Supreet Bhatia is spreading the magic of Lucknow’s exquisite Chikankari through her brand Lucknowi Andaaz. She talks to us about her transition from an online shopper to an online entrepreneur, her journey so far and how Get Me a Shop gave wings to her dreams.
- Could you tell me about your brand and the products that you offer?
The name of my brand is Lucknowi Andaaz and it’s about Chikankari from Lucknow. At Lucknowi Andaaz, we sell hand-embroidered Chikankari apparel for women which includes readymade kurtis, saris, tops and suits, including dress material. Every now and then, we introduce other kinds of hand embroideries, such as Kashmiri and Kantha. Our clientele generally likes hand-embroidered stuff and that’s what we deal in.
- How did you get the idea to go online and sell?
After completing my MBA in 2010 from Amity University, Noida, I plunged into the content marketing and e-commerce industry. Being an active online shopper, I started blogging and involved myself in online marketing for the next 2 to 3 years. After that, I decided to quit my job and freelance as a content writer for around 6 to 8 months. I wrote for different technology blogs and started my own blog called “The Avid Online Shopper”. Here, I shared my own online shopping experiences to introduce people to the e-commerce world and what it had to offer, at a time when online shopping had only just started in India.
Also, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but the right idea was yet to click! Once the idea of chikankari hit me, I had rigorous discussions with my mom and we finally came up with Lucknowi Andaaz. My mother and I started the online store in February 2014.
- What is your understanding of the online industry? How is it different from other forms of doing business?
I was big time into online shopping and already knew the perks of being an online shopper. Earlier, people had a lot of inhibitions about online shopping; as a result, cash on delivery came into light. I knew that for a start-up, cash on delivery was not a feasible option. Customers who were new to online shopping could cancel the order and we couldn’t afford that. It was a big challenge for me to get prepaid orders, either online payments or bank transfers. But as an entrepreneur, I learnt that genuine customers did not mind paying online.
Another challenge was creating trust in the minds of people because a few businesses spoilt the game for genuine sellers. I overcame this challenge by offering flawless quality and timely deliveries with the help of my courier partner.
Before I had a store of my own, I got many good leads from Facebook groups, such as Mumbai Wholesale Bazaar, Delhi Shopping Guide, Gurgaon Shopping Guide and Chennai Shopping.
According to me, online selling stands out because of its clarity and convenience. After exhibiting my collection at Dilli Haat, New Delhi, in the beginning of March 2015, I realized that online selling was more driving and exhilarating.
- How do you cater to the diverse needs of your customers?
In Chikankari, white is very popular and somehow always in demand. After a year, I have a fair idea of what my clients need and, accordingly, I keep stocking and restocking. It’s unbelievable but true that people change their taste every month. Currently, blues, yellows and peaches are in.
I also work through WhatsApp as high-profile clients don’t have much time and prefer getting updates via WhatsApp. This keeps me on my toes and I don’t get time for anything else. It’s an overwhelming, yet awesome experience.
- How do you tackle competition and stay ahead in the market?
Chikankari has a huge demand, especially in South India, Mumbai and Rajasthan. I also have a good client base in the UAE, Malaysia, the UK, the US and Australia.
In a span of one year, I have done well because of these reasons:
- I focus on keeping things which are unique or not easily available: exclusive and exquisite stuff is my strength. Sometimes, I go out of my way to get stuff specially made for my clients to cater to specific needs.
- I keep experimenting all the time because people like change.
- I also keep a close tab on the celebrity Chikankari by following blogs and movies as they seem to set the trend in the market.
- How has Get Me a Shop helped you in setting up your online store?
My experience with Get Me a Shop has been awesome right from the start. The process of setting up and maintaining my online store has been very easy and I always got timely support from Get Me a Shop team. The look and feel of my online store is great. I feel a website is very important as it solidifies and authenticates your presence online and Get Me a Shop has done exactly that for me.
- Do you have any suggestions for us to help you sell better?
Get Me a Shop has amazed me with the new features; these features save a lot of my time. The only area I need some help with is online marketing. I want direct leads on my websites and that would be another experience as an online entrepreneur. Otherwise, I am thrilled with the way things are moving. Also, the mobile app is great and very handy. I upload my products directly through the app and save time.
Inspired by Lucknowi Andaaz? The online world awaits… take the leap now! Visit http://www.getmeashop.com/.