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Shweta Mehta , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 25, 2013
Recently launched website 20Dresses.com has over 60,000 active users who shop online regularly. What draws them back day after day is the website’s online styling and personal recommendation service. “Customers interact with our style experts and get real-time suggestions on what products suit their needs,” says CEO Sumant Kasliwal.

Voonik.com isn’t far behind. “Each product is hand-picked by our experts and is recommended only to those whom it would suit. This is India’s first online personal shopping assistant,” claims Sujayath Ali, co-founder and CEO of the website.

Another concept is that of StyleCracker.com, which offers a range of basic and premium styling packages to its customers. Dhimaan Shah, co-founder and managing director, explains, “Currently, stylists charge anywhere between R10,000-R1,00,000 per day. We provide a platform where people can ask fashion-related queries and our stylists will reply within minutes, 24x7.”

Kasliwal believes that the trend stems from the fact that customers dislike huge, cluttered lists of products on e-commerce websites. “They only want to see what would suit their needs. Every customer is unique, with different styling needs and body types. We keep this in mind and constantly build up on our, Fashion Intelligence, a recommendation engine that monitors customers’ details to ensure that they get the most apt products in their ‘showroom’ on the website,” he says. Another take is that of Mukul Bafana, co-founder, Jabong.com, who says, “People pick up trends from magazines, the Internet, movies, etc. and imitate the same, which could be a disaster if it doesn’t suit them.”

Consumer queries on each of these websites are also similar. “People want to know what to wear according to their body type,” says Bafana. Shah adds, “Many questions revolve around work wear and budget shopping.” On Voonik.com, Ali says that customers want to know what to wear for occasions like weddings and conferences.