LimeRoad sashays to profitability in a dog-eat-dog online fashion world – FactorDaily

It isn't straightforward to run an ecommerce enterprise in India, particularly when the battle is with the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. Even the formidable Snapdeal did not survive, and can quickly be merged with Flipkart.

However online fashion retailer LimeRoad has survived the tough times of funding disaster and has continued to develop despite the fact that a few of its giant rivals both shut store or bought acquired by bigger gamers.

“We've got grown at over 250%, whereas the online fashion business has grown at 5% to 10%,” says Suchi Mukherjee, founder and CEO of LimeRoad. “Our burn has halved… (income) will take probably 18 months, or perhaps 12.” In two months, she added, LimeRoad will probably be worthwhile if advertising prices are excluded.

“We've got grown at over 250%, whereas the online fashion business has grown at 5% to 10%… Our burn has halved… (income) will take probably 18 months, or perhaps 12” — Suchi Mukherjee, founder and CEO, LimeRoad  

LimeRoad began in 2012 as a social discovery platform for ecommerce and has raised $50 million in three rounds of funding from Tiger International, Matrix Companions and Lightspeed Enterprise Companions, amongst different buyers.

Additionally learn: Flipkart’s wannabe WeChat ambition is ill advised

Why are we focusing a story on LimeRoad in the present day? As a result of fashion is the second largest vertical in ecommerce after electronics in India, contributing 30% of general ecommerce gross sales, in accordance to consultancy agency Technopak Advisors. Ecommerce makes for simply .2% of general retail gross sales in India, however is anticipated to rise to between Four% and 6% by 2020 — or $45-$65 billion by worth. It's a truthful assumption that a important a part of this, even when not 30%, will probably be accounted by fashion.

LimeRoad is first among the many final ones left standing in online fashion. Larger rivals like Myntra or Jabong have been snapped up (by Flipkart) in the dog-eat-dog world of Indian e-commerce  

LimeRoad is first among the many final ones left standing in online fashion. Larger rivals like Myntra or Jabong have been snapped up (by Flipkart) in the dog-eat-dog world of Indian e-commerce. Different early casualties have been Yebhi.com, Zovi, FashionandYou and DoneByNone.

In the present day, others like LimeRoad, Voonik, Aditya Birla Group’s ABOF, Ajio, StalkBuyLove, Koovs and Jaypore are attempting to discover their toes in the sport with an purpose of bagging a share of the $70 billion fashion purchases (online and offline put collectively) Indians make yearly.

Kalagato, a market and aggressive intelligence firm, ranks LimeRoad after Myntra and Jabong, adopted by Voonik and ABOF.

The lengthy tail of fashion

LimeRoad doesn’t promote branded garments, however will get smaller producers, boutiques and designers to checklist their merchandise on the platform. The closest offline parallel of this is able to be fashion hubs like Shahpurjat in Delhi or Business Avenue in Bengaluru. To make sure, this positioning of LimeRoad isn't distinctive — Voonik and Koovs additionally promote unbranded and personal labels.

Nonetheless, LimeRoad has sure tips which can be sticky with purchaser. As an illustration, it offers its prospects the distinctive proposition of marrying listings with content material. To place this merely, it permits folks to combine and match their very own kinds and combos to create what is known as a Scrapbook, after which there may be Tales, which is actually giving a good identify and itemizing a bunch of comparable merchandise below that itemizing title. For instance, in this story ‘Churidars and Salwars for Sweet Women’ by Raj Singh, the curator lists totally different gadgets by totally different sellers. The Scrapbook and Tales function enable prospects to match garments, equipment, purses and sneakers to create their very own seems to be.

limeroad-website-screenshot
The Scrapbook and Tales function enable prospects to match garments, equipment, purses and sneakers to create their very own seems to be

Divya Jain, a content material author with an American know-how agency, loves to spend time on LimeRoad matching totally different kinds. “Typically I purchase them, and typically it only for enjoyable, creating my very own kinds from the totally different merchandise obtainable on the location. Many of the different ecommerce websites don’t provide you with these choices. If I don’t discover one thing right here I am going to different websites,” says Jain.

Additionally learn: Can Snapdeal and Amazon stop pretending that happiness comes out of a box?

The outcome, in accordance to LimeRoad, is increased engagement. “The truth is that no one has an app conversion charge of 15% (which we now have),” says Mukherjee.

Eight months in the past, LimeRoad segued into males’s fashion. “That has picked up. It’s already 25% to 30% of our gross sales,” says its CEO  

Eight months in the past, LimeRoad segued into males’s fashion. “That has picked up. It’s already 25% to 30% of our gross sales,” says its CEO. Together with women and men, the platform provides three,000-Four,000 inventory-holding items (SKUs) on daily basis. It already has seven lakh of them.

These metrics couldn't be independently verified by FactorDaily.

Mukherjee says that a proprietary know-how constructed by the engineering staff has helped weed out kinds and merchandise that don’t promote. The platform routinely picks up what's seen and purchased extra, which helps to hold the location contemporary.

“There are fairly a few of e-tailers attempting to promote personal labels and unbranded merchandise to tackle the lengthy tail of fashion. However, at these low value factors, the client acquisition value makes it troublesome to develop into worthwhile” — Praveen Sinha, founder and former CEO of Jabong  

However, it's too early to rejoice. “Limeroad has some uniqueness in the market, however it's not alone. Fashion is a very aggressive house with a lot of gamers, however none of them are constructive by unit economics,” says Praveen Sinha, founder and former CEO of Jabong. He makes use of the analogy of airways in India. “…all of the airline firms have been in losses. Now, 4 of them (airline firms) are worthwhile.”

He's additionally not overly impressed by LimeRoad unbranded SKUs technique. “There are fairly a few of e-tailers attempting to promote personal labels and unbranded merchandise to tackle the lengthy tail of fashion. However, at these low value factors, the client acquisition value makes it troublesome to develop into worthwhile. This doesn’t imply they received’t survive, however it is going to take time,” provides Sinha.

Additionally learn: The backstory of how Snapdeal pivoted and pivoted — and then lost the plot

Lead visible: Angela Anthony Pereira


Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Companions, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma amongst its buyers. Accel Companions is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founding father of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s buyers have any affect on its reporting about India’s know-how and startup ecosystem.

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LimeRoad sashays to profitability in a dog-eat-dog online fashion world - FactorDaily