Online shopping , as a trend, is growing in India. Out of the several categories that online retailers provide, clothing forms a major chunk of profit making categories for the e-tailers. Started as a category which was infamous due to its lack of option to try the outfit and lack of touch-&-feel, the category has innovated over time to gain the user’s confidence. Although the majority of the sales in the fashion retail category still come from mom & pop stores, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, e-tailers are positive about the growth in this section. Rising disposable income, shortage of time, less variety and exhaustion by offline shopping and filter options to choose the right fit are some of the major reasons why more and more users are shifting to online clothing. Although, these users form only a very small percentage of the total number of buyers for fashion & clothing, the trend is bound to reverse in the future with growing internet penetration, ease in acquiring and handling Smartphone and with online retailers providing heavy discounts and convenience facilities like cash on delivery, easy replacing and returning options to its customers.The Indian online fashion industry is currently worth more than $100 billion. The mold and way of life in fashion industry in India is seeing a flood, with solid drivers of development and a large group of different components bringing about its encouraging values and range to the country. In 2017, the total online transactions were 200 million and this number, by 2020, will grow to 65%. Out of the net number of online transactions, 60 million shop for clothing and fashion accessories and this number is expected to grow to 200 million by the end of 2020.
The infiltration of web based shopping which is at present at 4 percent will go up to 10 – 15 percent throughout the following 3 to 5 years. This will be driven by multiplication, access to information and the shopper ending up more OK with online encounters. A client regularly experiences a 3-multi year cycle from the snapshot of his first advanced understanding till he is open to purchasing items on the web and time allotments are getting compacted. Passing by this pattern, the web based business segment could be as high as 50 percent of the sorted out retail showcase in India.
The clothing industry in India changed from customized to instant attire due to the fame of instant attire among youth. However, now, the pattern of custom-fit attire in India is restoring as additional income and the scope for exclusivity increases.
Custom-fit apparel is a term that is utilized to represent any piece of clothing that has been changed to fit a client based on his/her estimations and styles. Custom-Fit Clothing is of two sorts – Made-to-Measure and Bespoke Tailoring. If there should be an occurrence of made to measure, standard examples of garments are fitted to the estimations of the clients. Albeit, made to measure dress fits better than readymade garments however it is as yet not made 100% as per the client’s estimations. Then again, bespoke fitting regarding fit is unique. In this, clients need to look over changed choices of body writes, textures, sleeves, collars, pockets and catches alongside normal size estimations. After finish of the considerable number of points of interest, an example is made for the article of clothing based on which it is planned and built. Along these lines, bespoke fitting offers higher uniqueness than made to measure.
The uniquely designed dress industry currently is worth a humble $8 billion, or 20 percent of the piece of the overall industry. The other 80 percent has a place with the ready to-wear category. In any case, even at insignificant a 20 percent, the multi-billion dollar industry is ready to develop at 5.5 percent for every annum and altogether disturbs the patterns of the fashion retail business in India.
2. Literature Review
The study and various researches done on online fashion buying behavior has been on the rise in the recent past. This is primarily done to understand what motivates a user to go online and search for clothes and what are the factors that decide a final purchase, including the various other aspects like price, clothing design, cuts, styles and convenience. In the following sub-sections, we shall discuss available literature on trends in online shopping in India to understand the penetration and scope of the market as a whole, following this, we will go through the studies on understanding buying behavior for online fashion retail ; following this, we shall understand the work done on customization as a category within clothing and the global trends within it, which will be further followed by going through literature on the penetration of customization of clothing in India.
2.1 Trends in online shopping in India
Dr. J Joshua Selvakumar & Naidu R. Raghavan (A.P.J.R, 2017) suggest that there is an influence of lifestyle and consumers‟ attitude on purchasing decision of mobile phone through online shopping for the study conducted by them on understanding the influence of lifestyle and attitude on online shopping. To be more particular, way of leading life like investing more energy on the web, and shopping on the web as a recreation action impacts the consumer’s basic buying behavior process while shopping on the web. Savita Maan , Sanjeev Kumar and Sunita Rani (Motives Moving Youth towards Online Shopping, 2017) suggest that the developing utilization of web in India by the youth offers an evident prospect to the online retailers. Advertisers and retailers need to recognize the key online customers additionally to distinguish the primary intentions behind their web based shopping.
Youth tend to shop online to save time and for convenience factors. They get a kick out of the chance to shop in the safety of their homes and to spare themselves from the market swarm. 24*7 shopping over web inspires youth to shop online whenever. Their other key premiums incorporate getting new items thoughts, to purchase global brands &products and to keep with new patterns and designs winning in the market. This wide item assortment and decisions accessible in internet shopping is likewise the critical spark to go online for shopping. This age gathering (18-35) is observed to be cognizant about better costs and offers accessible on the web which triggers them for web based shopping.
Ms. N. Sarulatha and Dr. V. Sasirekha (M.I.J.M.R, 2017) suggest that The penetration of digital innovation and its utility in pulling in buyers has helped e-commerce players investigate new frontiers through propelling easy to use applications. In India, because of the expanding infiltration of cell phones, shoppers have likewise begun buying their form needs through portable applications. Virtual reality is another platform for e-commerce which is required to affect the fashion space. E-commerce players have started concentrating on guaranteeing amazing browsing experience and user interface. The expanding significance of visual merchandising, sending of cutting edge examination, and rehash of client loyalty programs are some other fascinating patterns to watch. Sometime in the past seasonal shopping used to contribute a substantial lump in deals inside the household Indian market. Now, fashion retail witnesses an upsurge in the festive seasons, however retailers and brands figure out how to offer their items throughout the entire year because of buyers having higher disposable incomes.
2.2 Buying behavior for online fashion retail
Goldsmith RE, Flynn LR (2004) suggests that three statistic factors (age, sex, and pay) assumed a generally minor part in understanding online fashion purchasing. Better indicators were an excitement and adventuresomeness for internet purchasing as a rule and a past filled with purchasing garments from several display catalogues. Innovation in fashion was feebly identified with online purchasing, yet this was not the case for fashion involvement. As a catalog buyer, a shopper with a past history of shopping from home, is a noteworthy indicator of shopping on the web. This is presumably because of a general penchant or liking for direct buying, or due to the vast variety available. In the event that a customer has involvement with an immediate seller, the loyalty increases.
Additionally, shopping by means of the Internet is in its initial phases of the diffusion procedure. That innovators are a critical purchasing bunch suggests that the trend will develop later on . Also, the continuing inclusion in an item classification does not really foresee all the more purchasing of clothing through this medium. Increased shopping by means of the Internet seems, by all accounts, to be better anticipated by the inclination to be a home customer than by solid enthusiasm for the item classification. E‐commerce giants would do well to concentrate more exertion on charming Internet innovators than just fashion enthusiasts.
Jamid Ul Islam & Zillur Rahman (J.G.F.M, 2016) , have found through their research on brand association and affinity in the online fashion space that image of the brand and brand love altogether impact engagement levels. Brand love was additionally found to go about as a mediator between image and engagement. The outcomes additionally uncover that engagement impacts loyalty in customers.
2.3 Customization in online fashion retail
Amid the previous decade, the clothing and textile industry, the world over has been endeavoring to conform to a quickly changing business condition. While the assembling bases have moved into the developing countries, the developed ones have gone cutting edge in an offer to keep up an edge over the low cost offerings. Fashion purchase is moving out of the physical area into the virtual space and customization is by all accounts the best way to gain customer loyalty.
As per the study done by Hyun-Hwa Lee and Eunyoung ChangMass (J.C.M.C. , 2011) customization and the co design procedure frequently depend on the utilization of advanced innovation (for instance, the Internet, smart phones, or rich media), which enables buyers to take part in the improvement and self designing. Digital Consumers are fundamental to the accomplishment of the procedure.
As the online co design process looks for buyer association in choosing the texture, shading, style, detail, and size alternatives (Duray et al., 2000), giving clear and easy to use interfaces is essential. Likewise, great format outline, successful web indexes, straightforward navigational structures, and easy to understand interfaces are helpful for use. Co design is utilized as an approach to address client issues for mass customization (Piller, et al., 2005) and can enable the organization and shopper to grow new item thoughts all the while (Piller, 2003). The online co design process would be seen as valuable in the internet shopping setting by helping customers to choose alternatives in light of their inclinations and demonstrating the item before they settle on a last buying choice.
The research likewise uncovers that buyers who favour online codesign process will probably buy customised items on the web and recommends it to others. In addition, respondents’ inclination towards online mass customization has a noteworthy impact of perceived usefulness, perceived happiness, and perceived control on eagerness to buy customized items.
2.4 Online customized clothing in India
Earlier individuals had a demand for ready to wear clothing yet that did not give them a flawless fit or exquisite look. These days they favor the Custom dressing Store with Bespoke measurement. Numerous online stores and retail traders have coordinated fitting arrangement into their site in order to construct a solid client base by enabling clients to plan their most loved array online. Custom dress has outgrown many inclining businesses. The expanding interest for a perfect fit and simplicity to get it online is pushing this industry towards higher growth.
As suggested by Wazir Advisors (2017) , in India, the top notch brands like Raymond and Louis Philippe and in addition luxury brands like Armani, Versace, Zegna, Cadini and Canali are putting forth made to fit service. Additionally, the top notch brands like Van Heusen’s MY FIT and Creyate by Arvind Group have likewise presented bespoke fitting trying to catch the developing pattern of custom-fit garments among Indian men. The menswear made to measure and custom fit in India is estimated to develop to INR 46,500 Crores by 2020.
Despite the fact that, the ready to stitch in men’s wear showcase is diminishing on the grounds that an ever increasing number of clients of nearby tailors who to a great extent exist in residential areas and towns are moving towards readymade clothing. In any case, there is high development potential for premium and extravagance brands offering custom fit dress as this gives Indian men customized garments with ideal fit joined with another experience, freshness and eliteness that contributes emphatically to sales and customer acknowledgment of brands.
Through the research findings of Amit Bhatia and Rahul G Asai (Wipro , 2007) Ongoing trends in attire and footwear is value items and mass customization is the correct answer to tap these client bits of knowledge. Players as of now in to customization would receive the rewards of first mover advantage and are anticipated that would increase involvement by buyers in customization business. In coming 5 – 10 years, mass customization players are observed to be small organizations and are prescribed to catch the customer bits of knowledge and hence increment their contributions in customization with the goal that they can build their incomes.
At the same time, biggies who are somewhat into mass customization are required to focus more on this business as a piece of brand building movement. The move of center towards customer inclination sets the correct stage for mass customization and future has a place with this methodology with numerous organizations entering in this space promoting huge number of alternatives in customization at similar prizes.
3. Research Method
The methodology will include research design in terms of areas to be covered which will be exhaustively covered in the questionnaire which will touch upon areas to be covered to understand the theme question. To have a descriptive understanding of data, it is important to use different techniques for different areas to be covered. The research methodology will include in-depth interviews to understand the perception of customized clothing and the need and appeal of the same, while exploratory research can be carried out to understand the market clearly and showcase trends in consumption pattern and growth in user comfort with customization. Primary research can be carried out to understand the global and local market and do a thorough competitive analysis to understand the strengths and weaknesses as a whole and the strategies used by the best performing brands.
3.1 Exploratory Research
Exploratory research is mandatory in dealing with this category as it helps to explain a market which has not yet been fully explored and the perception of custom clothing has not yet been defined under a certain manner as per social norms. Utilized appropriately, exploratory research will give rich quality data that will help recognize the primary issues that ought to be tended to in surveys and questionnaires and fundamentally make the research more comprehensive. To understand the research objective and outcome better, exploratory research can be carried out to understand the meaning and need of custom clothing in India and what triggers the market both as a whole and also segment wise, each varying according to the target group chosen. A stimuli can be used and popularized via storyboard to understand what the target group thinks about custom clothing and importance of made to measure type fitting across gender and income groups in general and how important is it in the routine lifestyle.
Secondary research can be carried out to understand the startups and upcoming innovation in the online custom clothing market in India. This can also help us to understand the level of penetration of the category in the global market and what factors have helped in promoting and adopting the usage in the longer run.
The method of expert interviews can also be carried out to understand the market in depth and also to gain knowledge about the nuances with respect to designing and technology in the custom clothing market. The experts can share details on factors which matter to the potential buyer and how upcoming technology can make the overall experience better for the aspiring user.
3.2 In-Depth Interviews
In-depth interviews with both the current buyers of custom clothing online as well as the potential customers (Preferably the ones who indulge in online fashion shopping but have not yet started exploring custom made clothing online) will help understand user behavior and the need arising for custom clothing. The in-depth interviews can touch upon problems faced by the user with regard to the interface, designing and perception of custom clothing. Detailed analysis can reveal the inhibitions or the reasons for adoption of custom clothing and finding out behavioral patterns in the desired target group who may or may not form repeat shoppers under this category. The responses can also be personal in nature and can help understand the relationship that a buyer connects with interlinking fashion, body type and the experience of custom clothing in the emerging market.