That1Too is a platform that curates independent boutiques and brands and delivers them across India.
Aruna R Krishnan and Srigopika Radhakrishnan are an unlikely twosome. Aruna is the editor and publisher of Ritz magazine. Srigopika, with a master's in AI and robotics, is the Director of UCAL Exports, an automated manufacturing and export company in Chennai.
Last year, the two women joined hands to start That1Too—a network that curates independent boutiques and brands. The idea is to bring together the best affordable brands and boutiques across India. The customers get a platform to find new affordable brands, while the brands get to be a part of a network that brings them customers online and into their stores.
“Some of our boutiques have been in business for half a century or more. Located everywhere from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Cochin, etc., but united in one e-commerce website,” adds Srigopika.
The team claims to have built a network of over 120 brands across India with over 100 others in the pipeline.
A travel idea
That1Too aims to allow customers to shop for these unique brands online. It either delivers directly to their homes or to one of its network stores in the city where customers can pick up their items and get discounts.
The idea came to the duo while they were travelling. Friends and family would often suggest them to get things from particular boutiques and stores in different cities. These stores were unique and not available online. Srigopika explains,
“Our simple idea was to bring together these brands that focus on a core set of values of affordability, quality, and uniqueness of design on one platform. We focus equally on our brands and our customers. While giving our customers a unique range of items to choose from, we are able to generate value for our brands and boutiques.”
From the beginning, they wanted to build a platform on a zero-inventory model. The biggest challenge was to seamlessly integrate drop shipments with their supplier base for as many unique pin codes as possible.
The numbers and the market
Today, within 10 months, That1Too claims to have over 120 brands/boutiques with whom they have drop shipments—they deliver to over 15,000 pin codes in India which includes next day delivery. It has a core team of 12 people.
The team claims to have been participated in over 10 exhibitions across South India and conducted two fashion shows. “We are seeing a strong growth of 25 percent month-on-month. We have some of the lowest returns in the industry owing to our careful curation of brands,” adds Srigopika.
Today, moving away from the Flipkarts and Amazons of the world, there are several niche e-commerce marketplaces, like LoveThisStuff, Kraftly, DailyObjects and qtrove that are focused on unique products. Most have raised from a few lakh to a couple of crores of funding.
Etsy, a US-based online platform for handcrafted goods, is the inspiration behind the Indian alternative marketplaces. It is a listed entity with a market cap of almost $1.5 billion.
That1Too wants to make affordable luxury fashion accessible to consumers, but it is not at the cheapest price or the most exclusive designs yet. Srigopika says,
“Every day we aim to bridge the gap between the two with our curation. Our most important criteria for the products on our site is to show value at the price point they are sold. We aim to hit the sweet spot of Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500 and offer a range of products, both ethnic and western for men and women. We also have an extremely popular range of 100 percent organic and natural skincare brands that we are proud to associate with.”
Presently, the team is working on an app to allow customers to search for That1Too network brands/boutiques in any city. It is also working on exclusive discounts for customers when they walk into the network stores to buy products.
That1Too is also looking at pop-up stores in malls of different cities to promote its network brands.
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