The Role of Technology in Seamless Shopping for Non-Metro Consumers

Swati Saraf is one of that ideator of the brand who decided to bring all the high-acclaimed international luxury brands for Kids under one umbrella. Ms. Saraf was motivated to start Les Petits when during one of her visits to international markets; she discovered the struggles of parents who were on the lookout for luxury products for their children. Understanding that the present age parents are conscious of fashion and brands, they seek the same level of fineness in their children as well. Therefore, she was determined to fill the existing void with luxury international brands to set a fashion trend for kids in the country.

During a discussion with Charulatha, who serves as a correspondent for Siliconindia Magazine, Swati Saraf expresses her perspective on the growing significance of ethical and sustainable practices. She elaborates on how the luxury brand integrates these values into its activities as it ventures into non-metro markets.

Role does technology play in creating a seamless shopping experience for non-metro consumers
The robust internet penetration across the country has given us access to a large audience base residing beyond the metro cities. In order to create a consistent presence amongst the audience, we upgraded the functioning of our brand to an omnichannel model. Consequently, along with the pleasure of having brick-and-mortar stores in the well-performing cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, the advancement of technology has also facilitated the establishment of an online platform. This allows the brand to engage with a wider audience in towns beyond major metropolitan areas, all while elevating the overall shopping journey for their clientele.

Leveraging the latest technologies, the website is well supported by an internal ERP system for streamlining inventory management and billing across the stores and warehouse of the brand. It gives an insight into the collection available across the channels. In addition to the ERP system, there is a third-party software Brown tape that ensures the seamless operation of the website without the scope of any errors.

Along with this, there are other servers and tools as well to conduct the proper optimization of the website. The technology has helped a lot in increasing the speed of the website with the aim of making the platform user-friendly for customers across the country. At the same time, we have harnessed the benefits of technology to enable the upgradation of the website to support e-commerce across the platforms. Likewise, riding the digital bandwagon we have leveraged Instagram and Google to drive organic engagement with the audience.

Furthermore, we plan to integrate AR & VR into our user interface for creating an experiential shopping experience for the customers.

In recent times, ethical and sustainable practices have gained importance. How does the luxury brand incorporate these principles into its operations while expanding into non-metro markets?
At our place, there is a consistent effort to maintain responsibility. The products are delivered in specially crafted premium boxes, consciously avoiding the use of any harmful materials that could harm the environment. The packaging provided can also serve as a reusable gift box, encouraging customers to find multiple uses for the product. Similarly, the preference is for paper bags over plastic ones, aligning with a commitment to sustainability. Additionally, environmentally friendly practices are integrated throughout the operations, actively working to minimize its carbon footprint on the planet.

Leveraging the latest technologies, the website is well supported by an internal ERP system for streamlining inventory management and billing across the stores & warehouse of the brand

What are your insights into sustainability within the children's clothing fashion industry?
Sustainability has been creating a lot of buzz in the fashion industry. Looking at the popularity, it is seamlessly permeating into the kids’ fashion as well. Industry leaders are embracing it with alacrity owing to their sensitivity and responsibility towards the larger cause of saving the environment. Likewise, millennial parents, these days are quite ‘woke’ and try to contribute in every way possible to reduce the burden on the environment. Hence, they are opting for sustainable fashion to serve a two-fold purpose for their kids. As organic material is used in sustainable clothes, they are biodegradable in nature that break down naturally in comparison to synthetic material.

At the same time, the fabric is comfortable on the skin of the children which eludes any situation of rash or reaction in the child. Gauging the wide gamut of advantages it has to offer, in the long run, it is expected that the demand for sustainability in the market will only escalate in the near future with bleak chances of its abatement any time soon. Keeping in line with the trend, even we have Mayoral band to our offering that brings about a confluence of sustainable clothing and comfort along with functionality.

What is the present market percentage held by upscale children's clothing in the garment industry, and how do we foresee its potential for growth in the coming years?
Looking at the rising lure for haute couture among kids, as per the report by Statista, the luxury kids’ fashion segment is expected to grow by 1.67% annually between the forecasted period of 2022-2027. Living in a digital age is giving the desired impetus to the Indian luxury kidswear market. It is playing a crucial role in keeping parents well informed about global fashion in vogue. Considering that millennials make up for the majority of the parents' base, they themselves are quite enthusiastic about luxury brands and expect the same finesse from their children as well. Consequently, even children these days have developed a sense of fashion which is contributing to the growth of the luxury kidswear market. As a result, it is attracting more and more leading international luxury kids’ brands to the Indian market which is only expected to expand with time.

What sorts of trends do you anticipate for the years 2023 and 2024?
Gauging the trends in the industry, the year 2023 -24 is expected to see sporty style creating a trend. Along with this, the year will be a lot about experimenting with new styles. The brands will be playing a lot around colors to accentuate the look. A mixture of pastel, denim, and bohemian is very likely to be seen throughout the year. Here, pastels will exude fun and youthfulness to kids across the season. Along with this, the summers will be marked more by digital colors such as bright yellow and teal, and at the same time, winter will be dominated by burnt oranges and mustard tones.