OUTLOOK FOR THE E-CONOMY 2017
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After its success in Singapore of serving thousands of customers and revolutionizing the fashion industry, StyleTheory, a clothing subscription company, is ready to bring their top-notch fashion sense to Indonesia.
StyleTheory has been helping shoppers save on clothing cost, and more importantly, give the answer to most women’s number one problem: ‘I don’t have anything to wear (again)!’.
Running on a similar business model as Rent the Runway, Style Theory gives women choices of fashion items, from dresses to bags, without having to buy them. Style Theory currently partners with more than 90 brands, such as Zac by Zac Posen, BCBG Max Azria, and Phillip Lim. The number is expected to go up next year as the company is eyeing to engage with local designers from Southeast Asia, Turkey, and Russia as well as regular fashion forward cities like London, New York and Paris.
The key to their success? Providing real answer to real problem.
“We invested little money on marketing. The business practically grew on word of mouth,” Co-Founder Raena Lim says. “Women do face problems with clothing and we are solving those problems. Customers love the novelty of our service and how it changes their lifestyle so they don’t have to shop and can even save money. Some subscribe for environmental reasons, and some for weight fluctuation problem. For example, pregnant women opt for our service rather than splurge on new, bigger clothes they wouldn’t use after giving birth.”
After their success in Singapore, Style Theory is now expanding to Indonesia.
With only IDR 990,000 (US$ 75) subscription fee per month, users can get access to StyleTheory’s unlimited wardrobe, where they can choose three items that will be sent in a box to them — with no additional charges should they want more rounds of fashion!
“When we were learning about our customers in Singapore, we found out that some of them were Indonesians who sent our boxes to Jakarta! We then conducted surveys and turned out there’s demand for our product there. The size of the market is validated by the number of waitlist we’ve had so far. We already have the network needed as Chris (StyleTheory’s other Co-Founder) knows the market well. Now we just have to make sure the business runs smoothly,” Raena says.
“The risk is minimal as we’re targeting similar consumer group as in Singapore. Moreover, Indonesia can even be a better place for our service in terms of logistics and platforms. People are so used to getting deliveries on daily basis, so they would be more familiar with our service.”
The challenge, according to Raena, would be the lower credit card penetration in Indonesia compared to Singapore. However, the company is already thinking about opening other ways of payment such as cash on delivery.
To conquer the Indonesian market, StyleTheory, whose seed funding came from Alpha JWC, has secured series A funding from Alpha JWC and Softbank. As a first step, StyleTheory will cover Jakarta area before expanding to other cities in Indonesia.