Why Does Business Need an Online Presence!
We’re in 2020. So it strikes as strange that a majority of India’s fashion designers did not have their own e-commerce websites till the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic brought that point home. Many still don’t.
A report by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) says that India’s e-commerce market is expected to grow from $38.5 billion in 2017 to $200 billion by 2026. Even the most traditional touch-and-feel retailers, our high-end jewellers, took to e-commerce years ago. But it is only in the past six months that we’ve seen designer websites pop up one after another. Finally.
From established names like Moksha Lakkars and Prasanna Kumari to upcoming ones like Kshitij Jalori and Qbik, many have taken this time to launch their e-com platforms. Prashanth, Founder of Websolva, a company that provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions, counts over 15 fashion labels, big and small — from Lakkars to Nagavalli & Nandana Silks, Ruchi Singh to Sharath — who’s worked with his firm to launch their websites since the lockdown. He has more in the works. But what held them back so far?
For upcoming designer and founder of “LAKKARS” Prasanna Kumari, whose website went live on August 9, it was all about making her online retail experience as seamless as possible. “I wanted to cut out the clutter and focus on the clothes,” she says. Prasanna says that young labels have the advantage of not needing to live up to brand expectations. “They can continue adding various services according to their specific learnings,” she offers.
In the end, it is a mix of three things that makes for a success story. According to Prasanna Kumari: an easy, retail-oriented interface; solid social media outreach and advertising; and pricing that works for your product online.
While launching a website in itself guarantees nothing even at the best of times, it should by now be evident that having one is as essential as sewing labels onto the garments they produce. It takes an initial investment of ₹2 to 5 lakhs to start a website, on average (designers and developers are loath to share exact figures, though). And going by the recent bloom of website launches, it seems like an investment worth the name. Ongoing launches also show that our designers aren’t sitting idle; that the business of selling clothes, on which millions depend for their livelihoods, will continue to thrive in the times to come.