scorecardMeet the tigers, elephants, rabbits and turtles of the e-commerce jungle
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Meet the tigers, elephants, rabbits and turtles of the e-commerce jungle

Meet the tigers, elephants, rabbits and turtles of the e-commerce jungle
Business3 min read
  • Redseer report on Digital Disruptor ranked 75 digital disruptors that currently generate $15 billion in sales online.
  • It also classified them into elephants, tigers, rabbits and turtles based on their category dominance and online focus.
  • Tigers and rabbits will have to enhance their focus on offline sales, while elephants and turtles will have to approach e-commerce aggressively, the report notes.
The world is going digital and all companies – small, big, old and new are adapting to it. Come 2026, a quarter of all sales in the retail world (except grocery) will be online, predicts a Redseer report on Digital Disruptors.

The report picked 75 companies in the crowded online space as digital disruptors, who cumulatively currently generate $15 billion in sales online, and ranked them based on the dominance in their category, and online focus.

Surprisingly, traditional companies Hindustan Unilever and Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail were ranked as top digital disruptors in grocery & personal care, and fashion & home categories, respectively. In the third category of electronics & appliances, however, digital-first brand boAt was given the numero uno rank.

The animal spirits

In the jungle that is e-commerce, these 75 companies were also categorised as elephants, tigers, rabbits and turtles. No prizes for guessing who elephants are – typically legacy players who used to dominate their category offline, and have managed to build an online presence.

“The sheer scale of elephants and brand pull has enabled them to get significant sales online, but e-commerce still contributes a relatively small share of their revenues,” the report said. Adidas, Zara, Nestle and Marico are some of the other brands listed under elephants.

The next are the tigers – early movers in the e-commerce space that have scaled up rapidly. Licious, WakeFit, Mamaearth and Xiaomi are some of the brands in this part of the quadrant that is dominated by digital-first brands. But, Asus and BBK, which are not born digital also made it to this list.

“Tigers have built online dominance in their categories. They drive a significant share of sales from e-commerce but have also built a strong offline footprint,” the report said.





Rabbits: Yet to win the race

The third category is rabbits, which are exclusively digital-first brands that have leveraged e-commerce to scale up but do not have a substantial market share. Most of the brands in this category, like Nothing, Beardo, Sugar Cosmetics, MyGlamm, Minimalist, Country Delight and more – are from the fashion and personal care space.

Thanks to high growth in e-commerce sales, these players will benefit but will face challenges from elephants, who have established their presence both online and offline.

The last set of companies in the quadrant are the slow-moving turtles – legacy brands that have done well in e-commerce but have a lower market share online relative to others. Fossil, Aachi Masala, Prestige and LG Electronics are some of the brands listed as turtles.

The reverse migrants

Digital-first brands account for 25% of all the sales in the e-commerce pie. However, now even digital-first brands are going offline, challenging traditional players in the turf erasing the battle lines.

On an average, digital-first brands derive over 75% of their sales online while traditional brands do over 30% of their sales online.

“Players in the top quadrants — tigers and rabbits — will have to enhance their focus on offline sales, while the bottom quadrant — elephants and turtles – will have to approach e-commerce aggressively,” says Mohit Rana, partner at Redseer.

E-commerce is expected to drive retail growth and is projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 27% to reach $163 billion by 2026. That’s almost three times the growth in the overall retail market, as per Redseer.

“Clearly, traditional companies that are over indexed on offline sales have a short window to enhance their share in e-commerce.They need to focus on building their digital capabilities and adopting an omnichannel approach to succeed in the market,” said Redseer.

Large-scale traditional players, even with a low percentage of e-commerce sales, have substantial absolute online sales, the report notes.



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