This can be a candid confession from each person however it turns into all the more placing while you realise that it comes from a person who now's the founder of a social networking style app Styledotme! While Meghna may not have had a remarkable fashion feel again then, what she did have turned into a habit commonplace to many younger women – compulsive buying!
Working as a picture designer in Designosis in Delhi, Meghna might locate herself locked in trial rooms, taking pics of herself in numerous clothes, as she fumbled between deciding what to shop for, what now not to shop for, what looks desirable on her, what doesn’t. Invariably, she could become sending images to her buddies, calling them to take their opinion before creating a purchase. The complete process became so very time-ingesting and frustrating. And there have been extra of her tribe, plagued by using the identical dilemma. Says Meghna,
I realised that lot of other people face the identical trouble. That’s once I idea that there need to be an immediate style recommendation platform, which might make it so much more convenient for shoppers to make a purchase choice, without wasting tons time.
While the inspiration came to her in a couple of minutes, it took a while to figure out the exact dynamics of how the platform need to look like. Her selections were to either make it a aggregate of ecommerce and a polling/recommendation platform or just a simple style platform. Ultimately she determined to not mix everything up, determined towards the ecommerce part, stop her process as a style clothier, and moved again to Indore in 2013, to store on residing prices and work complete-time on her concept.
Initially participating with a team of developer students, she worked on the first model of the app. In 2014, Styledotme – a fashion app that enables users make quick and immediately style selections thru their networking of buddies and followers, together with expert advice – become released on Android. Realising fast that fashion and iOS go extraordinarily well collectively, with some tweaks and a pivot, Styledotme was launched at the iOS platform too, in April 2016.
The app allowed customers to immediately get connected with their buddies and followers and ask them to vote for the selected selections. In addition, it boasted of a feature wherein a timer can be connected to the SOS notification that countdowns while reminding the urgency to vote.
The female who was not certain of her fashion choices is now helping thousands make the proper desire!
Dot Me Or Not Me
The fashion app allows people get instantaneous style recommendation through the assist of dots which can be votes from friends or nots (which are rejects). So if a user is unsure of what to save, what seems good on them, they could certainly upload his/her photograph on the app. Their pals, who follow them along with 2 hundred active style bloggers at the platform, can either dot them, for this reason approving the appearance or now not it, which means they disapprove of the look, doling out immediate fashion advice while buying.
More so, because humans could want advice the moment they're purchasing to make your mind up and now not a few hours later while that advice could have no fee, the app lets in users to position a timer whilst posting. This timer sends out a notification to anyone who’s following the user at the side of the two hundred style specialists so that the person can get recommendation within time. Additionally, the app also permits humans to comment with the pictures, which can have tags and links, as a result redirecting the user to relevant sites to buy the products he/she likes.
The app objectives customers mainly from thirteen to 30 years of age. Admits Meghna, “Initially we concept it made experience most effective for ladies. But now, over forty five% of our users are men, who aren't most effective looking for stuff for themselves however their girlfriends, sisters, buddies. We have so many trial room selfies of men on our app. Hence the use instances are increasing every day. I by no means idea that guys would be so pressured!”
Meanwhile, the fashion bloggers, stylists, make-up artists, and even occasion designers are the influencers or the professionals on the app. To differentiate them from other users, they have got a awesome badge on the app. How treasured they are to the platform can be gauged from the reality that Meghna has in my opinion spoken to each unmarried blogger on the platform.
Building A One Stop Solution For Everything In Fashion
With the release of the iOS and Android versions this 12 months, Styledotme’s app downloads have grown to 15K with about 5,500 month-to-month energetic users at the platform. As according to Meghna, the in-app engagement too remains high. For example, in less than mins, 20 to 25 humans can be known as upon to vote and remark.
Though the startup is not revenue-effective in the interim, starting next month the revenue version can be in region. As of now, you can actually handiest advise thru the dot/not characteristic or feedback. But going forward, humans can be able to request for fast advice, online and offline.
The on-line advice could be allotted thru chat and video while the offline advice way that one may want to definitely book sessions with specialists. Styledotme ambitions to monetise via commissions at the extra curated, more advanced recommendation vertical. Additionally, some other revenue model may be to fee manufacturers for curated content material on the platform and for redirecting customers to their respective websites for product purchases.
Adds Meghna, “In terms of product, we are searching at constructing a one-forestall solution for any and everything in fashion. So if you want to realize: in which do I buy something, how do I appearance, how do I style, we want Styledotme to be that prevent for you. In terms of downloads, via the quit of this year, we plan to have 1 Lakh downloads.”
In February this 12 months, the startup raised an undisclosed amount of investment from Indian Angel Network. The funding became made beneath the ‘Small Ticket Funding programme’, which turned into introduced with the aid of IAN ultimate 12 months. Under the initiative, early degree ventures can immediately enhance a funding of INR 25 Lakhs to satisfy instant fund requirements. The startup is trying to improve greater finances in the instant destiny because it eyes in addition product improvement and a bigger audience.
While Styeldotme has mostly grown organically, it has now not shied far from task thrilling advertising campaigns. One such activity was constructing a trial room at Janpath marketplace in Delhi! Explains Meghna, “Because maximum of our users submit from trial rooms in the store, so we concept why now not put up a trial room on the street.” The marketing campaign went viral, bringing tons-wanted visibility to the startup.
Now, it's far focussing on different programmes inclusive of the campus ambassador programmes to target the college crowd. In the pipeline are plans to awareness on marketers, with the aid of getting some vibrant entrepreneurs on board and fashion them to target the entrepreneurial network. Similar campaigns might be run for corporates.
The middle group consists of four team members which, besides Meghna include Avinash Ruchandani, an IIT/IIM bypass-out who these days left his soft task at Accenture; Akhil Tolani who bought his first app while he become simply 15 for $100K; Sahil Deswal who has developed four android apps for a couple of startups and Lalit Vijay an ex-tech co-founding father of foodtech startup Zeppery who leads the whole lower back cease operations.
The Fashion Discovery Players
Fashion discovery goes to be a multi-billion dollar possibility within the coming instances and it's miles however herbal that pretty a few players are already trying to make their mark. Personalised fashion discovery engine and purchasing assistant Fabence, Seedfund-subsidized Voonik, and Tiger Global backed Roposo are some of the formidable gamers looking to simplify the maze around fashion discovery.
Then there may be VentureNursery-sponsored social discovery and curation device for ecommerce, Klip.In, Bengaluru-primarily based hyperlocal discovery platform Wooplr, and Mumbai-based totally style ecommerce app Hippily.
Another Mumbai-based on-line fashion styling platform StyleCracker, is for folks who wish to get styled with the aid of the usa’s reputed and renowned designers in the style industry. Then there's WithMe – a platform constructed round fashion inspiration and ideas that assist its users determine on what to buy or put on. A consumer’s social network and a bunch of favor specialists answer their style queries in actual time.
Meghna, but, is unfazed by means of the competition. She says, “What differentiates us from the relaxation fashion platforms is our immediacy. On all of the others, you don’t have the scope of immediate style help. How will human beings reply speedy until they've seen your publish real time? So we are relying on the instantaneous element and the pressing wishes of a shopper.”
Apart from that, she is going on to feature that the type of efforts the team has installed building the product, its UI and UX, also makes it stand out. She claims that the app doesn’t appear to be an Indian app, it has an international look and feels to it. Technology features consisting of sentiment analysis with a purpose to permit it to focus on the exceptional comment or the maximum valuable remark to the user, etc. Also are supposed to help the startup stand aside. She concludes,
It’s all approximately execution as well as the value proposition we are giving to the patron. We are looking to construct a global product with a strong technology, a product the arena might want to use.
As according to a recent Morgan Stanley record, the Indian ecommerce marketplace is anticipated to be worth $119 Bn with the aid of 2020. Added to that, phone customers in India are projected to attain over 500 Mn via 2018, pointing out to the large opportunity to hand for style discovery startups like Styledotme.
As more and more people come online for following fashion trends and searching for fashion recommendations, fashion social networks will make bigger, gaining more traction and therefore entice a bigger wide variety of ecommerce clients who would want to leverage their networks for boosting income. Styeldotme’s project might be to turn out to be the desired style discovery platform in comparison to its competitors.
In that sense, its consciousness on building a technologically strong product will assist its motive. However, how it tackles opposition from more potent and lots more-funded players along with Roposo and Voonik is a question whose answer best time will inform.