eBay zooms in on fashion & lifestyle

Online marketplace giant eBay is sharpening focus on the fashion and lifestyle segment in India saying that buyers are looking beyond electronics and gadgets to shop on e-commerce sites.

EBay India, which started operations nine years ago, also said that with growing awareness among people from tier II and III cities about online shopping, the trend to buy clothes and accessories online will further gain momentum.

"We have a razor sharp focus on fashion and lifestyle on our platform. One reason is that while a shopper will usually buy an electronic item or gadget once is a long time, say a year or so, those who purchase clothing and accessories would be doing this more frequently, like a month," eBay India Managing Director Latif Nathani told PTI.

Analysts attribute growth in e-commerce to increasingly young crowd going online to shop for products, not just travel tickets and mobiles, but also fashion accessories, clothing and household items.

Besides, the growth is also being fuelled by a surge in consumption of fashion and lifestyle products, primarily driven by increasing women shoppers in the country, he added.

Already, the US-based firm is seeing 50 per cent of its business coming from the tier II and III cities in India with growing Internet use, smartphone penetration and rising income levels helping small cities to rise on the e-commerce roadmap.

"To cater to the growing fashion-centric consumers across 4,306 cities, towns and villages in India, we have sharpened our focus on fashion by offering over 200,000 products across 1,000 fashion brands," Nathani said.

According to the eBay India Census 2012, 41 per cent of its transactions happen in the Lifestyle category, while 48 per cent happen in the Electronics category.

Quoting analyst figures, he said India is witnessing growth in e-commerce and this is expected to continue.

According to digital research firm ComScore, e-commerce industry attracts 30 million unique visitors to online shopping websites every month in India, Nathani said.

Another research firm Forrester expects the market to touch USD 3.2 billion in 2014 with a growth rate of 60 per cent year-on-year, he added.

Besides, offering popular brands such as United Colors of Benetton, Biba, Remanika, AND, Stop, PUMA and Chemistry, eBay India also gives space to regional brands to reach out to its 2.1 million strong active consumer base.

"We have over 500 regional brands like Do Bhai, Ishta, Shree, Pehran, Pothy's, PN Gadgil, Roopkashish to name a few. We are offering an unmatched selection of fashion and lifestyle products across national brands and regional specialities," Nathani said.

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