Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has identified fashion as one of the topmost verticals for the company. For Amazon India too fashion continues to be one of the top three verticals. Mayank Shivam, Category Leader, Amazon Fashion in an interview with Business Standard’s Arindam Majumdar outlines how the company wants to make the portal a one stop destination for fashion. On cards are increasing designer products and fashion content for customers. Edited excerpts:
Why fashion has become so important for Amazon India?
We started about two years back. Today we have more than 5,000 brands. We have close to 800 percent year-on-year and that is like nine percent than last year. We are one of the top three categories for Amazon India. The pecking order keeps changing but we will consistently be among the top three. During the recent Diwali sales, we saw a seven times jump compared to last year’s sales.
Fashion is something which is core to any of the portals. When we look at fashion in Amazon we don’t believe in catering to a small group of people. It is one of the fundamental things because online has been able to bring a choice of various national and international brands at different price points. I think that’s what has spurt the growth.
What is Amazon doing to gain from this?
One is increasing the availability of choice. Beside top brands we are trying to get top designer stores with 20 designers such as Manish Arora and Anju Modi. We have a crafted in India store where we have products according to regional choice. Then there is the international shoe store that has nine Amazon-only brands, which have been brought here for the first time. So we are not just working towards the base, but also towards having niche selections.
The second is increasing the amount of fashion content. Customers are no longer coming to buy but also to consume a lot of fashion content. We have formed a large editorial team with a creative director who will be responsible to bring trend stories.
Our team consists of fashion writers, art directors. The stories will be about new launches. We have our editorial shoots for which we have a team.
The third is technology. We want to make the discovery of products as smooth as possible. Some customers may want to buy a specific offering, and we need to get the right search options for them. Others may behave like they are at a mall — walk around, browse and buy. For such customers we have the brand stores and category selections such as t-shirt store.
What percentages of the sales are coming from mobile?
We have more than 50 per cent of our sales coming from mobile. The trend is very good for us. We have also got good response from outside metro cities which should be around 50 per cent.
Since a lot of your sales come s from mobile, will Amazon consider going mobile-first and then subsequently app-only?
The way we look at it is that we let our customers choose. So we will be on all platforms. Having said that, we see a great momentum from mobile traffic. That’s why we have a lot of our stores which are only mobile first.
How do you see the challenge from specialised fashion websites? Amazon has also acquired Shoefitr- a specialized website in USA. Are you open to similar acquisitions in India?
We don’t speculate but if there is a gap or challenge to customer, we will take necessary steps to address that. We don’t rule out anything.