ABOF is an Indian online fashion retailer founded in October 2015. Headquarters are in Bangalore. ABOF is privately held by Aditya Birla Group which you probably have already heard of. ABOF not only sells products from its brands Louis Phillippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Peter England, Pantaloons, People but also of other external brands. This company only caters to the fashion needs of 18-35 age group. ABOF expanded means all about fashion. Cool, right?
There has been a lot happening in online retailers space, fashion space and Aditya Birla group had entered into this space by launching its fashion portal abof.com. “The e-commerce sector is a sunrise sector from an investment point of view. While a lot has happened in the last couple of years, a lot more is yet to happen in this space”, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said at the launch. He added, "With abof.com, we aim to offer a wide but curated range of merchandise and a differentiated shopping experience that can compete with the best in the world. We see abof emerging as the most admired player in online fashion within the next three years. Therefore, it made sense for us to enter into fashion e-commerce to further strengthen our pole position in the business of fashion in India. We see the potential to build another billion dollar business of the Group in this space."
Abof.com aims to be online one stop fashion portal for apparel, footwear and accessories for men and women. Foraying into pure-play fashion e-commerce space, the Aditya Birla Group aims to further strengthen its stronghold in the business of fashion in India.
ABOF aims to be the most admired online fashion brand of India. They are looking to provide customers with a personalised shopping experience and for this they have partnered with a UK based company that has the best technology, Metail. They have got real good and trendy and celebrity-inspired apparel, footwear and accessories that can go into every fashion lover’s wardrobe.
They are mobile first. But work seamlessly across a wide range of devices including desktops. Equipped with India’s first-of-its-kind 3D virtual trial room, customers can instantly view themselves in any product by inputting their basic body proportions. The tool allows one to layer various garments to check out looks. The webstore also uses a unique style quiz to understand customers’ preferences and shows only relevant personalised content.
They use premium packaging so when their items are being delivered they remain intact. And their delivery team works even during weekends. Their supply chain is tech enabled. They currently serve in 500 cities.
The online fashion store also launched on spot alteration service in Bangalore and Hyderabad, last year June. According to them this initiative was so it will reduce returns and drive customer satisfaction and alteration. It is supposed to be a value added service like the 3D trial room and on-spot exchange of apparel due to size issues. The firm partnered with yourtailor.com and others for it to be possible. This probably decreased returns due to non fitting issues. This move is pretty similar to that of Myntra which provides this service at Rs.50. Craftsvilla on the other hand lets customers order unstitched materials passed to tailors so they could be stitched right to the size.
During the first reached they reached a gross merchandise value of Rs.200 crores and has set its eyes on becoming the one of the top 3 Indian retailers. Whether that happens remains to be seen.
“We should be able to grow our revenue anywhere between 50-75 percent on a year-on-year basis,” the deputy chief executive officer of Abof, Kedar Apshankar told BloombergQuint in an interview. The company will steer clear of discounts and focus primarily on millennials, Apshankar added. This no discount strategy is because ABOF claims that they need customers looking for the best fashion and not discounts. They plan on selling at least half of their merchandise at full price in a market which is dominated by flipkart and amazon. He also added, “About 30% of the market is buying for convenience and 70% of the market is probably buying for discounts. A good retailer always has this number to be more like 50%, but it is a journey we have to traverse and I think over time we will get there. We have added a new feature -Never on discount -that means the customer will not wait. That was the insight when we launched SKULT by Shahid Kapoor back in October and have not put any discount on the merchandise. It has become our bestseller. So we have reached out to other brands with the new strategy.”
During Feb, 2017 ABOF has launched a AI based advisor for Fashion. A personal touch is what customers miss when they are shopping online. So many fashion portals are trying to be more and more interactive. Such is the move ABOF made by launching a Facebook Messenger which is AI powered. It acts as customer’s personal fashion advisor.
The advisor termed as AISHA (Artificial Intelligence driven Styling and Hotness Advisor) provides a chat function through which customers can get fashion advice on their fashion and wearing products requirements anytime and anywhere.
This is what Gupta wrote to its customer at the launch of AISHA
“We are the first ever e-commerce fashion player to introduce such an advisor, it doesn't even require users to have the abof app installed on their smartphones. We believe that AISHA will become very sophisticated as time progresses. We will keep adding more features to it. Globally, the world is moving towards conversational commerce and with AISHA, we aim to become the SIRI/Cortana/Echo of Fashion.”
AISHA is user friendly and understands fashion queries. You can probably ask it, you know, to suggest a look for any occasion or event. Cool, right! Try it today, go to their page and talk to the messenger.
Keep checking this page out for more news on ABOF.