It was a bright day of August 2011 when a top leader in Indian e-commerce industry kept its base. Three alumni of IIT and IIM, Vivek Gaur, Sandeep Sharma and Anand Jadhav collectively launched the venture Yepme headquartered in Gurgaon.
In the initial period of the journey, the brand started only men’s apparel but soon after in June 2012, they also started dealing with women’s apparel too. In the year 2014, Yepme broadened and started their business in overseas. They targeted NRI market and created “Yepmeworld”, currently providing service in US and ready to expand in other countries this year. In India, it currently offers services in more than 1,000 cities and delivers close to 500,000 units a month.
Yepme.com headquartered at Gurgaon, India was established in August, 2011 as a platform to sell fashion apparels online.
It was an intimation of great marketing strategy of the founders that the company targeted their customers from the 2 and 3 tier cities rather than those from the metro one. The smaller cities were lacking in big brands retail stores and this space was taken as advantage by the Yepme team. With the vacant space in the market for private label fashion wear, Yepme.com occupied the space tightly and it has now set as a brand name in online fashion industry across the whole country with over 6 million fans on Facebook and around 4000 followers on Twitter.
Keeping the growth factor on the top, Yepme.com in the year 2011-12 raised Series A investment of $8million from Helion Ventures Partners, an India-focused, early to mid-stage venture fund. Observing the growth factor of the company, Helion again came forward to invest in second round further making the total raised funding of $20million till date.
The top business magazine Forbes rated Yepme.com as one of the top 5 e-commerce startup revolutionizing the industry. The success kept on coming from each way for the firm and in 2014, it was awarded “Web only Brand of the Year” by e-Tailing India. Also, Stylophane, a leader in digital marketing services ranked Yepme as one of the top 20 fashion brands in the world.
This has pushed up the growth of the firm and accordingly their business strategy kept on changing. Yepme is targeting revenue of over Rs.600crore by the next financial year. According to the company, 70% of its revenue comes from the men’s category.
The company along with selling on Yepme.com has made contract with Flipkart and one of the largest e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal to sell their products. “The e-commerce market in India is expected to reach $6 billion in 2015 which will be around 70% increase over the year 2014 revenue of $3.5 billion”, according to a Gartner Inc. report.
In an interesting research, it was noted that 66 per cent of Yepme followers access the Facebook page through mobile phones.
The popularity of the Facebook page has contributed to 30% of visitors to Yepme website per month on an average. 60 percent of customers, who reach to Yepme from Facebook and complete a transaction, complete it through mobile devices.
The company gives dense importance to social media marketing and has received gigantic success, attracting over 6 million fans on Facebook and around 4000 followers on Twitter.
Huge investment has been done on the promotion of brand by making advertisement with famous celebrities of Bollywood. During their initial period, Yepme conducted a fashion show in Delhi in the month of August, 2011 and it became the first Indian online retailer to conduct a fashion show.
Yepme in 2012 launched its women’s apparel and booked Kangana Ranaut as the style ambassador for the women’s collection. In April 2014, Yepme appointed Farhan Akhtar as a Brand Ambassador for promoting their products and website. To attract more customers, Sonu Sood was appointed in June 2014 as the brand ambassador for leading their online shopping portal Yepme.com.
After that in June 2014, Esha Gupta, famous Bollywood actress and model was appointed as brand ambassador to endorse Yepme’s women wear. Then it was followed by Shahrukh Khan in Dec 2014 as new brand ambassador. Shahrukh Khan may be seen in a newly launched television ad highlighting #freshfashion as a tagline for its Autumn-Winter collection’14.
The competition is from the main challengers who are in similar industry of online private label branding such as Zovi and Freecultr but Yepme is far ahead than any other in terms of popularity and sales due to their awesome business strategy. Yepme allows its customers to use many regional languages while completing their order to make the shopping easy. Besides English and Hindi, customers can shop in languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. Some more factors which provides strength to the firm includes
- High range of products
- Better buying experience
- On-time delivery of products
- Quick resolution of queries
Obviously Yepme is leading the industry but there are certain milestones which Yepme has to touch in coming time. Certain positive factors make Yepme.com a successful startup and segregate it from its competitors. It includes their unique business strategy, understanding the market conditions, core knowledge of the industry and multi-channel marketing.