Snapdeal, India's largest value-focused online e-commerce company, today shared that sales in its fashion category have grown by 210% in the first six months of 2021 (January - June).
The growth was driven by users replenishing their wardrobe to meet WFH clothing needs ("Zoom fashion" that includes mostly waist-up garments like T-Shirts, Shirts and Tops). Another reason that drove fashion purchases was the desire to buy new clothes to meet friends and family after a long gap and also to meet travel needs.
After fifteen months of covid-induced changes, apparel purchases are more attuned to comfort needs and to suit new work lifestyles, with a large percentage of people continuing to work from home. This has led to volume growth in casual wear including lounge wear (tracks, shorts, t-shirts, tops, dresses etc), athleisure sportswear and masks.
"Value-buying" has emerged as a common theme cutting across buyers and categories in the apparel sector. On an average, the popular price range for a single fashion item on Snapdeal is now anywhere between Rs 300 - Rs 450, as compared to Rs 450 - 550 in 2020. In fact, on Snapdeal the purchases within the Rs 450 segment have doubled to 40% in H1 2021 as compared to H1 2020.
The wallet share of fashion buyers moving from expensive brands to more affordable value for money brands can be attributed to multiple reasons including the impact of second wave, apprehensions of further waves, increased online supply of value-merchandise and consumers repriotising their budgets & priorities. In a recent Snapdeal survey, consumers mentioned that "while they expect to spend less per garment than they usually do, that doesn't necessarily mean they plan to buy less."
Elaborating more on its customer survey findings, Snapdeal spokesperson said, "Many of our fashion customers are between the ages of 18-27 and they have mostly been at home since the beginning of the pandemic. However, instead of waiting for the chance to socialize more freely, they are adapting to virtual interactions. This includes sharing their new wardrobe choices with their networks over social media and in virtual interactions. The desire to update their social media with their latest images and videos has been a strong reason for them to buy newer trends, albeit at more affordable and reasonable prices."
In the women's fashion category, while total sales of units grew by 3.5 times in the past six months, salwar suits grew 7 times clocking the highest growth in the category. Sarees, kurtis, dresses, activewear and nightwear also showed multi-fold growth. With comfort taking priority, flared pants & palazzos gained popularity over jeans and skin-tight trousers.
In men's fashion the segment grew 3.25 times, including loungewear, athleisure and innerwear. Daily average orders in the Upperwear category especially T-shirts, polos, shirts, and innerwear went up by 100% - where shoppers preferred seasonally relevant, summer cool collections made of light fabrics, soft colours and summer prints.
Snapdeal's approach to fashion has been to quickly adapt to consumer expectations - focusing on utility, styling, and sizing - all designed to align with the fashion needs of Indian buyers. To meet this Snapdeal now launches fresh products every month across categories and has value-buys in ?249 to ?499 price range and attractive collections & combos for GenZ and Millennials.
While the apparel and fashion industry has undergone pandemic led changes, it is on a path of steady growth on the back of more utility and functional choices and value prices.