Aditya Birla has launched an online fashion portal called abof.com that lists clothing and accessories for men and women, both from Aditya Birla’s brands as well as curated clothing from other brands. With this initiative, the company will essentially start aggregating brands and merchants that are not sold under its fashion umbrella. However, it’s not clear which merchants and brands abof will tie up with.
Interestingly, Aditya Birla claims to have build abof as a mobile first initiative, and while the website works pretty well on a phone, the platform does not yet have an app. Additionally, the abof website on the desktop feels a bit unpolished in its navigation and UI, especially compared to its other website TrendIN (or competitors like Jabong). However, this is still better than its competitors like Myntra, that don’t even have a website store, preferring to sell app only.
Abof also claims to come with a 3D virtual trial room, where customers can view clothes draped on pre-entered body proportions as well as a ‘style quiz’ to show each customer only personalized relevant content. However we could not find these features.
Note that Aditya Birla already offers a fashion ecommerce store by the name TrendIN.com which it launched back in 2013. This store sells products it already sells offline through Pantaloons and Madura Fashion, which has its own website, but does not sell online. Offline, Madura sells inventories of brands like Peter England, Van Heusen, Louis Philippe and Allen Solly.
Other developments in online fashion:
– In August, fashion e-tailer Fashionara launched a mobile application for the Android operating system. At the time, the company said it was already receiving 45% of transaction through the app and expected it to reach 60% of its sales in the next 3 to 6 months.
– In July, Global Fashion Group, the owner of online fashion and apparel retailer Jabong, raised euro 150 million (~$166 million) in a round of funding from existing investors Rocket Internet and AB Kinnevik. With this investment, Kinnevik would own at least 25.0% and Rocket at least 21.9% of GFG.
– In June, Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) retail arm Reliance Retail said it had several e-commerce initiatives planned for the current fiscal year. This included a “Fashion and Lifestyle” format of Reliance Retail, other than a Reliance Digital Marketplace for small retailers.
– The same month, Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in women’s fashion formal wear portal Kaaryah. The portal was looking to cater to the women’s non-casual segment and offer western wear in 18 sizes.
– In February, Snapdeal acquired the online luxury fashion store Exclusively.com for an undisclosed amount. Note that Exclusively.in was acquired by rival Myntra in 2012. But it seems that Myntra sold back its entire stake in the company back to founder Sunjay Guleria in second half of 2013, post which the company was operating independently.
– Other than this, there is also Amazon, which offers clothing and other fashion related materials, Raymond, which has its own online store RaymondNext and Limeroad, a social shopping platform for women among others.