With the rise in the number of fashion-tech startups across the globe, we may conclude that the sector is witnessing a boom. At the same time, one of the reasons why brick and mortar retail is still green is because several people consider it as a social activity to go out at leisure with their friends and family. Social shopping is a segment that many have tried to crack but only a few have succeeded.
Delhi based graphic designer Meghna Saraogi, felt that these most of the social shopping apps/platforms fail at providing the core necessary function of real time interactions – where a person can get instantaneous advice on what to buy, what to wear etc. With the aim of solving that problem of solo shoppers, Megha went ahead and found Styledotme.
Styledotme was founded in 2014. Recalling its inception, Meghna said “the startup was conceptualized after a keen observation regarding how the common shopper found it extremely difficult to get the Fashion advice while shopping alone.”
In a nutshell, previously one had to send picture to their friend and wait for reply for feedback. Styledotme’s mission is to make this process simpler for users, by facilitating a service by which users can post a photo on their app and get instant advice within from leading fashion bloggers across India.
Users can upload pictures to see what looks best on them and get votes (called Dots). Moreover, they can set a timer in case there’s an urgency. This feature enables them to garner opinions much faster.
We tried the Android app and found the interface neat, with a smooth experience as well. After Logging in, one can see recent pictures uploaded by users and then you can give a vote and comment respectively on the post.
The startup’s Android app is rated 4.4 on Play Store with 5,000 – 10,000 downloads. The platform also has an app for iOS users, which is rated 4+. With the target audience from 13-28 years, the company claims have over 100+ fashion experts and bloggers across India, Dubai,UK and US.
Styledotme has raised Rs 25 lakh from Indian Angel Network (IAN) lead by Ajay Gupta under ‘Small Ticket Funding programme’.
Currently, in India the startup’s immediate competitor is Withme, with very similar attributes such as Live Timer which helps users set time limit and get advice instantly with 24×7 Fashion Advice which makes it distinctive
The company is planning for hyper growth by the end of this year, and introducing new customer segments.
Fashion is one those segments which will never cease to grow and evolve. With the help of disruptive technologies, the sector has gone through a drastic transformation. Players like Instagram and Pinterest are already ruling the market as of fashion blogging and consulting platforms. Similarly, Whatsapp is another medium that people generally use to get a quick feedback on everything, let alone fashion. Therefore, it will be indeed interesting to see what innovation Styledotme brings in the near future to grab a space in our smartphones. Although the startup is already funded, customer acquisition could be a tough nut to crack given the aforementioned factors. Nevertheless, there’s always a scope for bring something new to the plate and disrupting the market you are targeting, with the help of technology and research.