CHENNAI: Two years ago when Adithya G, an IT employee, wanted to get himself a T-shirt for his birthday, he realised that he didn’t really have the time or energy to visit a shopping mall. He decided to settle on an online store. Having shopped mostly from websites such as Flipkart, Adithya says, “I haven’t shopped on a Chennai-based online store yet. The best part about these city-based online stores, I’m guessing, is that the wait-time for customers to get hold of their goods will be less. Also, the chances of receiving a defective or damaged product will be significantly reduced.”
One such city-based online store which also has a home-run boutique is Savi Mami’s boutique. Acknowledging the positives of a full-fledged online portal Saisudha, daughter of owner Savithri, popularly known as Savi mami, says, “An online store is a hassle-free way of shopping and is easy to manage. But by going online completely, we run the risk of losing our loyal customers who have visited our boutique for a good 20 years now.” But in order to expand her business, Savi Mami has been making online deliveries on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/savimamis) for the last five months, having made five deliveries so far. “Every sari is described at length in the online option, with details about material, colour, and texture. There’s a lot of demand for printed silk cotton sarees today,” says Saisudha, adding that the Facebook page helps develop a rapport with young customers.
Style lounge Mudrarika sells jewellery on its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Mudrarika). That was, in fact, the first product that the store, which deals with ethnic products, sold online. And yet, online selling of its products is only in its infancy and a call on going completely online cannot be made now, says Vadhana, a representative from the store.
Neetu, owner of Anokhi Fabric Collection, says, “Our products are described in detail, from the fabric to the design. So our online customers aren’t at a loss. We do not photoshop the pictures, so the colour one gets to see online is what it really is.”
Their walk-in store began taking online orders through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anokhi-Fabric-Collections/164340296972807?ref=ts) about four or five months ago and has made 15 online deliveries so far. “We now get more walk-in customers because of our Facebook page,” she adds, explaining that customers who aren’t residing in Chennai ask their friends or relatives in the city to pick up a certain product that they liked in the online collection. “The friends or relatives also tend to pick up stuff for themselves,” Neetu explains.