The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the traditional retail sector hard, making brands realise the importance of shifting towards a digital-first, direct-to-consumer (D2C) model. Many industry segments have already embraced this digital transformation, but the world of fashion has possibly witnessed the biggest shift.
Despite the lack of touch and feel in the time of stringent social distancing, fashion retailers have pushed their products online and seen good business. But it has not happened without the tech edge. AR/VR and machine learning have been extensively used for product viewing and virtual fitting. Return policies have been relaxed to give customers a much-needed window. Even digital fashion weeks and virtual shows took off in a small way although big global brands refrained from showcasing their most eye-catching collections. But one trend is quite clear even amid the pandemic mayhem. The online fashion market is on the rise due to a major shift in consumer behaviour, mostly triggered by safety concerns and the fast-changing lockdown policies during the second wave of Covid-19.
Interestingly, fashion has the highest potential among all segments contributing to the D2C market. It will account for 43% of the $100 Bn D2C market opportunity by 2025, according to a recent release by Inc42 Plus titled The Rise Of India’s D2C: Market Landscape And Trends Report, 2021.
The Fashion D2C segment is not only leading in terms of potential but also attracting investor interest. It has raised the highest funding of $756 Mn among all D2C segments in India, followed by FMCG & Home Decor.
Which Fashion D2C Brand Leads The Indian Market
Popular eyewear brand Lenskart led Fashion D2C brands with a revenue of INR 963.7 Cr in FY20. The company was in the black in FY20 and clocked a profit of INR 17.7 Cr. The eyewear retailer currently operates 700 stores in India, claims to serve more than 400K customers a month and says that it accounts for nearly 30% of India’s organised eyewear market. It joined the coveted unicorn club in FY20 after raising INR 1,645 Cr ($231 Mn) from SoftBank Vision Fund II, Lightbulb Ltd. as part of its Series G funding.
The Way Forward For Fashion D2C Brands In India
The apparel and footwear category is expected to dominate the D2C fashion market, accounting for nearly 77.1% of the total market by 2025. The focus on sustainability, technology integration (AI, AR/VR, ML and more), growing personalisation, omnichannel business model, championing social awareness and leveraging influencer and content marketing are a few of the emerging trends among the Fashion D2C brands in India.
To know more about what is trending in the Fashion D2C industry, download the full report.