While fashion portals such as Myntra and Jabong are pruning private labels and posting only top-selling brands on their platform, Craftsvilla will soon be launching its private label and may expand into offline retail. Manoj Gupta, founder of Craftsvilla, tells Hita Gupta the site has 32,000 sellers and 5 million product listings. Gupta says the firm is hoping to raise between $50-75 million by the end of 2016.
What kind of margins do you earn in the fashion and lifestyle industry?
Fashion is generally a high-margin category and margins typically hover around 30-40% for apparel and footwear, but in ethnic fashion they are more than 50%. We see between 50-60% margins in the ethnic category and 30-40% in western fashion.
Do you plan to expand into offline retail?
We do not have any private-label brands, so as of today, we cannot expand to offline retail. We are looking at private-label brands and accordingly we will take a call on offline. It makes a lot of sense for us to launch our private label. We will be making anywhere between 30-35% from our private labels.
Following the two-day grand ethnic sale on your platform, what is your strategy on discounting?
Craftsvilla does not offer
discounts, these are given by the sellers and we only highlight the discounts offered by them. Our margins may come down but we have large
Which are some of the brands that you have tied up with? Are you leaning towards local manufacturers or international brands?
Most of our sales come from unbranded items because ethnic is a category where a lot of sale happens because people like products with patterns, designs and colours. The brand-consciousness is not very high on ethnic. Also, there are not many brands in the ethnic category. Most of our sale happens from local brands.
What return rate do you see and how do you plan to cut costs on returns?
Our returns are about 5-6% of our total sales. Our philosophy is simple — that we do not take any direct cost. Any transnational cost, whether return or delivery or payment cost, has to be borne by the seller. We acquired a virtual logistics company Sendd, which helps sellers in delivery and pick-up, but we do not take any cost.
Technology-wise, our biggest focus is to optimise RTO (return to origin). With the acquisition of Sendd, we have been able to optimise the COD cost, RTO rate by looking at pincode level, courier level and customer-level data. We will also go heavy on personalisation, as it will increase conversion on our site.