Mumbai-based Outletwise.Com, a platform for Hi-End Fashion and Lifestyle E-Commerce launched its beta version in the last week of March 2012 and has since then been experiencing steady rise in traffic and revenues. The site enables Designers, Stores and Brands and builds and manages their own online store and caters to the premium segment of the market across all fashion and lifestyle needs, which include products for Women, Men, Kids and Home.
The site currently has over 25 stores with more than 1,500 handpicked products on OUTLETWise and is adding newer stores on the go. The company has signed-up designers such as Preeti Jhawar, Karishma Trehan, Charu Anand and stores and brands like Zari, Homewards, Aguaclara, Buttercups etc.
The company was founded by Sumant Kasliwal who is a Chartered Accountant and has over 13 years of work experience across Broadcast Media, Internet & Private Equity. Sumant is also a co-founder of Skoolshop.com, an education and school commerce online destination, which was launched in October 2011 and is currently managed by his partner Satya Raghavan.
Speaking with Iamwire, about the USP of the newly launched platform, Sumant said, “Our research indicates that there are numerous designers, brands and store which have rich, high quality and differentiated products but are not accessible everywhere. These brands themselves have realised that their consumers are already online and searching for them. But they lack wherewithal, time or will to build their own online presence and sell. OUTLETWise business model is around E-commerce, enabling these designers, stores and brands and providing them with end-to-end E-commerce service and solution.”
The business model is simple. Outletwise helps Designers, Stores and Brands open their online stores at www.outletwise.com. While designers/stores focus on their merchandise, the company takes care of all the other functions of product profiling, logistics, marketing, customer service and their online presence. The company does not charge any fee for signing up and opening the store but charges a commission on sales.
Speaking on the challenges ahead, Sumant said, “E-commerce largely benefitted from the gaps in the physical retail environment and its inherent technical advantage but there are still significant challenges, both from business model and ecosystem point of view, which requires focus and correction. It’s obvious that only those who have right strategy and model in place to sustain for longer term will prevail.”
The company has a team of 12 people who manage technology, content, profiling, marketing and customer service. For logistics, the company has partnered with Aramex and Bluedart for deliveries within India, while DHL and TNT are international delivery partners.
The company offers a 30-day replacement policy with free shipping all over India and has all major payment options available to consumers, such as credit/debit cards, net banking and cash payments through Gharpay as well as payments through PayPal for international customers. The company is currently self-funded and would look for investments in a 6-12 month window post setting-up of a successful business.