$30bn of Fashion market to be digitally influenced by 2020: Study

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): India is in the midst of a digital transformation and fashion is at the forefront of this change.

Of the 70Bn dollars Indian Fashion market today, 7-9bn dollars is already digitally influenced. This influence is expected to multiply nearly 4 times to reach 30bn dollars by 2020, a staggering number which will constitute 60-70 percent of the total branded apparel market.

All this digital transformation is happening on the mobile with as many as 85 percent online apparel shoppers preferring mobile over any other device.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) along with Facebook, today, released a report titled 'Fashion Forward 2020' that focuses on the rising influence of digital in the Fashion industry.

The report reveals that Fashion is the first category that most people buy online with nearly 30 percent of new shoppers likely to start buying online with Apparel and Footwear. Fashion E-commerce today, is already sizeable at 4-5 percent of total Fashion market and, is comparable to sales from department stores put together. Further, the report points out that online purchase for Fashion category will multiply nearly four times to reach 12-14bn dollars by 2020 accounting for a significant 11-12 percent share of Indian Fashion market. 40 percent of this growth will be driven by a spurt in new shoppers, while the remaining will be driven by maturing existing shoppers.

Speaking about the key findings of the report, Rohit Ramesh, Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group, India said, "The spurt of new Fashion shoppers will bring with it a fundamental shift in the profile of online fashion shoppers. The 2020 shopper will no longer be the typical young, metro-residing male of today - By 2020, nearly half the shopper base will be women, more than 50 percent will come from lower tiers (Tier 2 or even lower) and 37 percent will be older than 35 years of age."

The report then talks about how the changing face of the fashion consumer will bring about a change in the online purchase behaviour. Today, while discounts are the largest drivers of online shopping, the new online shopper will look beyond discounts. Women and lower tier shoppers, for example, are driven more by variety while older shoppers care more about convenience. Hence, the online fashion market will increasingly pivot towards variety and convenience.

"This report clearly lays out the pivotal role of digital in the fashion industry; this trend is not limited to urban metros alone but is spreading across geographic and demographic segments. By 2020, 33 percent of all urban fashion consumers will buy online which means for a mobile first country like India wewill witness a high number of purchases taking place on the mobile said Umang Bedi, Managing Director, Facebook India and South Asia.

He added, "Mobile has become central not just to the way brands market and sell, but also how they design products, plan merchandizing and engage with customers end-to-end."

A key finding of the report is around the interplay of online and offline channels in consumer paths to purchase. The online shoppers are using a number of channels to discover, research and purchase apparel. Digital has become a significant channel in the entire journey of the consumers and not just the purchase stage. Consumers are increasingly going online to discover the latest trends, designs and get to know about brands. A quarter of all transactions by online apparel shoppers are conducted entirely online. In the future, this is expected to rise as consumer confidence in online shopping increases. The report showcases multiple opportunities for digital to further strengthen customer experiences across these purchase journeys.

The report call outs the need for shift in media spending towards digital where further scope exists for brands and retailers as currently only 10-15 percent of ad spends are on digital media, despite the magnitude of digital influence on fashion spends. The report finally draws out implications for fashion players to win in this digital world which include 'here & now' strategies like leveraging digital to connect with consumer across the various touch-points to more futuristic strategies like optimizing assortment at 'individual' level and digital-enabled personalization. (ANI)