Indian fashion landscape has always been driven by innovations and experiments. What started with traditional retailing further elevated to eCommerce echelon is now moving towards a new horizon. Online fashion renting platforms, in today’s time, have started building momentum betting on the changing consumer mindset towards rental models.
Today consumers think about rentals as a smarter and economical way of meeting their shopping needs. OhLook.in, a fashion rental marketplace for men, with its unique subscription-based model claims that their customers will never have to wear the same shirt twice.
Sahil from Retailer Media caught up with Armaan Azaad, CMO, OhLook.in to know more about the dynamics of this subscription-based model and how the company plans to disrupt the fashion rental ecosystem.
Talk to us about OhLook.in and the need it is serving in the market?
Today, all entrepreneurs, bankers, sales guys and IT professionals realise that looking dapper and smart does matter a lot. But on the other hand, everyone is worried of what it would cost to keep up with trends and buying new clothes. But here’s the solution.
OhLook.in is the only subscription-based fashion rental service for men available today that lets them wear a different shirt every single day from top brands and latest trends. That’s right, our users will never wear the same shirt twice and that’s an OhLook.in guarantee.
Apart from the luxury of having an unlimited wardrobe, our busy customers are also freed from the hassles of washing and ironing. All of this at just a price of 2,500 per month, which is probably lesser than the amount one would spend on buying 2 branded shirts.
OhLook.in’s super-awesome artificial intelligent technology, built using the expertise of multiple stylists understands what shirts would look good on which customers based on their personality and style preferences. It then auto-picks shirts for the customer, making sure that they love every shirt they get without having to wear it twice.
To summarise OhLook.in is here fulfil the dream of millions of men, wanting to wear a different shirt every day (like the celebs), without burning holes in their pockets.
How has been the customer response so far?
OhLook.in has been successful in attracting the attention of people, especially from the IT industry, in Hyderabad. A simple post in a start-up group about our value proposition spread like wild fire, bringing in over 1,500 unique visitors and 30 orders that single day. OhLook.in created buzz on social media and within weeks we reached 9,500 likes on our Facebook page. With major partnerships in pipeline, we wanted to control the number of orders by changing the purchase model to Request for Invite. Today, we have over 250 orders in less than 2 months with not even a single penny being spent on marketing. Word-of-mouth did the trick for us.
Are you planning to integrate more designers and categories?
Yes, absolutely. Currently OhLook.in’s wardrobe flaunts over shirts from over top 25 brands in the country. Going further, we are looking at on-boarding international luxury brands like Versace, Armani and Ben Sherman as well. Also, we aim to on-board celebrated and budding designers in the country to list their designs with us.
Additional to the subscription model, we aim to launch on-demand services for renting luxury, ethnic and party wear.
Who is your target consumer? Could you please share how you have detailed your consumer?
Every man, who wants to look the fashionable best every day and is limited by time and he is our target customer. However, initially, we are targeting young professionals in tier-I cities in India aged between 21-29 years from mid-income group. We have begun creating our marketing campaigns and plans targeting IT professionals, post which, we will target other professionals.
Put some light on the investment front of OhLook.in
We have graduated funds from a European Accelerator, Spark10, where we raised $15,000 seed investment at an idea stage. We are looking at raising $100,000 to scale our operations to Bangalore and New Delhi and on-board 4,000 regular monthly customers.
Do you have any plans for geographic expansion? Are the consumers ready for such model?
We have identified 6 cities where our service could be good fit that includes Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Pune, Mumbai and Chennai. Our target is to be active in 3 cities in the next 18 months. We receive a minimum of 10 calls every day from Bangalore and Delhi, requesting when our services will be available in those cities.
Additionally, we estimate OhLook.in can penetrate Tier-II cities as well. However, we haven’t explored the market opportunity there, as yet.
What were the major challenges you faced while rooting the business in the market?
The biggest challenge was not convincing the consumers, but the families and relations of the consumers. The millennia crowd has been very much in support of this idea; however, convincing the elders has been a significant challenge. We aim to change this with eye-opener marketing campaigns, telling them how they have been indulging in clothing rental for all their life now.
Sharing clothes isn’t new to anyone. People have been using used bath robes, towels and blankets in hotels and trains. And hence, as the need increases and people see their friends get job promotions and dates, thanks to OhLook.in, we will soon have more people adopting our service.
Also, we believe this taboo will soon be forgotten, just like the taboo of online matrimonial and dating.
How much revenue do you expect from OhLook.in within a span of one year?
Looking at the trend of requests and orders, we are aiming to hit an order quantity of a minimum of 2500, which shall help us generate a revenue of 4.60 crore by the end of September 2017.
Many startups in this segment have struggled to gain traction. What drove you to get into it?
While a lot of startups have struggled, a lot more have been supremely successful in the business, with over 5,000 on-demand orders per month. While, all the clothing rental companies have been strictly focusing towards luxury clothing, the need for which arises not more than 5-10 times in a year, the cost of customer acquisition becomes heavier than the LTV. We have targeted an everyday need, something that is desired 365 days a year. In our case, LTV is far superior to the acquisition cost. Also, inclusion of luxury wear would open our doors to generating big money with lesser effort.
Today, we have customers, whose dependency on OhLook.in is so high, that many of them offer to pay extra, so as to avail our services on the weekends too.
Where do you see the rental industry 3-5 years down the line and how OhLook.in will play an integral role in disrupting it?
Clothing rental is certainly here to stay, irrespective of what the old crowd has to say. The millennia crowd is smarter and understands that access to wear 240 branded shirts is certainly more sensible than owning 12-15 shirts, which anyways get worn out or are out of fashion in 6 months. Clothing rental will soon lose its ‘Taboo Status’ in the country and will join the ‘For The Smart Spenders’ club. OhLook.in will certainly be among the few who would majorly constitute to this change. OhLook.in also aims to disrupt the men’s fashion industry, which has been in the back seat for quite some time now.