This is one of the eCommerce Startup Ideas from the 1001 Startup Ideas collection of YoStartups. This eCommerce Startup Idea is about creating a Market Place for Custom Made Dresses by using Intelligent body suit measurement . The startup shall deploy the body suit that would help measure the body size of an individual using digital imaging. The individual would then search for local tailors on an online marketplace to put together the outfit. The startup aims to tap into the expertise of the local tailors, expand their reach to wider markets, and also serve the need of the young adults for custom designed clothes.
Market Definition for this eCommerce Startup Idea
Although the e-commerce and online clothes stores have grown phenomenally in the last few year, brick and mortar tailor stores/ boutiques still remain the choice for many, especially in the 25-45 years age group, because they offer made-to-order service. Such customisation facility helps to make the outfit both functional as per the individual’s need and fashionable as per individual’s style.
As per Bain and Company, global customers are willing to pay a premium of up to 25% for customisation. Even if 20% of the online clothes sales receive such premium, that would create a market of $15-20 billion per year.
Competitor Analysis for this eCommerce Startup Idea
Tailorman and Bombay Shirt Company are Bangalore based companies that offer custom designed apparel. Customers have the option to select the fabric and the various aspects of the design. The size is estimated based on standardised size categories or by asking the customer to enter certain measurements and fitting preferences.
Creyate offers similar customisations, however they ask the customer to visit the nearest store to give measurements. Indochino, is a company that ships custom made men’s apparel across the world with 40,000 customers in 60 countries.
Pain Point and Target Audience for this eCommerce Startup Idea
The target customers for this business are both apparel shoppers and local tailors. Online shoppers acknowledge standard sizes does not always fit well. Additionally, there are very few options of formal and office wear available online, that satisfies all aspects of style and functionality. Local tailor establishments still rule the customisation market. However they form a fragmented market and are unable to reach the customer base beyond the surrounding locality.
Value Proposition for Market Place for Custom Made Dresses
The value proposition is to deploy an Intelligent Body Measurement suit to apparel customers. An app on the smartphone shoots a video of the customer wearing the body suit and converts the digital image into a set of detailed body measurements.
Customisations can be done by the customer to detail the design. The design with details and sizes are then uploaded on an online marketplace, where tailors from the locality and beyond offer their services to put the dress together. Customer have the option to place the order to a tailor of their choice. The company acts as an aggregator to supply the fabric and other materials required. It can also offer logistics support to transport the finished product to the customer.
Business Model for this eCommerce Startup Idea
The company should initially tie up with the popular tailors in a city. The body suits are deployed to customers who form the customer base of these tailors. The tailors are charged a commission based on the order value, and the corresponding material cost. An initial cost is charged to the customer for the body suit.
Way to market for Market Place for Custom Made Dresses
The startup should focus at first on formal wear, as variety in the online space in that category are few. City based tailors in popular shopping hubs would be a good starting point to demonstrate the benefits and then expand to other areas. The company should tie up with fabric and other accessories manufacturers to be able to offer a huge variety, which will attract more customers.
Milestones for this eCommerce Startup Idea
The startup should focus on developing and packaging the body suit and the app, conduct trials and then launch a basic version. By the end of a year, the startup should target to expand to major cities in a country.
Investment Needed for Prototyping Market Place for Custom Made Dresses
The initial major costs are development and testing costs, customer acquisition and marketplace development cost. The startup should target to raise around $200-250 thousand from angel investors and incubators, for developing and testing the concept. Angel investors or incubators such as 500 startups, Y Combinator, provide both the seed money and domain-specific guidance.
Team Capability for Market Place for Custom Made Dresses
The core team would be comprise of Imaging and IoT engineers, and E-commerce professionals as domain experts.
Investors/ Expert Take for this eCommerce Startup Idea
The above idea brings on board the tailors, an important stakeholder into the e-commerce world. According to Google, 49% of mobile phone owners use their smart devices to shop and compare prices. This trend would lead to the quick adoption of any internet based technology that can cater to the unmet need of personalisation and firms can successfully charge premiums to address that.
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