them stand out in the crowd at social gatherings.
Wider target audience
The role that e-commerce plays in popularising apparel fashion cannot be limited to a state or even a countrys borders. One of the biggest contributions of the e-commerce revolution to apparel fashion is that it has brought the world a lot closer and bound it together in yarns and weaves, literally and figuratively.
A garment that was once indigenous to only one country, like Indias sarees, has now become accessible to fashion centres across the globe. Right from Milan and Paris to the glamorous red carpet events in the United States of America, elements of foreign fashion are no longer foreign. Irrespective of whether the apparel falls on the traditional side of the spectrum or modern; the number of takers have increased manifold through e-commerce. While a lot depends on miscellaneous factors on how online marketing works, the fact is that the potential exists.
Grabbing customer attention by offering helpful tips and tricks
Some of the biggest online apparel fashion brands in India use their portals to give styling tips and tricks to visitors including any kind of information that visitors can use to enhance their style. Apparel fashion tips like what top to wear with which lower or footwear and for what occasion, happening styles and types, which apparel goes best with which body type, are just some of the many articles one might find on such websites.
This information acts as a double-edged sword where people buying from the website can figure out how best to use the product or people surfing for new trends and styles can be drawn into becoming purchasers. Either way, there is an intense amount of customer take-back which ensures brand loyalty.
An e-commerce portal is no longer only a platform for craftsmen to sell their products. For the more advanced strategists, e-commerce sites are ideal for spreading useful information. Its absolutely incredible how e-commerce sites can be used to turn visitors into consumers of apparel fashion.