It was originally founded in the year 2012 by Amit and Anahat Rawal. RITESH SRIVASTAVA and his team took over Elitify.com because they believed the brand has a lot of potential and offers immense business opportunities. Ritesh, its CEO, informs S&A’s Bobo Meitei that as a fashion curator, we emphasize on bringing the exclusive and premium brands from the fashion capitals of the world to style savvy customers in India.
We acquired Elitify in August 2017. It was originally founded in 2012 by Amit and Anahat Rawal. We took over Elitify because we extensively believed that the brand has a lot of potential and offers immense business opportunities. Initially, for about 3-4 months we planned and worked around maintaining basic hygiene, solving IT glitches, strategizing marketing strategies, key messaging for our valued customers etc. Also, at Elitify we work on an ideology where we treat the business as spiritual. Our aim is to render utmost satisfaction to the customers, to offer them quality at best price. Within a short span of time, we managed to gain customers’ trust, faith and confidence. We have witnessed an impressive double-digit growth and have made almost 15000+ customers, out of which 40% of orders have been placed by our repeat customers.
Features of the platform
We aim to reposition Elitify.com as a luxury lifestyle destination for fashion enthusiasts. Elitify has always been ahead in the fashion game and has been a trendsetter in the e-commerce ecosystem. As fashion curators, we emphasize on bringing the exclusive and premium brands from the fashion capitals of the world to style savvy customers in India. Over the years, Elitify has evolved from a discounted luxury portal to a more exclusive and sophisticated portal in terms of the brand mix, categories, catalog depth, and overall shopping experience, etc. This year, we have introduced few India exclusive global brands like the Banana Republic, Express Clothing, Lucky Brand, Loft, New York and Company, White House Black Market, etc. and will continue to bring more luxury and premium brands to India.
Criteria considered to list a brand
Listing a brand is equally exciting as it is complex at the same time for us. Any new brand should bring in value and exclusivity for customers and should make business sense for us.
We rely on an audit sheet that has extensive research parameters for deciding the on-boarding of a new brand. Largely the factors include Keyword research (to establish the level of awareness levels in the market), brand language (includes the styles, colour palette, pricing and positioning parameters) category depth (we refrain from being bland in terms of offering limited categories though a brand) and finally the ease of sourcing and risk assessment of stock-outs (these are the deciding factors in terms of our fulfilment ratio, where we command top ranks in the industry).
Brands Enjoying Robust Demand
Our own private label Knight & Bond is a hot selling brand on Elitify. Over the last 4 years, Knight & Bond has evolved as a premium handcrafted shoe brand for men where we offer more than 150+ trending styles. The brand portfolio has a mélange of formal shoes, pocket squares, cufflinks and leather jackets. Especially, formal shoes like monk straps, oxfords, and brogues are doing quite well among Indian customers. We have repeat customers for Knight & Bond shoes and there are even few fashion connoisseurs who own about 15 pairs from Knight & Bond.
In India’s online landscape
We position ourselves as a luxury lifestyle destination selling apparels, shoes, bags and fashion accessories. We offer authentic products from the latest collection of top global brands at the best price when compared with brand’s own website.
Role and share it intends to capture
Good old retail is far from being beaten by e-commerce yet across the globe. But having said that, every brand or MBO has realized the power and penetration of internet in the Indian subcontinent. Growing consumerism has given a lot of leverage to customers for harnessing value out of their purchases, this has led to a sharp surge for brick-and- mortar model stores in looking upto their good old acquisition and selling strategies.
No doubt there is an intense war, but we still very firmly believe that this war exists in a facade of bait/predatory pricing for some intensely competitive brands/merchandise in mass markets while draining out large liquidity that keeps pouring into this sector from investors. Simple economic graphs will plainly tell you the future of growth lead through such models, the lines are heavily curved downwards.
We have already alienated ourselves from the concept of GMV, order volumes or just clocking orders while marking the orders unfulfilled because of unrealistic discounts or pricing. Elitify has always been a niche player and we can very confidently say that there is no dearth of serious buyers out there for apparels irrespective of the price brackets.
We definitely see value in the market segment we operate in. The profile of customers varies from value seekers to deal lovers to aesthetes and connoisseurs, and we make sure that we deliver everything that is required while not getting in the price war, that is the race to bottom. Indian PPP growth has just unfolded a completely new realm of consumers who wish to be rewarded with exclusive and premium merchandise. The percentage of consumers that was in single digit as compared to all population connected on internet couple of years back, has gone into double digits and will keep growing every quarter. So that is the pie we are capturing every passing moment as we talk. The business strategy of Elitify, supported with a considerably high average order value, repeat purchase rate and the double-digit percentage growth in market size, will put us in a position to create an enormous value in the very near future.
On Discounting Trend and Sustainability
We are fashion curators and sell brands which are India exclusive. Of course, big e-retailers are using heavy discounting as a strategy to lure customers but we at Elitify have a different set of ideology. We have repositioned ourselves in last few months; basically, in two ways, firstly we moved away from the discounted portal platform, we want to bring luxury, premium labels from the fashion capital on our platform at a price which is affordable. Secondly, we have spent a lot of time in curating merchandise which is India exclusive. For instance, we have brought Banana Republic, Express Clothing, Lucky Brand, Loft, New York and Company, White House Black Market, etc. which are India exclusive and are planning to introduce few more brands aligned with luxe and premium fashion essence.
Future of Indian Online Retailing
The Indian online retail industry is witnessing huge momentum, the e-commerce market is likely to grow in future. India is one of the world’s fastest growing online retail markets. Walmart’s latest move on acquiring Flipkart is sure to transform the online market. Key e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon are on competitive edge today. Every e-commerce player is striving hard on planning and executing new marketing strategies to gain customer’s faith and trust.
Indian Online Consumers
Increase in spending patterns of consumers has resulted in evolving online consumer behavior over the last few years. India is witnessing a digital revolution which has further revolutionized the consumers online shopping experience. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence, increase in disposal incomes and extensive exposure to digital media over last 5 years have significantly impacted the consumer online shopping behavior and Indian e-retail market dynamics.