Increasingly investor interest was to find opportunities in verticals – where market size was reasonably large and risk of horizontals entering the business were relatively low. In addition focus was mainly on areas where sub-sectors showed good growth and companies could have an edge.
The few verticals where interest was more either to higher take-rate or less competition from e-commerce horizontals were Fashion, Furniture and Jewelry (India specific opportunity).
Abof.com – Abof.com is an Adity a Birla Group owned fashion portal. It differentiates itself from competitors like Myntra and Jabong by offering curated and fresh products and rely on uniqueness of merchandise rather than discounting to drive growth.
Yepme.com – Yepme is an online private label fashion brand which services over 1000 cities. Its main target segment is the style conscious category of aged 20-29. The Fast Fashion business model showcases fresh merchandise daily based on latest fashion trends.
Another sector identified for growth was online jewelry, which has high consumer involvement and scope of fresher designs. Some of the companies dabbling in this space are Melorra, BlueStone and Caratlane.
Melora.com – Melorra is an online jewellery store which operates through a mobile platform. It’s target segment is the urban woman in the 18-40 age group. It’s offerings include diamond, coloured stones, fine jewellery and gold with an average selling price of Rs 16,000
BlueStone – Bluestone is an online jewellery store which houses around 4000 unique designs. It also offers various facilities to its customers such as 30 day money back, home try -on, next day delivery and international shipping which enhances user experience.
CaratLane is an online diamond and gemstone jewellery store with a network of 4000 global vendors. It manufactures jewellery for sale, and has low overheads and inventory costs due to its online model which helps customers save upto 25% over retail prices.
Absence of a strong offline retailer, need for customization and large size of the market made online buying and renting of furniture a category poised for potential growth. Some of the companies in this segment are Urban Ladder, Livspace and Furlenco.
Urban Ladder is an online furniture company , which differentiates itself by offering self branded products and has developed its own supply chain. It competes with both furniture specializing companies like PepperFry and e-tailers like Flipkart.
Livspace is an online furniture destination w here user can brow se through number of curated designs and get it installed at the user’s residence in 10 weeks. In customized interior space, it competes with companies like HomeLane and Dwell
Furlenco is a startup which rents home furniture on a monthly subscription basis. Furlenco designs its own inventory. It handles the complete end-to-end process from providing selection options to delivery for the user.
You may also be interested in reading about hyperlocal retailing in India.