Started as an e-commerce website, Label Kiss aims to bring global fashion trends at affordable prices for women and men of all ages.
After tasting success as a model, VJ, and cricket presenter, Archana Vijaya embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with Label Kiss. Entrepreneurship came as a natural step, as the world of startups held great promise and excitement for the 34-year-old. Often looked up to as a fashion icon and trendsetter, Archana made the easy choice of starting up in the fashion industry.
“Fashion has been an important part of my life. At the same time I realised I had the privilege of having a personal stylist right through my career. Why should I have all the fun? Through labelkiss.com, I want to reach out to people who find it difficult to put outfits together,” she adds.
The brand has product offerings for both men and women. From jewellery, sunglasses, scarves, bags to cufflinks, ties, tie pins, pocket squares, the label has all the ingredients of a fashion accessories e-commerce website.
Additionally, the founder, who hand picks the products for the brand, also passes on her fashion mantras through AV DAILY, a magazine-style blog on labelkiss.com. The platform also allows customers to chat and seek fashion advice directly from the founder.
The fashion e-commerce space
According to a joint study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Facebook, the fashion market in India is currently estimated at $70 billion, and fashion e-commerce contributes to approximately five percent, at around $4 billion.
The online fashion market is estimated to treble by 2020, to reach $12-14 billion. About 55-60 million consumers are already buying fashion online, and the number is expected to more than double to nearly 135 million by 2020.
Today, e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon are betting big on the fashion space, and corporate giants like Future Group, Reliance Industries, Tata Sons have also entered the online fashion space with ABOF, Ajio, TataCLiQ, respectively.
As the big daddies of the business world were already crowding the fashion e-commerce space, Archana opted to focus on one aspect of fashion—accessories—wanting to create a niche in the industry with her brand KISS.
Today, the label has a fair amount of competition from online brands like Pipa Bella and Voylla, which have similar product offerings. But unlike these brands, which are available online, Label Kiss differentiates itself for being an offline brand as well, allowing customers to have a closer look and feel of their products at its kiosks.
Started as an e-commerce fashion accessories website in March 2016, Label Kiss is today not just an online brand but the label has started to tap the offline market as well. After witnessing significant traction from consumers within a span of over a year, the label has branched out offline as well with its first kiosk at the popular Select Citywalk mall in Delhi. It aims to expand to two more locations in Delhi NCR by the end of 2017.
The brand’s essential ingredients
The brand, which has technology embedded at its core, holds enriching customers’ online shopping experience as its primary goal, according to Archana. She adds that the platform has been revamped to become more intuitive and user-friendly. Much like its peers, it is leveraging technology to build a superior brand. The team is working towards building its own custom inventory management system and also developing in-house solutions to streamline its complex distribution system. As businesses are heavily relying on chat bots to ensure consumer delight these days, the brand is also building its own artificial intelligence (Al) bot for customer service and development.
Social media is emerging as one of the most powerful tools for businesses to target the right kind of audience and create an impact on them.
Archana, who has over a million followers across all social media platforms, is making effective use of her popularity to garner traction for the brand. But she also sees value in having offline interactions with consumers as well.
“Social media in today’s market plays an important role in interacting and engaging with our potential customers but being omnipresent we feel that it is also important to have conversations with our customers at our store locations as well. We use a good mix of social and offline conversations to promote our brand,” she explains.
Based out of Delhi, the startup has a 13-member team, including brand manager, in-house graphic designers, content creators, social media manager, amongst others.
In the first year of its inception, Label Kiss has clocked an annual turnover of close to $200,000 and is looking at a 55 percent CAGR for the next few years. With some robust expansion plans in place, Archana is also concentrating on strengthening the brand’s offline presence, expanding pan-India by next year. The company has been bootstrapped as of now, and is open to raising funds in the near future.