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


  • The Redseer report on Digital Disruptor ranked 75 digital disruptors currently generating $15 billion in online sales.
  • It also classified them into elephants, tigers, rabbits and turtles based on their category dominance and online focus.
  • Tigers and Rabbits will need to strengthen their focus on offline sales, while Elephants and Turtles will need to take an aggressive approach to e-commerce, the report notes.

The world is going digital and all companies – small, big, old and new are adapting. By 2026, a quarter of all retail sales (other than grocery) will be online, predicts a Redseer report on Digital Disruptors.

The report chose 75 companies in the crowded online space as digital disruptors, currently generating $15 billion in online sales combined, and ranked them based on category dominance and online focus.

Surprisingly, traditional companies Hindustan Unilever and Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail were ranked as the top digital disruptors in the Grocery & Personal Care and Fashion & Home categories respectively. However, in the third category of electronics & appliances, the digital-first brand boAt took the honors number one rank.

The animal spirits

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

“Elephant’s sheer scale and brand appeal have enabled them to generate significant online sales, but e-commerce still contributes a relatively small portion of their revenue,” the report said. Adidas, Zara, Nestle and Marico are some of the other brands listed under elephants.

Next up are the Tigers – early movers in the e-commerce space that have scaled up quickly. Licious, WakeFit, Mamaearth and Xiaomi are some of the brands in this part of the quadrant dominated by digital-first brands. But Asus and BBK, who weren’t born digital, also made it to this list.

“Tigers have built online dominance in their categories. They generate a significant portion of their sales through 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 used e-commerce to scale, but do not have a substantial market share. Most of the brands in this category, such as Nothing, Beardo, Sugar Cosmetics, MyGlamm, Minimalist, Country Delight, and more, hail from the fashion and personal care space.

Thanks to the strong 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 group of companies in the quadrant are the slow-moving turtles: traditional brands that have done well in e-commerce, but have a lower market share online than others. Fossil, Aachi Masala, Prestige and LG Electronics are some of the brands listed as turtles.

The inverted migrants

Digital-first brands account for 25% of all sales in the e-commerce pie. But now even digital-first brands are going offline, challenging traditional players on the field to erase the battle lines.

On average, digital-first brands generate more than 75% of their sales online, while traditional brands generate more than 30% of their sales online.

“Players in the upper quadrant – Tigers and Rabbits – will need to strengthen their focus on offline sales, while the lower quadrant – Elephants and Turtles – will need to take an aggressive approach to e-commerce,” said Mohit Rana, partner at Redseer.

E-commerce is expected to drive retail growth and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 27% to reach $163 billion by 2026. That’s nearly three times the growth in the total retail market, according to Redseer.

“Clearly, traditional companies that are too indexed on offline sales have a short time to grow their share of e-commerce. They need to focus on building their digital capabilities and adopting an omnichannel approach to succeed. are 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.

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

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