This is what goes behind starting a fashion rental website
Wearing a new outfit nowadays is as easy as just renting it. Gone are the days, when you had to save up money, month after month in order to afford high-end designer outfits or only dream about wearing a new outfit everytime you go out.
Thanks to the burgeoning on-rent fashion portals, it’s now possible to rent designer and high-end luxury wear at a fraction of the price.
This comes in handy especially when you’re attending a wedding and don’t want to spend a bomb on a lehenga that you’re only going to wear once or when you have to look your best at an outing, but have nothing to wear.
Additionally, the fact that it is highly convenient (most of these websites pack, deliver and even pick up the outfits that you order) and time-efficient (most offer same-day delivery, if not delivery within a few hours) has also been the reason behind the unprecedented growth and popularity of these websites.
Naturally, this has also led to a lot of fashion rental websites seeing the light of the day. From Flyrobe and
But, is setting up a fashion rental website all play and no work?
Business Insider asked Shikhar Khanna, co-founder of Blinge, a Mumbai-based on-demand fashion rental platform to take us through the process and give us a look into the behind-the-scenes of setting up a fashion rental portal.
Here’s everything you need to know about starting a fashion rental website-
Determining your target audience
Before starting an on-rent fashion portal, it is imperative to keep the audience in mind. If you are catering to the masses then be conservative in your price and if you are catering to a particular section, then it may go upto Rs. 25000. Your target audience will determine the designers and brands you wish to host.
How do you scout the designers?
In every business the product is the key hence one needs to be careful while scouting the correct brand and designer for the portal. You ahgve to realise that fashion weeks are your hunting ground. Apart from Lakme Fashion Week and Amazon India Fashion Week, there are various state specific shows happening in cities like Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad and even Rajasthan. You need to capitalize on these as there are umpteen designers showcasing great work at affordable price. The choice of designers shall also determine the rental amount which should ultimately suit your target consumer.
It’s ideal to have a set team which only visits the fashion shows and scouts the brands online.
What happens after Fashion shows?
Create a list of the designers who you feel fits your platform and shortlist 10% of those and connect with them.
How do you convince the designer?
We have noticed from our personal experience that designers weren't sure whether rentals would work for them or not, but numbers give them confidence. The entrepreneur needs to make them realize how they can get 100 users try and appreciate their creation by just making 10 pieces thus, the production cost is low and they are making a profit on it as they are earning 1.5 times more for every piece.
Rental bridges the gap between designers and art lovers. Your job as an entrepreneur is to push home that point.
Pricing the product
AdvertisementDo not just start by putting exorbitant rates. Keep in mind that renting offline has been going since ages as there are many unorganized offline sectors offering such services, hence be very careful in your price. That being said, do not be too low too as you need to do justice to the brand. One easy way is to price it according to the demand for example- the higher the demand the higher the rent.
How important is operations?
Logistics and dry-cleaning play a pivotal role as in this business you may need a dress within a day. So, a great rapport with on-demand deliveries is a must. On an average you need to spend 40% of total costs per order on operations.
Get your technology right
Technology is the essence of this business. Imagine a shop with a million people inside it, and every person has their individual preferences. Now for every 10 people you serve you would need one person on the payroll. Except, technology does exactly that. In our case, our technology replaces a 100k people on our payroll by building state-of-the-art technology, it ensures a ability to scale, handle traffic, and serve people with the inventory of their choice.
Last, but not the least, get cracking with social media
The moment you start your rental platform start spending on the influencers. Influencers pay a key role in moulding the thoughts of the consumers. Meet up sessions at office to understand their needs and to give them a touch and feel experience may work. Establish your social media company from day one as in the lifestyle segment social media is of great importance. Similarly monthly blogs or style tips are needed to engage the consumer.
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