Private affair a must-have in cut-throat world of e-commerce

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Bangalore | Published: April 7, 2015 1:13:56 AM

Myntra has more than 10 in-house brands in the fashion category, such as Roadster, Dressberry, Anouk, Mast & Harbour and Kook N Keech

Under pressure from investors to show profitability and, hence, to tap better margins, online retailers across categories are pushing sales of private label products. Be it an in-house brand or a label with which they have exclusive partnership, e-tailers are pushing their own brands by bundling them with different features, like higher discounts on specific labels, etc.

Myntra has more than 10 in-house brands in the fashion and lifestyle category of men, women and children. Roadster, Dressberry, Anouk (ethnic range for women), Mast & Harbour, Kook N Keech, Yellow Kites (for kids), Invictus and HRX (by Hrithik Roshan) are a few of them. To promote its brands, Myntra has also partnered with various celebrities such as Ranveer Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and so on.

“We will add about five more such labels this year including a women’s footwear label and an innerwear brand. Accessories and footwear are going to be the major focus areas for us this year,” said Abhishek Verma, Head, Myntra Fashion Brands. For the fashion e-tailer Myntra, about one-fourth of its sales come from in-house brands.

Flipkart, the so-called big daddy of e-commerce, has till now launched various in-house products in electronics, lifestyle, and home category. It was the first e-tailer to launch its own line of tablets and smart phones under the brand Digiflip in 2012.

Shailesh Vickram Singh, partner at Seedfund, said the demand for in-house brands is increasing and believes it’s one of the areas in e-commerce which has taken off very well.

“Whether it’s lifestyle, fashion or furniture, online sellers know they should launch more products under their own brand name to target higher revenues,” Singh said. He said customers have given already their thumbs up to these new brands by flocking to their websites.

According to FabFurnish, which focuses heavily on in-house brands, such products bring 15-20% higher margins for an e-tailer compared to other products. “Furniture space is still very fragmented like how fashion used to be when people would just buy clothes from any shop. There are no furniture brands in India right now, so its a good opportunity for us to take the lead and create our own brand,” said Vikram Chopra, Co-founder, FabFurnish.

The company spends anywhere between Rs 10 lakh and a few crore on R&D, testing and creating prototypes of new brands, which takes 3 months to a year. Chopra said creating your own line of brand is a strategic long-term plan for any online business.

“When you do so, you slowly lower your dependence on others in the supply-chain,” he said.

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