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99labels.com: Buoyant about future of e-tailing

By FashionUnited


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Witnessing a steady month-to-month growth of 20 per cent, online, flash-sale site 99labels.com is positive about the future of e-commerce in India. As Ishita Swarup, CEO& Co-founder, 99labels.com says, “With India poised to have the third

largest net users by 2013, a stable economy and bad traffic conditions, we certainly look forward to more online purchasers. And when they step into the world of e-tail, 99labels will be the most exciting shopping option.”

site sells a wide spectrum of fashion and lifestyle merchandise from luxury and premium brands to upcoming ones at a discounted rate of up to 90 per cent. The platform offer members a variety of categories like apparel, accessories, footwear, home accessories et al. Targeted at working, independent women in the age group of 25 to 45 years living in metros, the site also witnesses numerous men shoppers. Swarup explains, “Although we primarily cater to women, we have an active male buyer base. 99labels hosts numerous sales in premium shirt and T-shirt brands like Christian Audigier, Ed Hardy, Giorgio Armani, Cerruti, CK, FCUK, Benetton, American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch. Given that these brands are trusted and widely popular, these sales do well.”

Elaborating on the initial challenges being faced by 99labels she says, “The biggest challenge was to get women (whose online presence is small) to shop online. When we started, most sites catered to men and targeted them and women rarely transacted online. However, today, 55 per cent of our buyer base is women and they are active, repeat buyers. In future, we shall see more and more women shopping online and this can be attributed to not just greater access to internet connectivity but also increasing financial independence as a result of more women working outside the home.”

E- retailing or ‘e-tailing’ as it is now called, is a significant part of the e-commerce boom. The space was pegged at Rs 2700 crores for 2011 and is expected to grow into Rs 5300 crores industry by 2013. Fashion and lifestyle categories constitute 20 per cent of the e-retailing space, and it is currently being pegged at attaining Rs 1000 crores peak by 2013. Apparel has interestingly become one of the most selling categories online.

While earlier, more of accessories were sold now the largest selling category is apparels. However, it needs to be treated with caution because of the fleeting nature of styles and trends, as well as aspects of size and suitability. However, being pioneers, they knew this would be a challenge they would have to overcome.

Within three years the site has seen tremendous growth, from hosting one new sale per day to having 12-15 new sales every day. “Growth has been brisk and given the scope for catering to new markets, we hope to see growth continue for a long time to come. Initially we were primarily focusing on member acquisition and brand building. While that remains an important part, we are now focusing on streamlining our processes and bettering our back-end functions for an even better experience for the customer,” Swarup sums up on a buoyant note.
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