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Indo Svelte

An entrepreneurial journey of establishing and growing an apparel e-commerce business

Indo Svelte, a South Asian apparel brand by Riddhi Goenka, expanded online to meet US market demands during the pandemic. As co-founder and product designer, I led user research, developed our product strategy, designed the visual identity, and managed the Shopify platform. Additionally, I streamlined operations and logistics with automated third-party APIs, ensuring efficient vendor communications and timely delivery. Effective digital marketing strategies were also implemented, driving consistent traffic and sales growth.

Timeline

16 weeks from incubation to launch

Role

UX researcher

Product Strategy
End-to-end UI/UX Design  

E-commerce operations

Skills

User Surveys, Interviews, Persona, Branding, Shopify web design, Analytics, SEO strategy, Marketing Campaigns

PROBLEM

Why do South Asians find it hard to shop for ethnic attire in the U.S.?

  1. Limited local options for stylish ethnic wear.

  2. High prices for most designer wear.

  3. Extended delivery times and strict "No return" policies online.

  4. Costly and cumbersome alterations for fitting issues in the U.S.

Image by Artem Beliaikin

RESEARCH

I facilitated comprehensive user research to understand our target audience, South Asian women aged 25-45. This involved surveys, interviews, competitor analysis, and customer journey mapping. Notably, 84% of respondents expressed a need for elegant ethnic wear in the US market.

Questionnaire
Survey - Google Form
Customer Journey Miro

Top - Surveys collected via Google forms, Bottom - User journey mapping

USER INSIGHTS

Key findings emphasized the desire for elegant ethnic wear, frustration with extended delivery times, dissatisfaction with product quality, concerns about fitting issues, and overwhelming online shopping experiences.

MARKET INSIGHTS

Our market research revealed that the Indian ethnic wear market accounted for a mere 5% of the available market in 2021. However, the South Asian diaspora in North America had surged significantly, and their needs remained unmet.

SUNAINA SAID

"I want to celebrate Indian festivals with authenticity and style, but without worrying that my outfits will reach me on time or even fit me when they arrive. Finding seamless and trustworthy service that I can rely on is really important to me."

Persona "Desi Girl"

Persona - Non residential South Asians women in US

Indo Svelte Logo

BRAND IDENTITY

I played a pivotal role in shaping the visual brand identity and package design for our project, which came to be known as "Indo Svelte," reflecting the essence of "Indian Elegance." The name served as the foundation for our distinctive logo design and aesthetics of the brand, showcasing the peacock, India's national bird, symbolizing grace and beauty.

SOLUTIONS

Delivered an elegant, thoughtfully designed product platform grounded in quality and trust.

Curated collections

To simplify the overwhelming merchandise experience, we thoughtfully handpicked styles catered to various occasions and needs. Our collections, including Wedding Events, Festive looks, Preferred styles, and category-based shopping was created based on valuable user insights. This feature effectively expedited attire discovery, and enhanced the user experience.

Shop by Occasion
Curated Style Guide
Designer

A story that resonates

Every clothing tells a story, and our aim was to ensure our customers could sense the authenticity of each piece and connect with the designer's narrative. To achieve this, we prominently featured the designer's stories with their unique collections, making it effortless for users to find their own style and resonate with the heritage.

Attention to "DETAILS"

User frustration of receiving poor quality and delayed shipment revealed a gap in product information. To address this, we encompassed comprehensive product details, including surface techniques, fabric composition, construction details, and care instructions. Additionally, emphasized Shipping details and timelines for transparency. This not only builds trust, minimizes returns, and enhances visibility but also empowers customers to make well-informed decisions.

Product Page
Product Page
size-chart
Browsing Clothes

Made-to-tailor

Users faced fitting issues and high alteration costs in the US, prompting us to take action. We standardized size charts according to US metrics, offered alterations or credits for ill-fitting purchases, and provided customization options for color, size, design, and more at the checkout stage, ensuring a made-to-tailor shopping experience that resolved these issues.

LEARNINGS AND OUTCOMES

Shipping products was rewarding, but the true essence lay in building an apparel e-commerce business from scratch, leading to a fully operational venture with a strong market presence. We established an efficient supply chain and operations management system that ensured high-quality products and timely delivery, alongside effective digital marketing strategies that drove consistent traffic and sales growth. This journey demanded resilience, flexibility, risk-taking, problem-solving, and a continuous willingness to learn and adapt, all of which were crucial to the foundational and ongoing success of the business.

Closing a package
Business Meeting

SUCCESS IN NUMBERS

523

SITE TRAFFIC

2.3%

CONVERSION RATE

55.4%

00:01:46

BOUNCE RATE

AVERAGE SESSION DURATION

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