Expertise and Service
MS: Shoppers prefer to buy from people rather than faceless companies, so they really value it when retailers offer expert advice. This can transform the relation with the shopper,from being purely transactional to something deeper and as a result can be a great way for businesses to build preference over a competitor. For instance, we offer customers free appointments with personal stylists to help them pick out accessories that match their garments and the look they could achieve within their budget.
We are constantly working closely with apparel designers who take part in LFW and AIFW, and do joint collections with them thereby offering consumers a unique take on footwear designs, which they can team up with their designer outfits thereby giving them and entire head-to-toe look.
MS: The opportunities are increased consumer awareness of global fashion trends, shopping made easy via e-commerce and social media portals, which has definitely made it easier to connect with consumers who constantly crave for choice.
But on the otherhand, brand loyalty is at an all time low. The consumer is spoilt for choice in every category and enjoys the advantage of price wars amongst retailers, business suffers for everyone as margins are at an all time low. The amount of returns on big ecommerce sites are also a huge problemwe currently face.
The challenges also include fast changing trends, disorganized market and the lack of infrastructure. As a small company the amounts of filings involved, regulations and restrictions and the uncertainty in policies is a continuous threat looming over the business
The Indian e-commerce market is set to reach $60-70billion by 2019. The retail market is all set to double the next few years and touch a whopping trillion by 2020. The number of consumer who purchase online is expected to cross $100million in 2017 and further a 65% jump in 2018.Technology and new trends are going to reshape the future of retail in India. The slow growth of offline retail infrastructure is giving a further boost to online retail and with greater smartphone and internet penetration will provide a huge boost to the sector.
The potential for growth is huge as almost 90% of the Indian market remains untapped. We remain extremely positive about the future of retail in India
MS: As a company, we follow a holistic approach to marketing. Most of our marketing strategies are focused on connecting with our target audience. To that effect, social media marketing plays a pivotal role in our overall strategy. We believe in an organic approach to marketing and are always on the lookout for new avenues to reach out to our audience.
Keeping in line with today’s highly competitive market, we have opted for a multi-channel strategy which allows us to reach a vast array of consumers at their place of convenience. Our brands are available offline at various multi-designer outlets, online websites such as Jaypore, Bunosilo and Nete. We plan on launching our own e-commerce website by year and going on other shopping marketplace giants such as Myntra, Jabong and many more.
In India you have to have an offline presence for scale and this category is an impulse buy. Women usually buy accessories at the store, they do not plan to buy this category while sitting at home
We take part in exhibitions and trade shows all over India which gives us a chance to directly interact with our consumers and a chance to interact with them, which results in a direct feedback and understanding of what the consumer prefers and their taste.
The government has announced the GST rate at 5% for footwear below Rs 500 and 18% for other. Over the years, multiple taxes from excise duty, CST, State VAT, octroi, other local body taxes, along with misguided rates of abatement, had made footwear uncompetitive. High taxes had restricted the growth of footwear consumption. The new GST rates and structure, have simplified the tax structure. Although initially there will be some new systems to set up and put in place which is a big challenge for SMES . Once the systems are in place and the confusion surrounding the filings is addressed, GST will help ease difficulties the Industry had with the current supply chain.
With the filings now to be done quarterly for smaller business definitely takes a bit of the stress out. Increasing labour costs in China and large domestic consumption, India provides the right environment for fresh investment in setting up new and large footwear manufacturing unit in India. GST in the long term will hopefully bring in a new era of ease of doing business in India.
When it comes to women and their fashion, style and shopping, one can go on and on for days, and still not be able to cover it all. The subject is vast and endless. So much goes into a lady’s dressing up. Clothes, jewellery, bags, etc and last, but definitely not the least, her shoes. As a very wise Cinderella said from her prior experience ‘A pair of shoes can change your life’.
The old saying ‘there is a lot you can tell about a person by looking at their shoes’ still holds true. Today, the world of shoes and their designs have evolved in unimaginable ways, especially for women.
Winter is truly amazing as far as fashion in shoes goes for women. One can look glamorous and yet keep the weather in mind. Globally there are two shoe trends which are slaying it. The first is the most popular shoe style for women - boots. Boots of course always make it to the top of the list and are evergreen. However, every season there are new and interesting variations. It used to be the classic knee-length boots in leather, suede, PVC, etc in the most popular shades like black and brown. Every brand, known and unknown, came up with their versions of knee-length boots. Knee-length boots with flat heel for the day, and the heeled versions for more formal wear. Ankle boots have also been around for long. However, they seem to have come back more in vogue now for the last few seasons and look very chic when worn. Flat-heeled ankle boots and ankle boots with heels, there is plenty of choice depending on preference.
While on the subject of boots how one cannot mention the hottest trend- thigh high boots. They have taken the world by storm, and every girl must own one if she considers herself fashionable and chic. This style suits virtually all body types and goes far above the knee and can be anywhere from mid thigh length to a little lower. Usually these can be teemed with a short dress so that the actual length of the thigh high boots is shown or worn with fitted jeans or tights too. The most popular versions of this are in suede or velvet as the fit is better unlike the leather variants. They come in all colors and if you haven’t got yours yet, now is a good time to pick a pair for yourself.
Another notable trend that has prevailed this season is that of sneakers. Once sneakers were confined to mostly sports activities, exercises and treated as extremely casual footwear. How things have changed: sneakers are now the ‘IT’ thing to be worn to a red carpet event with a formal gown actually pretty much with anything. The beauty of wearing sneakers is that one is super comfortable and yet one can make a statement. So sneakers also have evolved of course. Now sneakers come with sequins, popart, metallic and all possible colors and with a thick base heel which makes it super glam and not boring as it used. Sneakers have moved from a very successful summer to winter season and a lot of ladies are seen wearing them with jackets and skirts, jeans, dresses etc.
Because of these I do believe, like Cinderella, that a pair of shoes can change your life. Try it.