Share of kidswear in the online fashion market has risen
The kidswear category, which has hitherto been overshadowed by menswear and womenswear online, has witnessed substantial growth over the past year. According to a Unicommerce report, the share of the online kidswear segment in the overall online apparel market has increased from 3% in FY20 to 17% in FY21, with a 200% growth in order volume.
There has been a conspicuous shift in the type of kidswear being bought, too. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon Fashion, Myntra, Ajio and Flipkart Fashion have launched kidswear brand stores, and introduced new categories like toys and combos of apparel and footwear to tap into this demand.
Mini shopping spree
Amazon Fashion has seen an 80% rise in kidswear sales in FY21. Apart from cotton dresses, jumpsuits and dungarees, t-shirts and pyjamas, Saurabh Srivastava, director and head – Amazon Fashion India, says the infant wear (rompers and clothing sets) segment, too, has seen high demand, especially for multipack products. “Customers are open to spending an average of Rs 1,000 per purchase on kids’ apparel,” Srivastava notes.
Flipkart Fashion, too, has seen sales from its infant wear segment double in the past six months. “People are now dependent on e-commerce, especially for innerwear and sleepwear for babies. It continues to witness high demand from consumers across India,” says Nishit Garg, vice president, Flipkart Fashion.
Ajio, meanwhile, claims to have recorded a surge in first-time buyers during the pandemic. “Our company’s revenue has grown four times, and the kidswear category has seen a twofold increase,” says a spokesperson from Ajio. Currently, Ajio has around 60,000 kids apparel and footwear products, and plans to continue to focus on this category.
Myntra recently added brands such as House of Pataudi Kids, Jockey and Jack & Jones under its kids segment. “Overall, the kids category has seen high double-digit growth in the past year, and 40% growth in April-May 2021 alone,” says Ayyappan Rajagopal, chief business officer, Myntra. The online fashion retailer launched a toy store six months ago.
What the future holds
The consensus among marketplaces is that customers have not curtailed their spends on kidswear, despite the pandemic. However, while transactions in this category have gone up, the average basket size has remained the same, analysts say. “We might see a surge in order volumes but that won’t translate into GMV growth for the platform,” says Sanjeev Kumar, forecast analyst, Forrester.
As parents get more comfortable ordering online, the industry expects to see numerous kidswear-focussed D2C brands come up over the next few years. “It’s an unexplored territory with growth potential,” says Kapil Makhija, CEO, Unicommerce. Existing brands are also expected to expand their product portfolio and add categories such as kids furniture and toys, he adds. Flipkart recently partnered with Ace Turtle to bring brands Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us to its platform.
The kidswear category saw an uptick of over 300% in order volumes from tier II and III cities, and 100% from tier I cities in 2020. “A lot of traction will be driven by smaller cities where brands have a limited presence,” says Kumar.
Although the pandemic has given an impetus to the kidswear category, its share in the overall online apparel market “may not go beyond 20%”, Kumar says. He attributes this to the resumption of physical retail by next year or so, and to the continuing reign of womenswear and menswear in the online fashion market. “Every category has limited legroom for growth. Also, spending for womenswear and menswear will always be higher,” Kumar adds. In FY21, the share of womenswear in the online apparel market was 50%, while that of menswear was 33%.