Nidhi Yadav, Creative Head & Founder, AKS Clothings

While pursuing her fashion designing course in Italy, Nidhi Yadav thoroughly studied the business model of the iconic brand, Zara. Inspired by their success, she decided to replicate it in AKS, a brand of Yuvdhi Apparels, founded by Nidhi on May 14 with small seed capital of INR 3.5 lac and a small warehouse of less than a thousand units. AKS has its headquarter in the Millennium City of India, Gurgaon, and has an integrated network of printing, dyeing, stitching and manufacturing units in the Pink City, Jaipur.

 

Finding inspiration is the first and foremost thing required, and it must be followed by sketching your Idea or may be presenting your idea in the most explicable way possible. Then, selection of fabrics, manufacturing techniques, and a good knowledge of which fabric works on which silhouette are the must-have skills for every designer. No doubt, these qualities confirm that one is a good fashion designer but to ascertain success one must score big in the market not only in the shows. So, a perfect mix of creativity and business ingenuity is the ultimate formula for success for fashionpreneur in the competitive age. E-commerce has brought a drastic revolution in the business world; it has turned the tables. Now, it’s no longer important to be from traditional business family to get into any that circle; whosoever pursues dreams pursues success. The key to have achieve success is to, “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” Keep your vision in mind in everything that you do: branding, marketing, lead generation, customer interaction and service. If this is merged into the cultural fabric of your company, your vision will stand out. 

E-commerce: Growth Multiplier for the Fashion Industry

Recent years have witnessed even the fashion capitals get completely digitalized. All the way from New York and Paris to London and Milan, the amazing designs of the best- sorted fashion hubs get instantly updated on the different online portals because by all odds e-commerce is the growth multiplier for the fashion industry. With time, technology has become an inseparable part of fashion that gets used even before the stitches and cuts get into the picture. But, in this extremely competitive environment, it’s not enough for a company to sell just the best-sorted apparels online, they need to do a lot more to have a way ahead of the competitors. It’s just the distribution channel that gets bigger in size with the presence of an online portal; however, to compete in an already-saturated market the brands need to improve their user experiences too. 

The digital storm is not just limited to major brands, but also offers benefits to the budding local designers who are trying to build their names. This digitalization is not just offering them a platform to learn but has also created a space to connect and learn from the well-acclaimed mentors of the industry.  Being a newbie, it’s not always necessary for the amateur designers to have a website; they can start by selling it on Etsy. In case they can arrange for a website, then it’s much more than better, but they need to get aware of the fact that websites of their own needs to always stay parallel with mobile optimization and site development trends in order to make it easier for the user to reach them. Amateur designers also need to understand that while being online they face-off with numerous benefits in the very social world of fashion luminaries. Also, e-commerce has made it easy to reach far away audience. “You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and bring them back to your store”. But Customer research is essential. You need to make sure you are finding out all you can from internet trends to help you identify their likes and dislikes, and where audiences spend their time online.

Online is the Live Wire 

A smartphone is the first love of Gen-Y, and connectivity is its lifeblood. According to the latest study by Technopak, presently there are more than 431 million internet users in India, and this number is expected to reach 750 million by 2026. On the other hand, the market research done by Morgan Stanley on India’s e-commerce market is full of bright prospects; India will have an overwhelming online shopper’s base of as high as 320 million people by 2020, which is more than 600 percent higher than the 50 million record of 2015. India is witnessing an exponential growth in the e-commerce sector, and fashion & lifestyle is the most blessed sector of this unprecedented growth. Improved connectivity and high penetration of smartphones are adding wings to e-commerce even in the semi-urban areas of the country. And, this all is neither overrated nor exaggerated because the apparently skeptical story sounds truly believable with the support of data.  According to KPMG, 85 of SMEs in India who have adopted the e-commerce route witnessed a 51 percent hike in their revenues and a 49 percent surge in profits. 

Even when we get precise, and focus on just the fashion industry of India, we get to know that the sector has reached a standpoint where the absence of retailers from web portals will instantly make them vanish away from the landscape. As the studies reveal, online shopping spends alone in India have surpassed the $20 billion mark in 2016 and are projected to reach the $100 billion by 2020. This effective wave of e-commerce which is transforming the businesses is the outcome of many inter-dependent factors like –favorable economic policies, improved infrastructure, the growing penetration of smartphones in the country, rising disposable income, and a flourishing startup culture. 

It’s Time to Embrace the Change

Designers need to understand that E-commerce stands are not just limited to selling products but instead have a plethora of brilliant experiences to offer the customers that will not just initiate sales but will also make them volunteer as the brand ambassadors. Smart, intuitive interface backed by technology, faster discovery of products and secure transactions are some of the many attributes that will define the e-commerce space in the upcoming years. Accessibility, timely delivery, and real-time customer redress will become the general business norms in the online fashion world. 

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