We want to provide a unique shopping experience to our customers: Gargi Banerjee

The shopping destination, which is being led under the creative vision and guidance of Gargi Banerjee, Founder of Elanstreet, has brought a fresh concept in the fashion stream.
Gargi Banerjee, Founder, Elanstreet

Online stores have driven on the path which leads them to customers swiftly. The online shopping stream has nabbed multi-billion dollar revenue due to the transition in shoppers’ preferences. The shoppers between the age group of 25 and 34 rely on their smartphones to shop online.

At present, the online shoppers are eyeing flexible shopping options where 62 per cent are ready to shop online and make returns in-store. On the other hand, 44 per cent online shoppers are looking for options to buy online and pick up their orders from stores. While there are different agendas on customers’ lists, Elanstreet has set new dimensions in the vertical of online shopping.

The shopping destination, which is being led under the creative vision and guidance of Gargi Banerjee, Founder of Elanstreet, has brought a fresh concept in the fashion stream. In an interaction with Gargi Banerjee, Retailer Media came across her journey and experiences in the retail segment.  

What is the style quotient of Elanstreet? How is it making a new mark in terms of style and trend?
We believe that style is a deeply personal quality. There are countless brands in the market offering a bewildering variety of apparel and accessories. Real style is a mix of trends with the user’s personal sensibilities and lifestyle. As a personal styling website, we aim to help consumers discover their unique style sensibilities and choose what they wear according to their style.                            .

For each client who approaches us for styling services, the assigned stylist (in-house or from our extended panel of style partners) has detailed conversations and there’s a style quiz (on the website) to understand their personal preferences, context, suitability and budget. Based on these conversations and expert style assessment, the stylist recommends ensembles through curated look books, product recommendations and suggests ways to make the most of the garments and accessories they own/purchase.

Understanding that style isn’t merely about the clothes one wears, we also offer image consultations with certified professionals who can offer training on professional demeanor and etiquette and soft skills.

What is the kind of funding that you’ve received so far?
We are bootstrapped by choice so far. Funding, whether external or own, like any other resource, will be a strategic decision keeping in mind the timing, quantum and the right mix.

What inspired you to setup this brand? Share story behind it?
I have been an early adopter of online commerce and have been trying out private sales sites since 2007. However, by 2014, as a professional with a high pressure job and young family, I started to find the online websites as cluttered an experience. Around the same time, there was a sudden explosion of fashion bloggers gaining popularity as influencers around the world including India. I felt that there is a large base of customers who could benefit if the style influencers could be brought on a platform to give a more personalised style advisory coupled with an actual execution of the advice. That is when Elanstreet was conceptualised as a one stop personal styling platform bringing together style consultants and fashion brands to give a personalised, highly curated experience to a customer.

What has been your ‘Aha Moment’ in the business? (The high point)
From the initial reach out to fashion brands, style consultants and lifestyle brands, we found a lot of interest in the concept. Personalisation with scalability specially related to styling is a narrative that we feel will find increasing traction as customers become more discerning and evolved.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in scaling up? How are you addressing it?
Being a styling focused website, we want to make sure that the experience that we provide to our customers remains unique. Therefore, we want to make sure that the initial customers that we touch base with are within the chosen target segment. At present, we have been working on collaborations and cross promotions across the lifestyle segment to ensure that we achieve scalability without compromising on quality. The tech enabled tools that our style partners have been provided with also help us personalise with scale.

How have you detailed your consumer?
There are thousand reasons to reach out for a little help from your personal stylist:

i. Preparing for a wedding, grand occasion, corporate events or professional events.

ii. When you’re stuck in a rut and need to boost your self-image. Personal stylists help create a unified look depending on body type, personality and colour.

iii. Packing for a trip: Going for a vacation or a business trip? To make sure you pack the optimum clothes and accessories.

iv. When you’re expecting a baby and you need an appropriate wardrobe.

v. If you’ve recently undergone a drastic body transformation: lost or gained too much weight.

How do you see the growth scenario in this business? What are your future scale-up plans?
There is a wide scope in the styling industry as everyone needs a stylist for them to look presentable. Being a startup, we would initially focus on business expansion and then try to aim for global reach.

How have you addressed the challenges of e-Commerce ever since inception?
As a personal styling website, e-Commerce is a value addition which we provide our customers with, enabling them to execute the advice through the same portal. We do not restrict our customers to only the brands on our catalogue, we provide suggestions from our associate partner sites as well.

Who are your style partners and how do you select them?
Our style partners include personal stylists, fashion stylists and image consultants bringing along vast experience with them. Our style partners are recommended to clients as per their location, needs, and budget. At present, there are over 60 style partners associated with the website, in all major metropolitan cities.

Stylists and image consultants either approach us directly through the style partner registration link available on the website or our in-house styling team approaches them. After a long background, expertise, interest and portfolio assessment, they are hired as style partners and recommended to clients.

Gargi Banerjee
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