Unicorn Udaan’s Confident Move On Lifestyle Segment

B2B e-commerce major Udaan’s entry into the lifestyle segment was not a leap of faith but a move backed by confidence and resources.


The unicorn start-up, which is a horizontal marketplace on which manufacturers and wholesalers could sell their products to retailers and small businesses, achieved a volume growth in the lifestyle business in 2020.

A Remarkable Year for Lifestyle

Udaan boasts about 2 lakh businesses under the lifestyle category at present. The segment contributes about 10-12% of Udaan’s overall gross merchandise value (GMV). The lifestyle business – comprising clothing, accessories, and footwear – shipped over 230 million products, catering to over 26 lakh orders in 2020. The segment saw sales of 10 million comfort wear products and slippers across 900 cities during the year. The figures clearly indicate that the segment was, indeed, the company’s confident bet.

Driving Volumes: What made Udaan so confident to enter lifestyle?

The volume growth in the lifestyle segment was driven by various factors, which were also the reason behind the company’s confidence to enter the segment in first place.

Extensive Reach

The company has managed to create an extensive network of brands which drives growth across all the segments. Over 2,500 brands have already partnered Udaan and are leveraging Udaan’s pan-India distribution network to reach out to over three million users with an everyday delivery cycle across 900 cities covering more than 12,000 pin codes.

It presents an attractive proposition for any seller – be it the producer, wholesaler or distributor – as they are able to reach out to a larger set of customers across India. The surprising aspect is that Udaan has found very good traction from Bihar, Jharkhand and the North East followed by Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka and West Bengal. These states witnessed large transaction volumes in the lifestyle category in 2020.

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Brands are more than willing to come onboard Udaan's platform as the company provides a full-fledged support system, including marketing, sales and finance.

Lifestyle Brands Willingness to Partner: Attractive Propositions

While there has been a strong adoption of the platform by small and medium businesses, even large manufacturers and brands such as Jockey, Arvind, Shoppers Stop, BIBA, Rangriti, Lifestyle, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Hummel, Relaxo and Aqualite have also partnered with Udaan to leverage its strong distribution network and access newer markets while enjoying cost efficiencies. Brands are more than willing to come onboard the platform as the company provides a full-fledged support system, including marketing, sales and finance. Brands are able to derive cost benefits due to better reach, scale, real-time analytics, expansion to new markets, convenience of product launches and testing of new products in different markets. 

Overall Rise in B2B E-Commerce

B2B commerce is growing much faster than B2C commerce. There are close to 5 Crore SME’s that need to secure bulk supplies with a high repeat order frequency. Early metrics from Udaan suggested that the average purchase rate was around 7 times a month with a strong conversion rate of 40% (compared to under 5% for B2C). The ability to create teams fast, set up processes and focus on systems thinking to scale tech helped the company hit the phenomenal vendor growth.

What’s in it for me?

Start-ups are increasingly focusing on the large, and the most unorganised enterprises and small business market. There are countless options to consider when looking to get into the B2B marketplace like analytics for small businesses, content marketing/digital marketing where you can help small and midsize businesses build their own brand and maximise their awareness to their target audience, legal services, venture capital brokerage and others.

Naina Sood
Naina Sood
Naina was former staff at Dutch Uncles, she writes on business-life-cycle, funding, small businesses and start-ups.

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