Of Kids, Clothes and Clicks

Mr Sharad Venkta, MD & CEO, Toonz Re­tail, gives us a lowdown on the in­creas­ing space for chil­drenswear in the e-com­merce seg­ment.

Apparel - - Contents -

A re­port on the in­creas­ing space for chil­drenswear in e-com­merce

Chil­drenswear has taken a great leap in the e-com­merce space to be­come one of the most lu­cra­tive seg­ments in the in­dus­try. The rea­son for the same is a change in the pref­er­ences of par­ents and chil­dren, changes in buy­ing pat­terns, and a wide va­ri­ety of op­tions avail­able. Along with this, an in­crease in dis­pos­able in­comes is also one of the most im­por­tant rea­sons of this ma­jor change. Chil­drenswear in In­dia is no longer lim­ited to com­fort dress­ing only. There is an in­creas­ing need to be seen as fash­ion­able. Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try es­ti­mates, the re­tail value of the kids’ ap­parel mar­ket in In­dia was R80,000 crore in the year 2017. The


chil­drenswear mar­ket is ex­pected to grow at CAGR of 15 per cent by the year 2020. The chil­drenswear mar­ket has per­co­lated down to tier II & tier III towns like Pune, Nasik, In­dore, etc. Chil­drenswear is the only seg­ment which has been safe from eco­nomic crises so far and hence, it is the most promis­ing seg­ment in the ap­parel mar­ket. In­dia is a lu­cra­tive mar­ket as it is also one of the youngest na­tions in the world and 30 per cent of its pop­u­la­tion is less than 14 years of age.


As kids are on­line from a very young age, a lot of brands have shifted their fo­cus and have turned to­wards e-com­merce for sales. Chil­dren get in­flu­enced eas­ily by the prod­ucts they see on­line. Be­sides kids, even the par­ents have now be­come ac­quainted with shop­ping on­line. Kids today have a greater sway over their par­ents’ buy­ing de­ci­sions. Due to this, chil­drenswear has be­come very im­por­tant and also one of the fastest grow­ing seg­ments. Be­sides their own web­site, com­pa­nies also launch their brands also on var­i­ous e-com­merce por­tals like Ama­zon, Flip­kart, Myn­tra, and others.

Un­til very re­cently, brands were slightly skep­ti­cal when it came to in­vest­ing in this cat­e­gory. Be­cause of the mis­takes made by ear­lier brands or not be­ing able to sur­vive the mar­ket pres­sure, many brands de­cided not to en­ter the busi­ness, as a re­sult of which the growth of the en­tire in­dus­try slowed down. But the re­cent ad­vent of e-com­merce has changed the sce­nario. Brands have started to re­alise the im­por­tance of e-com­merce and the in­dus­try has re­ceived a much needed boost. The e-com­merce space in In­dia is now flooded with nu­mer­ous chil­drenswear brands that are ready to ex­per­i­ment with their prod­ucts. Ini­tially, there was a lot of skep­ti­cism about the growth of on­line shop­ping, be­cause In­di­ans are tac­tile shop­pers, who love to touch and feel an out­fit be­fore buy­ing it. Over the years, e-com­merce has been able to break this stereo­type.

Brands are now also de­vel­op­ing their of­fer­ings in var­i­ous niche cat­e­gories like in­fant wear, kids for­mal wear, swim wear, eth­nic wear, etc., along with a wide range of mer­chan­dise for chil­dren.


The e-com­merce space has been par­tic­u­larly fruit­ful for fash­ion. Although chil­dren in cer­tain age groups might not be on­line, their par­ents cer­tainly are, and this ac­cess to the in­ter­net ex­poses par­ents to newer styles for their chil­dren. A lot of brands favour launch­ing them­selves on­line first as there is no cap­i­tal in­volved. The kids’ fash­ion seg­ment has been the high­est grow­ing seg­ment in the cat­e­gory. As com­pared to the over­all life­style seg­ment, this seg­ment has grown at more than twice the av­er­age pace. The growth of the on­line seg­ment is quite ap­par­ent if we ob­serve the sales fig­ures of var­i­ous on­line por­tals.

Ex­clu­siv­ity is an­other factor. There are some brands that are ex­clu­sive to one e-com­merce por­tal as they be­lieve that it helps them grow in a much bet­ter way. In the cur­rent sce­nario, kids have many op­tions when it comes to cloth­ing, like that of adults. Mod­ern kids are much more aware than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions, and are likely to make their own shop­ping de­ci­sions. Thanks to in­tense me­dia ex­po­sure, they have also be­come brand con­scious.

An­other factor that is re­spon­si­ble for the im­mense growth of e-com­merce is the dis­counts it of­fers. Dis­counts are known to be the ma­jor driver of sales. The price-con­scious In­dian con­sumer fac­tors both con­ve­nience and dis­counts while buy­ing prod­ucts on­line. For all those par­ents who do not have time to go out and shop, on­line re­tail is im­mensely use­ful.


Since 2012, In­dia has seen tremen­dous growth in In­ter­net users amongst a wide age group of the pop­u­la­tion. Be­fore this, the gar­ments were pur­chased only from stores and shops. The ways of shop­ping are chang­ing. As per re­ports, 75 per cent of the to­tal in­ter­net users are be­low 35 years of age. This sec­tion is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a 70 per cent year-on-year growth. As of now, around 481 mil­lion In­dian users have ac­cess to the In­ter­net, and by the year 2020, the num­ber could in­crease to 600 mil­lion. In other words, on­line chil­drenswear mar­ket is set to grow four times as com­pared to now and will surely con­tribute to the growth of the e-com­merce seg­ment.

As com­pared to the west, in In­dia, the max­i­mum buy­ers be­long to the age group of 0-5 years. As the chil­drenswear and ac­ces­sories mar­ket is grow­ing in In­dia, it is at­tract­ing a lot of in­ter­na­tional brands to the coun­try. Par­ents are con­stantly look­ing for more and more op­tions for their chil­dren at a rea­son­able price. Be­cause of the huge growth of the chil­drenswear mar­ket

in In­dia, for­eign brands are keen to en­ter this seg­ment. In or­der to make that hap­pen, In­dian brands have started fo­cus­ing on the sup­ply chain, hon­ing their prod­uct, im­prov­ing their ware­house stor­age and lo­gis­tics – as th­ese fac­tors are im­por­tant to the growth of any ap­parel seg­ment.

Brands have started em­brac­ing tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion at a pace like never be­fore. It is ex­pected that by 2020, In­dia will gen­er­ate rev­enue of around $100 bil­lion in the on­line re­tail seg­ment, and out of this $100 bil­lion, $35 bil­lion will be through e-com­merce seg­ment (35 per cent share of this seg­ment be­ing the chil­drenswear in­dus­try). The new gen­er­a­tion is a gen­er­a­tion of the in­ter­net. It comes as no sur­prise that chil­drenswear has emerged as the new kid on the e-com­merce block.


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