Simple Yet elegant Fabrics Making Fashion Statements in India

Akram Tariq Khan is an Indian Entrepreneur, co-founder of YourLibaas and developer of COVID-19 awareness game ‘Bhag Corona’. He is an MBA graduate from XLRI, Jamshedpur and loves to dig into customer problems solving them with modern technology. His passion for automation has helped him to demonstrate his expertise across multiple startups.

Lawn cloth is a delicate plain weave textile, chiefly of cotton and native to Pakistan and UAE, as the lawn apparel designers are based in UAE. The apparel's fresh, lightweight and smooth texture makes it a unique and perfect apparel choice for all seasons, especially during summers. The route cause for UAE apparel to reach India was the Zindagi TV channel. Around the same time in 2010, most of the models and actors' started wearing lawn apparel, which catalysed it’s popularity in India.

Lawn apparels offer a blend of traditional and modern styles. The fabrics are highly customizable. In India, the general trend is to get the fabric by metre or readymade garments. But the lawn apparels are in patches. Thus, the customers can design their dress as they bring different patches for the neckline, different patches for embroidery, and other patches for the dupatta. For this reason, everybody could create exclusive designs, which conversely increased the popularity of lawn fabrics and their customization.

In addition, many Bollywood actresses, namely Karishma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Faraz Manan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Malika Arora, Aditi Rao Hydari, Nargis Fakhri, and recently Gauhar Khan, have featured for lawn designers adding to the fabric's popularity through a teaser in India.

Also, a recent YourLibaas survey indicates that people are purchasing these fabrics for formal occasions such as marriages and festivals. The survey reveals that about 86 percent of women claim to buy lawn apparel over readymade garments for weddings and celebrations. The main reason for their choice was that they have the options for choosing neckline design of the fabrics, type of sleeves, fitting, type of embroidery, and more, despite comparatively higher price than the other options.

Need to Embrace Technology?
Implementing technology advances as per the purchase pattern of the consumers is necessary. Thus, it makes product discovery easier; also, it recommends products based on what they were searching for, which is something familiar across all e-commerce platforms. But something unique is going to increase adoption space specifically for augmented reality. Augmented reality of building a virtual try-on tool wherein it could create customized clothing.
The customer can customize the options while standing in front of the camera using the tool and then selecting the number of patches in the placement of patches. Then visualize and look at how the end product resembles. Secondly, the market is being operated on WhatsApp. There were two reasons why it was performed on WhatsApp. One, there was organized retail, as the fabric was not sold on marketplaces. And the second big reason was the customers buying these products were not very tech-friendly and were not comfortable ordering online. Customers seek physical interaction. Traditional methods of ordering online do not hold good. WhatsApp has been the only means to visit the website, click on order through WhatsApp, take a picture of the clothing share in the WhatsApp likewise chatbot, show other options you are looking for then the customer can purchase it.

Moreover, the official WhatsApp API was a great idea that is available for the limited selected business. The automatic messages on WhatsApp numbers are the same service being used with official WhatsApp API for a professional way of business. A new choice has been introduced to click a picture and send and find customers' body dimensions remotely, which has a five percent error rate. To summarize, its WhatsApp format, virtual try-on tools, chatbot, accurate body stitching is some of the technologies utilized.

Lawn Reaches Indian Market
Salwar Kameez and Kurtis are most popular in India even though various kinds of stuff are available in the market. Still, the extent of Salwar Kameez and Kurtis alone stands out. It has turned to be around 47000cr in India at the end of 2018, and specifically for UAE-based lawn apparel, the market size goes to 600cr, and that number increases every year. By the end of this year, expecting to be standing around 700-720cr. People in India find it unique since clothes are customizable and unique. Clothing is exotic; it is not something indigenous to India; it is not available in India, which adds facts to buy lawn products.

Lawn apparel, dresses are suitable for all the weather conditions because of the finest cotton material. Some actors from the Middle East and Bollywood have featured the clothing which makes people buy these dresses. The fact that UAE's population is around 10million, of which 30 percent are Indian's. Over the six years, the lawn has featured almost 160 designers. Most recently, there is a lot of awareness in the consumer. Now, awareness is of two fronts: the consumers will know after one or two months the designer is launching a new design and they will continue enquiring about it and secondly, they will get an idea about the price range. To brief on the first part, consumers are aware of the products, and they would look for pre-order sales. If the collection is coming a month later flash sales page indicates new product launches and posted with the date when the flash sale active. People are eager to pre-order and also pay advance; that is the amount of craze for UAE-based lawn fabrics created.

Sustaining Pandemic & Future of eCommerce
Ecommerce has been the best choice of customers. But post-pandemic, they are forced to adopt it, and that has seen shopping on WhatsApp, the buyers are not tech-friendly. Since buyers are from TR2 and TR3 cities, some changes have to be made in the eCommerce site like introducing language support for languages like Marathi, Konkani, and Hindi since many people speak Hindi. Initially, the number of orders were significantly less with incorrect pin code. So, pin code services have been improved. First-time buyers need to have the correct pin code. The customers must have easy phone support with the primary use of WhatsApp, and everything slowly from transactional to relational.

It is an era of new consumers who started believing and trusting. So, you don't have to move on to social media and have negative comments. Brands are already starting proactive and gaining active responses from the consumers. Social commerce is also going to be the big thing. The idea of Indian zing and introducing credit systems where many companies have started buy now pay later is more prevalent in C1 and C2 cities, and this is how the future of eCommerce holds.