The fashion space and technology have been in sync year on year; thus, today it is impossible to discuss about the fashion retail sector without pointing out the crucial role digitalization is playing towards the growth and sustainability of e-clothing stores across the globe.
Digitalization is transforming the way fashion brands operate and transact with the application of digital marketing tools, Websites, Social media, data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual technology which generates enhanced streamlined and efficient processes that caters to all their needs and concerns. This, has led to the emergence of various brands establishing their brand online without having to own and manage physical stores at any location, thereby effectively reducing their cost of operation and sustainability. Today, customers can now make purchases of items via the brand’s website and social media pages seamlessly as they adapt to the new landscape and embrace the turning point of the fashion world.
Meanwhile, back home in Nigeria Fashion franchises have been enforcing great strides to improve the standard of clothing for the day to day activities of its consumers. We have witnessed it go as far as influencing how we experience our surroundings, interact with others and our bodies; hence, giving comfort a whole new refreshing narrative.
A Nigerian e-boutique, Be Dazzled is one of the various online owned enterprises which are harnessing the essentials of Earth’s digital era as it provides an avenue for customers to purchase clothings and accessories from other fashion houses online, seamlessly.
It’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Phoebe Braimoh Ihade, a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos speaks with Theparakeetshow.com regarding the journey towards setting up and sustaining a successful online clothing and accessories store. Regina Ogwuche presents the excerpts:
What inspired you to set up such a franchise?
I have always had great love and passion for fashion so I mean, why not?
How has the journey towards owning an online clothing and accessories store in Nigeria being thus far?
It has not been the easiest thing to be honest. But, I derive joy from this which has been my driving force.
How much of Made in Nigeria products do you have stocked for sale to consumers compared to foreign made goods?
Most of the items up for sale on Be Dazzled Boutique are Made in Nigeria. The handbags that were available for sale in February and March were 100% Nigerian & straight from the factory. The maker is a young woman whose works I had seen on Instagram, I sent her a direct message and we partnered up from there.
What sets your enterprise apart from others?
Every business organization aims to make money and that’s great. However, what sets my store apart is customer satisfaction, we thrive on feedback and how we can be better for our customers.
What work ethics or strategies have you developed and implemented towards catering to your customers effectively?
As cliche as it may sound, your customer is always right. Their feelings are valid, even the ones that may be a little difficult to deal with. So, I try as much as possible to treat them specially while being professional at the same time. I am open to listening to whatever complaints my customers may have, I believe it is not the time to get impatient and defensive. I can pass a message across firmly without being rude. Also, I ensure that their packages get to them on time and in a hassle free manner, this involves making a lot of phone calls to track the deliveries of each package sent out. I also deal specifically with a certain delivery company that has earned my trust over time to reduce stress on my clients and other parties involved.
Some say access to capital is a hindrance towards entrepreneurial endeavors, what’s your take on this and how were you able to over come it?
Capital plays a huge role in any business venture. If capital is not sufficient one may not be able to provide clothes in various sizes. We all look different and cannot wear the same size of clothing. It is imperative to have adequate savings to invest in your business before it kicks off.
What are your best-selling products so far?
So far, the best sellers have been the mini handbags, which is not surprising, every woman needs at least one of these. It can accommodate your phone, debit cards and your purse.
How has the recent Covid-19 pandemic affected the sales of your product and your method of delivering services to customers?
Due to the global pandemic we have postponed sales for a while, however customers can pre-order if they wish and we would deliver when this situation fizzles out.
Also, what measures are you enforcing to ensure you come out of the crises stronger?
As an entrepreneur you need to make the best out of situations you may find yourself in. I keep in touch with my customers to make sure there is still some sort of relationship, people would not just send money for goods to a franchise they do not have any form of trust for.
What do you do for fun in your spare time?
In my free time, I love to hang with my girlfriends, get cute and go out to have a good time, I also enjoy listening to music and reading.