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When online retailers became Fashion Consultants

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The wave of e-commerce start-ups along with established players has just made the online market a very crowded place. With the plethora of choices available, the customer, instead of being better equipped, can get more confused. In order to dispel this confusion, and add value to their offerings, portals like Myntra and Jabong claim to have become stylists for their customers.

Myntra, which likes to call itself the ‘Fashion portal’ has decided to take on this role quite seriously. The seriousness has given birth to a ‘Style Helpline’ that is available for fashion advice throughout the country at standard call rates on weekdays. A team of in-house stylists offers style tips and solves fashion queries. It’s part of Myntra’s posturing as a fashion conscious retailer taking personalisation to another level. By being personally engaged with customers it hopes to win their trust and earn instant recall.

Myntra’s home page has donned a new look with a section called Style Feed. You can dial a stylist and also get style tips on SMS. The portal has evolved from being just one of many such sites selling apparel, to one that understands the fickleness of fashion, the aspirations of buyers and knows how to gain from it.  It’s a positioning that seems to be working for Myntra .

In addition to the Style Helpline, Myntra’s ‘Look Good’ newsletter is set to make fashion serious business. Its touted to be the daily dose of fashion news, gossip and tips that carries the brand’s purpose to the target audience. With a mix of both Indian and international fashion information, the website has become a go-to destination for all fashion quick fixes.

While Myntra has a highly evolved brand purpose as a fashion stylist, Jabong remains a step behind in its image as a fashion conscious portal. Although the Homepage here too is buzzy, with a sprinkling of fashion news, in its stated purpose Jabong still remains a regular online retailer urging customers to click and purchase. Its opening line on the Home page “You are just a click away from a whole new you” reeks of self-centred urgency. The site is less preachy but does not forget to flaunt its list of designer wear by Rohit Bal, made affordable for Jabong. Yet another feather in its cap was the just concluded India Online Fashion Week where it served as a medium for budding designers and their audience. The designs were made available to online shoppers. What’s more, Jabong has exclusively launched around 10 foreign brands in India. By scaling up its association with international brands, Jabong is trying to take an alternate route to attract eye-balls and earn respect among its customers, many of whom hail from the tier 2 and 3 towns of India.

The fashion category on online portals is becoming increasingly sought after. After acquiring Myntra, Flipkart has announced that it would invest another $100 million in the popular fashion category. Jabong is trying to woo the fashion-conscious consumer in its own way. Finally, what matters for the customer is the exclusivity of products available on the portal and the image that the online portal has been able to construct.

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