Yes, lifestyle and fashion ecommerce stores are coming up by the numbers but there is a market to cater to. Capegemini’s recent study on ecommerce shows that 26% of the Indian respondents (next only to China with 33%) call themselves as digital shopaholics and players like Strand Of Silk are the perfect answer to quench this need.Pinning on such numbers, Strandofsilk.com is an online retailer that sells Indian designer clothing to international markets. What’s interesting about this startup is that they are pegged on the very essence of ecommerce – catering to the customer’s need for something that is not readily available in his/her vicinity. After living for years in the UK, Vivek Agarwal, Founder, Strand of Silk, noticed that the NRIs had no easy way to buy the latest Indian designer clothes. “Moreover, local residents complained about very high local prices and only older collections being available. People needed to go to tucked away corners of the city to potentially buy any good quality collections,” explains Vivek on why he started up.
With focus on offering the latest collections of women’s wear, bridal clothing, accessories, Strand of Silk also has menswear from leading Indian designers for Indian and non-Indian clients. The growing popularity for the works of Indian designers among some of the western celebrities is also generating demand among non-Indian population. Interestingly, their first sale was to a Spaniard living in Madrid. Savvy! Isn’t it? Like many other ecommerce stores that strive to keep the human touch to still be a part of the buying process, Strand of Silk also personalizes and customizes its products to suit the customer’s requirements. Customization could take the form of different colours, embellishments and fit. The growing number of online fashion retailers and their effort to customize products and services clearly indicates a steady change in the consumer behaviour towards buying touch-and-feel commodities like clothes online. This definitely is a huge turning point for online businesses opening doors to explore other untouched avenues for online businesses.
Apart from his experience with being a chartered accountant and investment banker (now running an online fashion retailer), Vivek also has a multi-cultural team of talented professionals who support him with his multi-cultural market. The team includes, Mr. Andreas Schmidt, Ms. Tiphaine Escure, Ms. Annabelle Alexandre, Mr. Arnaud Horau, Mr. Yeqing Zhang Mona, Shooq, Dipali and Ms. Beverley Tsang. Launched in May 2011, Strand of Silk in addition to being online engages with customers through offline touch-points like private events, fashion shows and affiliations with selected partner organisations.
In the future, Vivek expects his company to grow brining in different aspects of contemporary Asia to the international market manifesting itself through clothing, accessories and other forms. As Strands of Silk and other ecommerce companies plan their expansion, the ecommerce market is determined to support all their big plans especially in the developing countries by backing them with consumers that are going digital faster than the consumers in the United States of America. Now that is saying something!
For more on Strand of Silk, take a look at their website