STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 53

"We're not about making
the mannequin look good.
We want the customer
to look good."
- B.G. Krishnan, eShakti.com

median age is 37, with an age range
of between 25 and 45. Customers
typically have annual incomes in the
range of $50,000 to $100,000.
"We're not appealing to the premium
market, but we are not a budget market
either," he says. "We aim for the
middle market."
While a lower overhead helps place
eShakti's prices in the mid-range,
Krishnan says the company is also
willing to keep its profit margins lower
to gain volume.
"People tell us our margins are too
low," he says. "But we're willing to
keep our margins low in order for
our prices to be moderate so we can
sell on volume, rather than sell just to
select people."
But in the end, pleasing the customer
is paramount. "More than men,
women express themselves in what
they wear. We don't want them to be
disappointed in what we send them,"
Krishnan says.
Most don't appear to be. "We
get letters all the time from women
telling us how many compliments
they get on how they look," he says.
"They send us pictures of themselves
in our clothes and we put the pictures
on our website."
While many first-time customers
will buy one or two dresses to try the
products out, repeat customers often
will buy three to five dresses at
a time once they know they
are satisfied with the company's
products, Krishnan says.
CUSTOMER INPUT
With the basic model now in place,
eShakti wants to expand its offerings.
The company recently added a denim
section that includes tops and dresses
and plans to offer more clothes for fall
and winter, including sweaters and
coats. It also wants to expand its work
wear offerings.
"People like what we do, so we
plan to launch 15 to 20 new products
every day," Krishnan says. That has
already allowed the firm to expand its
offerings; he estimates the company
has about 1,000 products on the

STORES.ORG

website compared with about 700 two
years ago.
In addition to expanding product
offerings, eShakti wants to expand
its market presence. The company is
currently selling in the United States and
Canada with a pilot in Australia. Other
markets are also under consideration.
Because clothing is only
manufactured when it is ordered, it
is easy for eShakti to pull items that
are not selling well. "Even before we
put an item in our line, we run items
by customer panels," Krishnan says.
"Those items that have the lowest
scores are immediately edited out."
Customer panels are comprised of
randomly selected groups of customers
who are shown proposed items before
they are released. The panels consist of
different individuals each time.
Another advantage of eShakti's model
is that it allows the company to keep its
designs current.
"Most clothing is made in Asia
six months ahead of time. Our
designers are based in New York
where they can see what women are
wearing," Krishnan says. "A new
design can be in the market within
a few days or a few weeks. Then if a
design does not sell, we can yank it
without worrying about having a lot
of the item in stock."
While eShakti currently takes about
10 to 14 days to deliver an order,
Krishnan says the firm is looking at
ways to reduce that amount of time.
Another unusual feature on eShakti
is that the models look more like
mainstream America than the runway
models featured in many high-fashion
websites. Many are actual customers.
"We run ads on Facebook. We've
had customers send us photos,"
Krishnan says. "And sometimes our
new customers will ask questions
about our company and our existing
customers will answer the questions
before we can. We could not pay for
that kind of advertising."
Lauri Giesen is a Libertyville, Ill.-based business
writer with extensive experience in covering
payment and finance issues.
STORES August 2017 53


http://www.eShakti.com http://www.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine -August 2017

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
Trends
Retail People
Hot 100 Retailers
Forward Thinkers
Personalized Pricing
C2W
Q&A
Store Operations
Omnichannel
Marketing
Online
Finance
Business Operations
Startup Spotlight
Security
Fraud
STORES at 100
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - intro
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover1
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover2
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 4
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 5
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 7
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 9
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF News
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Trends
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 13
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 14
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 15
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail People
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 17
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 18
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Hot 100 Retailers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 20
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 21
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 22
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 23
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 24
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 25
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 26
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 27
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 28
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 29
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 30
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 31
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 32
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 33
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 34
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 35
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Forward Thinkers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 37
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 38
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 39
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Personalized Pricing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 41
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 42
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - C2W
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Q&A
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 45
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Store Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 47
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Omnichannel
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 49
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Marketing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 51
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Online
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 53
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Finance
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 55
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Business Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Startup Spotlight
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 58
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Security
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 60
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Fraud
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 62
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 63
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - STORES at 100
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF Communities Update
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover4
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