Shoppers in India now have millions of choices. But, how to they keep track of these choices and which brands really listens to and understands them? Probably one in a million. Eat,Shop, Love founded by Oindrila Dasgupta and Shayak Sen strives to be this one. Created for the strong modern day woman and man, the company is not an e-commerce portal but rather an online brand that sells apparels and accessories. We chat with Oindrila about the venture. An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture?
When I was expecting our daughter Saesha, I was doing my post graduation as well. I was at home all day and all I used to do was shop online. Shop for clothes, books, chocolates, food, everything, but online. Now there was a huge memory game involved in it. I had to either remember all the sites and go to them or bookmark my favourites and shop from them. It was pretty tiring. That’s how the idea behind Eat.Shop.Love was born, to provide a wholesome shopping experience to the users. Also in terms of apparels and accessories, there is a big gap between the exclusive yet pricey and massy yet affordable fashion. This was something we wanted to tap. We then began working on the idea which took almost a year to materialise. I began curating the collections and forming the brand anatomy in July 2014 and Shayak began designing the logo and website.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
We target young aspiring women, who are not afraid to take the leap, who dare to dream and can stand up for themselves; and men who have the guts to stand next to these women, not just behind them. Understanding the language our target group would want to speak was something we have done since the day one. We spoke to our shoppers, incorporated their feedback, figured out what they would want from a brand and what their favourite brand would sound or look like. Customer satisfaction is something that has always been non-negotiable for us.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
There are thousands of e-commerce site, many of them being amazingly big players. But we are not an ecomm site, we are an online brand that sells apparels and accessories. This was, is and will be a very big challenge for us. We as consumers are very used to marketplaces. The branding, offering and messaging of an online brand is something that is going to take some time to sink in among our TG. We have often asked ourselves, are we doing anything different? If yes, what and how. That’s how we launched ESL Moments, our luxury services offering. We offer a complete package of experiences.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
We had started up on Shopify. We didn’t have the money back then and couldn’t afford to hire a tech expert to do our website. I am not from technology background and back then Shayak was working full-time with CommonFloor. Shopify proved to be a blessing for me. It took me less than a day to figure out how to run a website and get rolling with the business. It was that simple. Everything was pre-fed, I just had to choose a theme, upload the products and get going.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Personal interaction is very very important. Since we are still not that large, we can afford to talk to our users and take their feedback. Word of mouth has also played a big role in our journey so far. So whenever we get to interact with a user, we ensure that he/she sticks around.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?