Fashos – Online Footwear Store Attempting A Personal Touch But…

Fashos is a Delhi based startup attempting to create an online shoe store with a personal touch. More on that below. The store comes with the usual 30 days return policy, free shipping, CoD etc.. The store lists about 1000 products across styles and mostly high end brands. The store stocks only for adults, not for kids. The overall offering clearly defines the target segment the store is looking to cater.

The personal touch that the store talks about is nothing but a narrow down option. A set of 7 narrow down questions to make up for the lack of easy browsing. The problem with this personalization quiz is that it asks me questions on office wear, casual, slippers, party wear all in one go and throws up a filtered list. If I have really come to buy, I know whether it is a sportwear I am looking for or a party wear, asking irrelevant questions wouldn’t help. It only increases the dropout rate.

Overall this is a decent attempt with minor execution level issues here and there, which I believe can be solved with a week of effort. Though one thing I believe the team misses out is that even if you are a high end fashion wear store, at the core you still are a web company, and a ecommerce company to be particular. You have to keep those stuff right.

Few pointers from my experience:

  • The browsing is tough. Clear links for male/female, kid/adult are nowhere to be seen. Browsing by style or color is also not there. Only thing option available is browsing by brand.
  • They have a live chat that actually is live and answers the questions. Good, but pushing coupons codes and asking me to like your Facebook page when I asked for the Kids section isn’t good.
  • Every time you login you have to take the personalization quiz again, with the same options. Giving an option to edit earlier selections is better.
  • The site is slow. I am no techie but this maybe something to do with .Net framework that it is built on. I noticed the same thing with Redbus(.NET) vs. Travelyaari (PHP). For the same queries and same number of results, redbus is about 4-5 times slower.
  • The site is powered by MartJack and it stores passwords in plain text. Not sure who to blame. though the password is encrypted and stored but the original passwords are retrievable by the system. The Martjack team communicated that this is an acceptable practice.
  • The UI in the header section has some issues with text overlapping each other.

Yebhi.com that grew out of BigShoeBazaar is pretty good at these features. It is easy to make an order on Yebhi and the customer service is also very responsive. Their only problem is the product that they sell. Most of the products don’t last long. Infact a shoe bought broke into 3 pieces within first week. They gave me a full refund + return shipping without asking for it twice. Good service and they lived on to the Zappos experience that they are attempting to create but I went to buy a good shoe and that should be the core. One bad piece is OK but not every time. Flipkart has this advantage of selling standard products and hence you know who to blame but with footwears it is not always standard. Now that Yebhi is no longer a footwear store (it sells everything else + footwear), there is space for a vertical ecommerce play around footwear. Bestylish is one other player in the same space with lots to spend on marketing.

Do give Fashos a try and share your experience.

[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]

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