The ecommerce industry in India is booming and the number of people who prefer to shop online is on the rise. But with shopping websites spreading throughout the internet like grains of sands, looking for a product can get very tiresome. If one needs to buy a pair of shoes, he needs to browse several websites to compare prices and check for availability, but what if all of these websites were brought under a single roof?
Fabence.com has done exactly the same. Anshul Gupta, a second year student at Shri Ram College of Commerce founded Fabence.com in January 2014, with an aim to bring all major online fashion houses on a single page and simplify the process of online shopping for the consumers. Hence, Fabence.com provides a platform to the consumers to discover fashion products from various websites in a single view.
It was Anshul’s personal experience which led to the establishment of this startup. While looking for a buttoned down shirt online and after visiting numerous websites, he failed to find what he was looking for. That made him realize that it was a tiresome process and moreover, there was no assistance for the user when it came to making fashion related purchases. Since no other player had been able to solve this problem, the idea of an aggregator website to list products from all these websites came into existence. Anshul had always established an idea that Fabence would not only be a fashion discovery portal but will use technology to assist users with a set of algorithms.
How does it work?
Fabence.com is a fashion discovery platform which processes the search results and provides the user with all available options from the websites. If someone searches for a dress, dresses from all the websites will be listed on Fabence. Then after selection, the user will be redirected to the merchant site to complete the purchase.
Why is Fabence so unique?
Fabence aims at integrating technology and fashion with the help of a technological approach and a set of algorithms to provide best search results. The ease of discovery, user interface and searching ability helps Fabence stand out among the rest. They claim to have the most detailed filters in the market and a category based quick search which allows free text search to the users. Their focus on even the smallest factors has led to minor changes which will prove beneficial in the long run. Their main focus is to make online shopping real-time so that the experience compares to physical shopping.
Challenges faced by the team
Being a student, convincing himself to take the entrepreneurship jump was a challenge, says Anshul and self-conviction was important for him. The biggest challenge faced was to convince the industry biggies like Myntra, Flipkart and Snapdeal to integrate with Fabence and after a specific time, Anshul realized he had been doing it wrong all this time. He changed the way he was pitching Fabence and rest is history. Working on algorithms posed a problem for the team at an early stage.
The Present Standing
Currently, the startup works on a commission based monetization model and the commission cut varies from vendor to vendor. The startup has received 60% of its funding from undisclosed angel investors and is in talks with several other investors. With investors in talks, they plan on expanding their team of 7 as and when required.
Current user statistics
With a growth rate of 70%, month-over-month, Fabence has a run rate of around 80K visits. Their main focus has been on direct and SEO based growth along with activity on social media platforms. Off the total users, 60% percent go to merchant websites and approximately 2% make transactions. Their current user retention rate is 25-30% and they are continuously working on improving it.
The Road Ahead- Competition and the international market
Yebhi.com, focuses mainly on men and women clothing and Roposo, caters to women fashion are the two main competitors that Fabence has, but, because of their unique search abilities and ability to cater to fashion for all ages and genders, Fabence has an advantage over them. According to reports, the online fashion market was worth $559 Mn in 2013 and by the end of 2016, it will be worth $2.8 Bn. And since the online fashion industry is growing at such a fast pace, the market for Fabence is huge. This growth has led to an increase in number of ecommerce websites selling fashion products online which will provide Fabence with an expanded base.
With the booming online fashion industry and the increasing number of online fashion stores, it seems like Fabence has a very expanded market which needs to be tapped and their expansion plans will lead them to a better designed and more organized functioning. Also, their approach to combine technology with a normal fashion discovery aggregator website will give them an edge over its competitors.