The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of physical stores have fundamentally changed the way businesses operate. As consumers around the world turn to online shopping, a growing number of brands are taking the direct-to-consumer (D2C) route to create a distinctive customer experience.
One of those brands that started its journey just 14 months ago is Snitch. The fastest growing men’s fast fashion brand in India, Snitch was founded by Siddharth R Dungerwal. This Made in India brand, For the World, is widely known for its fast-paced fashion approach that captures world-class trends.
Siddharth R Dungerwal, Founder and CEO of Snitch, speaking at a # EmpoweringD2C webinar in collaboration with Shipway States, Snitch was featured to bridge the gap in the industry as no brand was focusing on the daily fast fashion for men.
We started with a litmus test in an offline channel. We initially distributed our inventory to many retailers across India, which received a tremendous response from consumers. For Snitch, the top 100 customers were those retailers who then received 1,000 reviews from their customers. And then the pandemic hit us, we were really stuck at the time and the best thing to do then was go online. The first thing that came to my mind maybe we should introduce the brand on Flipkart and Myntra and try to liquidate the stock. But then I realized a) we wouldn’t make any money and b) the brand wouldn’t get any good recognition and that’s how with a team of four I started on the Shopify platform and barely within 48 hours, Snitch started to get a good response, he adds.
The aim of the brand is to produce more styles than quantities of a few styles. On average, the brand produces around 3,000 models per year.
When building the brand, the most difficult task for the brand was to gain the trust of its consumers. The brand has attempted to gain the trust of consumers by resolving their queries even at irregular hours.
We were upselling through chatbots. It was the early days and then we started to do a lot of automation. I would say it’s a mixture of a lot of things and the other difficult thing was that we were barely new to space and had no knowledge of D2C especially coming from a very different background but j ‘ve built a very strong team a mix of experienced and fresher and that has helped me take the brand further, he says.
Explaining how a strong team has been the backbone of the brand, he says, it’s been about two and a half months since we launched our app, and we currently have over 200,000 downloads. Our customer return rate is 44-48% which is phenomenal for a new brand like ours.
Social media strategy
For starters, social media was the only platform where Snitch could market his products. Social media is the most easily accessible platform and most people spend most of their free time on social media these days. So it was the best place for Snitch to position himself.
We have successfully grown the Instagram family because we started with 2,000 followers and now have over 100,000 followers. We prefer to resolve all social media queries as early as possible, he shares.
Bet big on sustainability
There is a common belief that fast fashion brands cannot be sustainable and environmentally friendly. However, despite being a fast fashion brand, Snitch is betting big on sustainability.
We use organic cotton to make our products. We will be launching the recycled polyester fabric soon. Almost 20 percent of our packaging is plastic-free and over the next 3 to 6 months we tend to make it 100 percent plastic-free, he says.
We want to make a huge difference in the fast fashion segment with Snitch. Fast fashion and durability have always been poles apart, however, we try to align them in one system, he adds.
Marry technology with the brand
No business can scale without technology and there is no doubt that technology is at the heart of any D2C brand.
We’ve done the automation probably wherever we could, like returns, exchanges, and the entire customer experience. Soon we will be testing technologies like artificial intelligence and we also plan to broadcast the videos live, he says.
Live broadcasting is the future. We engage with a lot of influencers and try to create a kind of mini Instagram on our website where a lot of consumers are talking about our products. Where they can walk the whole product journey or it can be towards product quality, fashion tips, or grooming ideas, he adds.
The brand that has already become a consumer favorite in the men’s fast fashion category is planning to make a foray into the women’s fast fashion category soon.
We have set ourselves certain goals. Once these goals are met, we’ll start with women’s clothing. It would be along the same lines as what we are doing now and that is what we do best. We will stick to fast fashion and bring new fashion every day, he shares.
Apart from this, to further expand the men’s category, the brand will soon launch the plus size collection, accessories and underwear collection.
Plus size is something we are taking a serious look at. Large size is an untapped market. There are a few brands in the plus size category, but they’re not in the fast fashion, he says.
The brand is currently reaching out to its consumers through its own website / app and is also leading the way for its market launch.
Apart from this. we also plan to open 15-20 digital stores across India and these stores would be more tech-oriented. The stores will lead us to branding, building trust, and providing consumers with a look and feel factor, said Dungerwal.
This fiscal year, the brand, which is currently bootstrap, plans to reach Rs 50 crore in terms of net sales.
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