Fashion

Shopping in your pyjamas

Shweta Bathija Subash. Photo: K.Ananthan  

COIMBATORE:

1. Roshni Chetan Hinduja

Age: 27

Website: >www.mirrorwhite.in

Sells handcrafted silver jewellery

 Roshni Chetan Hinduja believes in balancing her professional and personal life. So when she got married last year, she decided she needed a job with flexibility.

Online marketing fitted the bill and that’s how mirrorwhite.in was born. “I also do not have to open and close the doors of a shop. It saves me the overhead charges like rent, salaries and employees.”

But she is not completely opposed to the idea of a physical store. She says, “Maybe when my business grows enough...”

Ecommerce scene in India has never looked more fertile and flourishing, says Roshni. “Even three years ago, people were hesitant to shop online. But now they prefer to buy even standardised products online. If you are lucky, you also get to avail of offers.”

But then, online marketing comes with its own set of challenges, she says. “So many new websites are cropping up every now and then. You really must market your product to your customers well.”

Roshni’s online business mantra

Do your market research

Make sure your product is unique

Get in touch with a professional web designer

Enlist the support of your family to keep you motivated

Reach out to customers through exhibitions and pop up events

2. ShriVyshnavi Annush

Age: 33

Website: >www.pookaari.com

Platform for stylish accessories

 Quirky accessories, stylish jewellery, hand-woven scarves, ethnic potlis…pookaari.com is a one stop shop. It caters to stylish women on the move, says ShriVyshnavi, the owner. “Our target audience is women between 20 and 40.”

ShriVyshnavi curates fashion accessories and retails them by teaming up with designers across the country. “I meet them in exhibitions. You get to see both the established and Gen Next designers.”  Every Thursday a new designer is featured in the website .

About the challenges, she laughs, “I wish I could catch more sleep. When you are handling a website, you have to be checking it 24 hours unlike a shop that has a fixed open and close timing.”

The logistics of it can get hectic, especially, during festivals. But staying calm helps says Shri Vyshnavi “Once, a customer returned a damaged product. We replaced it and also sent along a small gift from our side. Such gestures help.”

ShriVyshnavi’s online business mantra

Explore software that offer pre-designed layouts and templates. These are useful to launch a small-scale online store

Pick the right server with good speed

Pick the right product; you must be sure that your customer will covet it. 

Goof ups are allowed. Do not get flustered.

3. Nilisha Bhimani

Age: 27

Website: > www.stayfabulous.in

Shopping site for affordable high-street fashion wear

 “Online business is an interesting format and every business person must consider it,” declares Nilisha. She sources her products from South East Asian countries and works with export houses in India to procure chic sling bags, accessories, dresses and tops.

A visual communication student of PSG CAS, she has worked in Google and Elle as Assistant Manager of ad sales and marketing for the Western Region.

She then decided that she wanted to be her own boss and started her online business. “The beauty of it is that a person in a small town also gets access to my fashion wear,” she says.

The comfort factor is the biggest attraction, she says. “If one can shop in one’s pyjamas from home on a Sunday, why not?”

Social media is great.  She is active on Facebook, Pinterest amd Instagram. “I have hired a full time content manager for the website. Fashion is a highly visual medium. It involves photography and graphics. You must ensure that it has finesse to it.” 

Nilisha’s online business mantra

Have a clear idea of how much you will spend and invest.

Build gradually.

Good communication skills are a must

Pop up events market your product better

 Confidence is the key to success.

4. Shweta Bathija Subash

Age: 27

Website: >www.bahastudio.com

One stop shop for designer footwear

Her love for shoes and fashion made her launch her own collection of high end footwear called Baha, online.  “My target clientele is between 18 and 30, who are tech savvy and shop for everything online. Forty five per cent of our business happens over FB,” she says.

But Shweta says the online footwear segment in India is still struggling. “It is a different ball game. Initially, we had to exchange a few pairs because there were size issues. We had to explain to the customer that sizes change depending on the brand.”

But these issues are manageable. “We have customers who buy once and then become our dedicated clientele. So they can get familiar with our sizes. We also explain every detail to them.”

You could order through her website or Facebook page. “We also hold contests on FB and customers win free gifts. These help in building the brand name,” she believes. But, nothing works like word of mouth recognition, says Shweta. “There are so many players out there. You must market your brand image. And be persistent with it.”

Shweta’s Online Business Mantra

Be clued to the latest fashion trends

Make bloggers and photographers your best friends

 Use the social media

Develop innovative online promotion events

Set aside an amount just for marketing

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 3:03:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/shopping-in-your-pyjamas/article7043261.ece

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