Having tasted success in selling through online marketplaces, branded apparel manufacturer Madura Fashion & Lifestyle is now focused on growing its own multi-brand fashion e-commerce portal, Trendin.com, which was launched in an alpha-stage in March 2013. Madura Fashion, a part of Aditya Birla Nuvo, has been running commercially for around six months now and sells merchandise of the company's popular brands such as Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Peter England and People.
Trendin.com has been developed internally by Madura Fashion and is headed by Shivanandan Pare, a former executive of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group official. Pare was brought on board by Madura Lifestyle in December 2011 to spearhead the company's entry into e-commerce directly.
"Growth in sales through e-commerce have been very high for us. The growth rate in the online space is certainly at a level that we are not seeing in the brick-and-mortar model," Pare told Business Standard. "Also, as a brick-and-mortar retailer, there is a challenge of reaching out to tier III and tier IV cities, but Trendin.com is allowing us to bridge that gap and we are seeing several orders from these smaller places."
The company now has a team of around 100 employees focused on expanding its e-commerce business, who work like a startup despite being a part of a traditional retailing company.
The company hopes to ensure that the consumer experience on Trendin.com are at par with other e-commerce portals. It is managing logistics and delivery through third-party vendours.
While the website had a slow start at the time of alpha-launch, it now gets close to 1,00,000 visits per day and its orders per day are "in high five digits", Pare said. The website gets around half of its traffic from smaller cities and towns.
The company is also looking at leveraging its existing network of over 1,700 physical stores around the country to support its e-commerce venture. Among other things, the company allows its online consumers the option to go to any Madura Fashion store around them to get any product purchased online altered, free of cost.
While Trendin.com may become a direct competitor with the other e-commerce marketplaces through which Madura Fashion is current selling, Pare said, it is just a replication of their traditional business where they sell through other departmental stores and chains as well as through exclusive stores.
Additionally, Pare said, this exclusive website will allow the company to showcase its products "in full glory", which may not be possible on marketplaces that are crowded with several other players as well.