Bewakoof.com – an online portal lead by Prabhkiran Singh and Siddharth Munot (engineer buddies from IIT Bombay) has hit the headlines, sometimes for funding from founder of Snapdeal, recently for its women’s collections, most-of-the-times for being licensee of Yash Raj Films and eveytime for the domain name BEWAKOOF.
Staying true to its name, the brand has out-of-the-box strategies for marketing and highly depends upon viral effect for marketing of its women’s category, told Prabhkiran Singh, one of the co-founders, during an interview with us.
What is new with Bewakoof.com?
We are adding more and more categories to our portal. Till now Bewakoof has been selling on its own platform and mobile app, from that we are taking the brand to marketplaces as well.
Don’t you think it has been late for you to foray into Women’s category?
We started out with men’s category. That time we lacked funds to grow, though the brand has been growing profitably and sustainably all this while. Whenever we were to launch a new category, we knew men would give a better response. It was only in past 6 months that we launched women’s category, which we used to consider hardly 5 per cent of the space and right now which is trading at 13 per cent. By next summer, we have plans to take this category to around 50 per cent.
What strategies are you planning to gain that amount of traction?
One important thing has been the social media, wherein we are pretty active. We have around 2 M fan following on Facebook and around 30 thousand followers on Instagram. We have just launched the category and the products were good so word of mouth helped us a lot. If a man likes a product he tells it to 2 people, but if a lady likes a brand, she tell to at least 20 people about it. We believe that the viral effect is much more in case of women consumers. Hence, the marketing budget is much higher for men’s category than women’s category.
We focus a lot on designs and timely delivery, which are the proposition on to grow viral. In case of men’s category, the traffic is organic and we denied on virality to grow. When we started with women category, we realised that it is very little amount of money that we need to put in marketing and its more of word of mouth.
Of late a lot of T-shirt portals have come up. According to you why this market has gain popularity?
It is a very low cost development market. Also, when it comes to domain knowledge, T-shirt is something very low priced to enter. Even we were new to this trade, I did my engineering from IIT – Bombay, and my partner Siddharth Munot and me were not from textile background. Our aim was not to create a T-shirt brand but to create a lifestyle brand. Since we did not know about the market so we thought to start with T-shirts first then getting into full-fledged category which is comparatively tough when it comes to sourcing.
Also, it is a very impulse buying product; if you design it right, people end up buying, despite of the brand being new. But when one is to buy trousers or shirts, consumers are very specific about the material, brand etc. Thus, T-shirt segments ends up being a great entry point of experiencing any brand because low cost, more inclination towards design.
What change do you see in consumer behavior?
One thing that we have observed is that the Indian market has become more fashion conscious, credits to exposure to Hollywood or rise of Instagram. Earlier retailers use to come up with generic cool graphic but that didn’t work much. It used to be something on the lines of brands like Tantra. That was the first idea for Indian audiences.
Over the time we did a lot of experiment and every time we came up with some cool graphic collection, it didn’t work much. It was only in recent past that such concept started working. But one thing has been very constant i.e. whatever the consumer thinks as contemporary; it sells.
For instance, if we had a display on Gangnam style, when the video was released, it had worked for sure. If some movie is about to released, and we have merchandise rights for them, the themed products work. That has been one consistent thing, though the designs keep on changing.
Do you have any plans for option like ‘Create ur own T-shirt’ on Bewakoof.com?
It is a big NO for us because our aim is to create a brand. The fashion is divided into two streams – one where people are designing and other is the readymade market. So the brand is all about - this is what we believe in, this is what we stand for and if you like it, you should buy from us.
A brand can’t directly ask people what exactly you want – be it the fit or the design. This is what our brand believes in. if the people start designing their own stuff then there won’t be any standards of the brands.
What made you go the WhatsApp was to sell products?
WhatsApp was one project that we used to do about one and half year back. The response was very good because that time the smart phone population was exploding in India and people were not very comfortable buying online at that point of time. We interacted with them over WhatsApp and gave a human interaction, that way they got more faith in buying online. Right now we believe that consumers are acquainted with online and such human interaction is not necessary.
How much percentage of your revenue is from Tier II and Tier III cities?
45 per cent of our sales are in metros and a major chunk comes from Tier II and Tier III cities. The reason our brand is relevant is that we believe the people in metros have numerous options in clothing but there are fewer options in fairly priced segment. Through online, we can make it more affordable. Whereas in Tier II and Tier III cities, there is lack of options and by selling online we are offering them accessibility to great designs and that is how we are relevant. Our focus is on age group from 20 to 35 and average ticket size is around Rs 1000.