The market, which was till now flooded with multi-product e-commerce sites catering to products from across the verticals, is now seeing new ventures betting big on the niche category.
For example bestylish.com offers only shoes, fetise.in is only for men, heavenandhome.com for home furnishing products, and jewelsnext.com catering to jewellery to name a few.
Launched two months ago, Jewelsnext.com is based on the concept of virtual jewellery mall for brands and vendors to market their products.
"Indians have a great appetite for jewellery, especially gold. According to the World Gold Council reports, India consumes around 746 tonne gold every year. Before launching the portal, we did a market research for two-and-a-half years where we found that Indian customers first see the brand and then buy," says Gaurav Issar, chief executive officer of jewelsnext.com.
Jewelsnext does 30-50 transactions per day with average ticket size of Rs 20,000. It has its own ecosystem of supply chain, call centres and digital marketing operations, where everything is managed by the company.
"Currently, we cater to 50 brands and vendors from across 14 states. We plan go pan-India in the next three months and have 500 brands by next year," he says.
There are roughly 360 e-commerce sites operational in the country, and in the last two-three months 20-30 new ventures have come up catering only to a single-product vertical.
According to IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) reports, the Indian e-commerce market was set to cross the Rs 46,000-crore mark at a 47 per cent growth rate in 2011. E-tailing (online retail) comes second after online travel, with an eight per cent market share (Rs 1,550 crore).
"As the e-commerce sector is getting crowded, the new players are looking for areas, which have not been touched widely. The niche sites are emerging mostly in two categories - fashion (shoes, bags, lingerie, etc) and healthcare services," says Gaurav Kachru, chief executive of Deals and You.
Deals and You is an online group buying site that features daily deals on the best things to do, see, eat, and buy in leading cities. Another online retailer - Lenskart.com - which deals in contact lenses, spectacles, eyewear and sunglasses, provides brands from Johnson & Johnson, Ciba Vision, Bausch & Lomb, Cooper Vision etc.
It has received $4 million funding from IDG Ventures to be deployed in logistics department and other operations, and has operation across 450