Mitali Saxena started Fashom as an app where people, “could be real without filters.” Mitali was an engineer working in communications, but she also loved fashion and felt like the industry was filtered based on the way people look. She wanted a fashion platform where customers could buy clothes based on what real people look like, instead of highly styled shoots showing clothes on models. Her e-commerce message is one of body positivity and feeling good about who you are.
Fashom started in 2017 as an app, then pivoted into styling in 2020. Combining AI technology with fashionista senses, the team at Fashom styles women based on who they are and what they like.
Mitali’s goal is to keep emotions alive in her business and add a personal touch. She stays true to her background in engineering by implementing lots of technology and AI to help along the way.
Pros and Cons of Subscriptions
What sets Fashom apart from other clothing box services? It’s not a subscription service, shipping is free, and customers only pay for what they keep.
When asked why she decided not to offer her service as a subscription, Mitali points out that people are very skeptical of who they’re giving their credit card info to, especially of brands they don’t know well. It’s about gaining trust. Removing the commitment to her product gains a level of trust for her customers.
Mitali reasons that not offering a subscription ensures that people feel comfortable and will come back if they love it. It reduces the hassle, and psychologically gives her customers more freedom. There’s so much you can do to bring customers back, like sending out email reminders and other re-marketing strategies.
Fashom sports a custom website built in Native and Php website, as well as an ios app. 70% of Mitali’s orders come from her website, and 30% of sales come from the app.
How do you get your name out there?
Fashom has gained visibility from a large, organic following on Youtube.
Ads have some power to them- but you have to know what connects with your audience or it’s like “putting money in a leaky bucket”. Mitali chose to focus on building brand trust through YouTubers. She reached out to YouTubers first and that got her brand out in front of their viewers. Her brand visibility started growing like a snowball effect after that. Offering incentives and referral codes was a great way to grow organically as well. She didn’t have much success on Instagram, and has tried FaceBook live sales as well with mixed success. She decided to focus her marketing strategy on YouTube.
What was the biggest learning point in pivoting from engineering to fashion?
Mitali states that as a woman living in New York, she was influenced by the fashion culture where she lived. She spent time watching YouTube videos to stay on top of what’s trending and learn what people like. Data-focused, she looks at running her business from the numbers, never losing that engineering background.
The pandemic changed the buying patterns of the past. This created a great opportunity for Fashom, but has also introduced more competition in the e-commerce industry.
Parting Advice from Mitali
Start small and think big – try everything but put effort into as many options as you can. Mitali tried many different platforms to market her brand, and put her efforts into what she saw working for her. Focusing those efforts brought exponential growth to her company. Mitali advises not to put money in a leaky bucket- make early pivots to grow in a way that works.