Home trials bridge the gap between the busy yet keen fashion shoppers and stores that aggressively press the sales accelerator.
The only thing that NGO consultant Sunali Advani wants to change about her home city,Bangalore,is its fashion offerings. The stores here like to play it safe and there is a dearth of funky and experimental clothing. Also,its the local designers who get preference over the others. This limits my options, she says.
Advani has found a way to get the edgy fare she lusts after. Mumbai store Atosa keeps me clued in about the latest in fashion; they also send me shortlisted options,both clothing and jewellery,which I try on at home before making my purchase, she reveals. The store bears the courier services cost too.
Home trials is a service whose time has come. While Atosa woos its customers across cities,fashion house Kimaya gives their clients a wholesome experience. Our home trial services are preceded by a video conference where the client in question can go through the latest collection and then call for options, explains Pradeep Hirani,Chairman,Kimaya Fashions.
Le Mill,on the other hand,offers personal shopping service,gift deliveries,home styling services as well as a wedding registry. Once a client is registered with the store,our stylist Maria Fanai meets them at least once to understand the taste and preferences,size and budgets. She then comes over with the pieces to be tried out at the clients own home, says partner Cecilia Morelli-Parikh.
Home trial services translate into a successful marketing strategy,points out Ramma Dewan,Business Head,Samsaara,which also provides similar services to its loyal clientele. Samsaara doesnt allow more than four items as part of the home trial. Atosa co-owner Aparna Badlani says home trials are one among the series of rapport-building exercises. There have been cases when we have opened the store till midnight to indulge a loyal client, she says.
Saving time is a big attraction for clients. Take physiotherapist Urvi Shelar,who often finds herself with little time to go luxury shopping. When youre spending a considerable amount on a designer item,you dont want to hurry it, she says. This is where the store Dressing Room comes to her rescue. Often its the owner,Chirag Dattani,who drops by at her place to take her through the selected options. He also gives her style tips. The system works well for me. I have shopped for occasion wear from The Dressing Room after home trials, says Shelar.
Payments in such deals are hassle-free and alteration is easy. I pay only once I have zeroed in on an outfit post the trial. And if something is not my size,all I do is bring it to the notice of Atosa and they swiftly dispatch a replacement, Advani emphasises. Hirani perhaps sums it up best when he says,Lets admit it everybody loves a good ego massage.