Being an eCommerce platform allows us to reach a much larger audience than a brick and mortar establishment, says Radhika Bansal, Founder, Swishlist.in, an online designer clothes rental company, during a candid conversation with Retailer Media...
Tell us about your brand and the new concept of fashion rental service?
Borrowing clothes is something Indian women have been doing for generations. Its conventional wisdom that expensive anarkalis, lehengas or saris will not be worn again and it’s better to borrow your cousin's or mami's or mausi's clothes rather than invest in buying them. With Swishlist we have just taken this philosophy further and given women the choice to go beyond the wardrobes of their friends and relatives and think of us as a cousin with an ever-expanding closet of the best and latest designer clothes! Swishlist is about making high fashion accessible. We want young fashion forward and financially savvy women to be able to experiment with their style, keep their look fresh and indulge themselves with top of the line designer wear, all with the convenience of a few clicks on our site and at a fraction of the price.
As fashion rental service is a new concept in the eCommerce space, so how do you manage in terms of customising the product?
Being an eCommerce platform allows us to reach a much larger audience than a brick and mortar establishment. We have made every effort to ensure that our service is easy to use, and delivers on its promise of assuring every customer a truly premium experience with authentic designer wear. Booking an outfit is as easy as choosing the perfect dress on the site, entering the date they want to wear it and hitting Book Now! Every dress is professionally drycleaned and pressed, and beautifully packaged. It arrives at their doorstep in pristine condition, two days before that date to give them plenty of time to accessorise and get their complete look together. The dress is then picked up from them day after, making the return completely hassle-free.
How have you priced the products? What ratio do you maintain for rental products?
Our aim is to make high fashion accessible and deliver a designer experience without the formidable price points. Our prices currently range from 8-18% of the retail price of the outfit and we have prices starting from less than Rs. 1000 in the catalog.
Talking about the customer behaviour, how has been the response by far?
We have received a great response from our customers so far who have been thrilled by the service which in their words made them feel fabulous, special and earned them numerous compliments on their style! All our customers vow to come back again for their fashion fix. We've also been thrilled to see how well our customers have treated the outfits. We have not had a single instance of something coming back damaged or stained. It just goes to show that the customers have loved the service and are happy to reciprocate by treating the outfits with care.
Who are your competitors and what strategy do you adopt in order to compete with them?
When a person is shopping for an outfit there are various attributes that determine their choice such as quality of the material and work, fit, trendyness, variety of options presented to them, accessibility and price. Our strategy is to raise the bar on all fronts.
We offer customers the best designer labels which are synonymous with quality, present a curated catalog which offers a great variety of the latest trends and make it convenient and accessible to them by delivering it right to their doorstep for a fraction of the price.
That's a very compelling proposition. This business model is relatively new in India and there aren't very many formidable competitors offering exactly what we are in terms of designer labels, styles and reach across multiple cities. We are currently competing with substitutes that our customers turn to such as neighbourhood boutiques and discount stores selling knock-offs with a much less attractive offering to customers.
Are you planning to integrate with more designers, and add more categories?
Absolutely. We want to continue to add Indian and International designer names to our catalog and strengthen our offering to customers by presenting a larger variety of styles, labels, colours and sizes in clothes.
What are your expansion plans?
Our focus areas for growth will be three-fold: Firstly, adding substantively to the list of geographic locations that we deliver to. Secondly, cater to a wider audience, and varied needs and customer profiles. Thirdly, enhancing our catalog by bringing a lot more designer labels, styles and sizes under our ambit.
As a startup where do you see yourself in 5 years down the line?
Five years down the line, we see ourselves as the largest player in this exciting space, with Swishlist emerging as a brand that young Indian women recognise and identify with. We see ourselves housing some of the best designer names in the business, and catering to a vareity of customer needs. Our vision is for our target audience to think of us as an extension of their own wardrobe-but one that always has the most exclusive and on-trend designer wear all the time! Whatever the occasion, your best friend's wedding or just a fun night out with your friends, Swishlist has just the thing for you.
Do you plan to venture with other eCommerce marketplaces?
We do plan to partner with a variety of other leading eCommerce players and marketplaces to gain access to enhance our reach and brand visibility.