BENGLARU: Consumer electronics continue to feature prominently in Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days, but the e-commerce platform sees fashion as being vital to its future.

“It is a category that will see a massive explosion and penetration,” according to CMO Shoumyan Biswas.

In evidence, he pointed to the platform’s own data. “We see 40% of the new customers that we acquire are actually acquired through fashion as a category alone,” he told The Drum. “All the other categories contribute 60% put together.”

And having gained those customers, “when we look at repeat transactions, we see that 70% of customers, who repeat with us, come and shop on fashion”.

For a long time, however, Flipkart was seen as a “horizontal platform”, mostly selling mobile phones and electronic devices with fashion just one of several other categories.

But that perception has been changing, with the 2014 acquisition of fashion e-commerce business Myntra, the 2016 purchase of Jabong and last year’s launch of a private-label fashion brand Divastri being backed up by advertising and content marketing promoting Flipkart’s fashion credentials.

“Today we have a dominant and pole position in the fashion category in the country,” Biswas declared. “[W]e use content very intelligently and subtly to drive commerce, to educate people on various aspects of fashion, in terms of what is trending, what is not trending, how to drape saris, what to wear to parties and so on and so forth.”

His view is that there are generally two kinds of fashion brands: ones that have mass appeal but which are not aspirational and vice versa. “In India, with Flipkart fashion we are actually trying to break, or find the balance between the two,” he explained.

While Bollywood actors have been recruited to add the aspirational element to Flipkart’s campaigns, Biswas also stressed the importance of local factors in engaging consumers. Its marketing plans see the retailer getting city-specific.

“So we are going and telling people why everyone in Jaipur is actually shopping from Flipkart fashion and so should you,” he said. “The biggest number of ethnic wear sold in Jaipur, the biggest number of footwear sold in Jaipur, the biggest number of kids wear sold in Jaipur are on Flipkart fashion.

“Flipkart fashion is the fashion capital of India, even for Jaipur. That is the kind of regional marketing that we are doing.”

Sourced from The Drum; additional content by WARC staff