The new retail trend seems to be the online shopping sites selling fashion accessories and even garments to an audience spread nationwide. You could be living in Bhopal or Hyderabad or New Delhi and have access to the same selection of merchandise only with a few mouse clicks. Here is a look at a few e-tail websites in India to help you decide which fulfills your needs better
Thumbs Up: Shopnineteen.com offers fashion apparel and accessories for young women. They play with the number 19 and highlight 19 ‘most wished trendiest items’ to help the customers know what is in fashion at the moment. This kind of editorial content to an online sales websites makes shopping for its target customer easier. They also have a blog section which talks about the current culture, fashion and trends. The footwear collection is a great addition to the mix.
Thumbs Down: This is a great one-stop site for young girls (around the age of 19) to purchase fashion items that are part of a popular culture at the moment. Customers in their late 20s and beyond may find the language of the website bit too young and this could prevent them from making a purchase.
Thumbs Up: Launched in December 2011, this e-tail site is hard to avoid when considering fashion online retail choices and has done a tremendous promotional activity online. On offer are basic wear for men and women of all age groups. The product range will appeal to an urban audience looking to purchase western wear that could be worn at home or outside if paired with existing wardrobe items.
Thumbs Down: The basic t-shirts and denims are a clear winner. Instead of expanding to cater to a new customer demand of ‘graphic/slogan’ garments, the website could expand their styles, cuts and fits of basic wear by offering more options to the existing customer base. A wider option of denim fits for both men and women will make sure their target audience keep coming back to them to fulfill their basic wear needs.
Thumbs Up: Introducing the concept of event-based online sales for a limited time period, 99labels boasts of selling fashion garments, accessories, jewellery, lifestyle products, furniture at members-only prices that are upto 90% off on the label prices. Brands like Diesel, Pierre Cardin, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Versace, Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani can be purchased from this website.
Thumbs Down: It is a member’s only purchase site where items can be viewed only by their members. There are three ways one can become a member—be invited by 99labels, be referred by an existing member, or adding oneself to the member wait list. Though the registration is free of charge, creating this exclusive ‘members only’ log-in to see the product range may turn off the customers who are looking for a quick one-time purchase.
Thumbs Up: A personal favourite, the Sher Singh website is a sign of class and originality when it comes to creating and selling an Indian modern fashion brand. The products are unique only to the website as the sale items are designed and manufactured in-house. The brand started small by selling a capsule collection of polo shirts with an embroidered logo of the Sher Singh crest. The pricing and quality is considerably better than international branded polo shirts, which are so loved by the urban Indian crowd. A winning addition is the kids collection, which has adorable uni-sex cricket polo shirts in many colours.
Thumbs Down: The selection is limited to garments with a recent addition of jewellery for women. Though not a negative, this selection could expand over time and provide its customers a one-stop site to purchase a collection that resonates the much-appreciated Sher Singh quality. At the same time, a mass expansion of product range that does not match their sensibility could be a disconnect.
Thumbs Up: One thing women and men feel shy to shop for is lingerie. So an online site selling lingerie that delivers to your doorstep should be an easy win. Zivame caters to the Indian woman and offers hand-picked lingerie from the most sought after brands like Amante, Bw!tch, Hollywood Fashion Secrets, Enamor, Jockey, Hanes, Lovable and Triumph. From daily wear lingerie to shapewear (tummy tucker and bodysuits), there is a wide variety in offer here.
Thumbs Down: Zivame.com though promises to be an Indian website catering to Indian women’s body shapes and sizes surprisingly only has images of foreign models. Though the Brazilian body shape may be coveted world over, to win the Indian customer’s trust, the website could improve by highlighting their products shot on local faces and body shapes.
Thumbs Up: This fashion website has distinguished their products into three simple categories – ‘Clothing’, ‘jewellery’ and ‘accessories’. Making shopping easier is their feature of narrowing down the product search by selection of a particular designer, or/and price range, or/and style (sleeves or sleeveless) and even materials. This site is good for women looking for a quick purchase of a particular fashion item be it a woollen wrap, shrug or an anaarkali. Another plus point is that they deliver in over 200 countries and have free shipping within India. They also have sales where the price is marked down to 30 – 60% at times.
Thumbs Down: While they have a good selection of indo-western and ethnic wear in garments and jewellery, the selection of accessories is very limited and seems to be there for the sake of creating a miscellaneous category. From a JLo perfume bottle to a Benetton wallet, the selection could be more refined or could be retitled as ‘Gifts’ section instead of accessories.
The writer is a fashion blogger (www.lovestruckcow.blogspot.com) who attempts to bridge the gap between creator and consumer. As a fashion writer, she hopes to promote Indian fashion among Indians and on a global level too.