Ruchika Kumar’s love affair with the idea of curated local fashion was born while living in NYC, but it wasn’t until a move to San Francisco that propelled the idea into a business that’s refashioning the local shopping experience.
Boutiika is amongst a new group of influential trend setters, passionately transforming the fashion industry utilizing technology to power innovation. Over the last year, Boutiika has become a boutique discovery platform helping to uncover local gems and grow in store traffic in San Francisco, Austin, Portland and Seattle.
Now taking it a step further, Boutiika is offering services that devoted shoppers never thought were possible. DASH, Boutiika’s same-day delivery service, allows you to purchase items online and have them delivered to you the very same day. Dangerous, we know. Currently being perfected in San Francisco, Ruchika confirms we can expect to see DASH in other cities in the near future. “It’s nice to start in a city that you’re very close to and where you understand the economics very well to perfect the model and then take it to other places.”
First and foremost, Boutiika’s objective is to help drive discovery and foot traffic to the physical store. With 90% of transactions still happening in-store and only 10% through e-commerce, Boutiika is using the internet to reinvent ways to capture the majority. Ruchika can’t imagine a world where people aren’t interested in shopping. “People love to physically go shopping and they appreciate tools that that help plan the journey, make shopping efficient.”
With Boutiika, this sort of shopping experience is possible. There’s a world of fashion out there beyond the online space waiting to get discovered. You can thumb through map views to uncover new shops and most impressively, flip through carousels of real-time inventory allowing you to find the exact boutique that carries the leather skinnies you’ve been dying for.
Boutiika is creating value for boutiques by providing a space for them to show off their name and their inventory in front of potential customers that don’t yet necessarily know them. Boutiika helps to encourage interaction between boutiques and consumers by hosting boutique crawls, trunk shows and industry events that drive further foot traffic and revenue, and in turn stimulates excitement around the Boutiika brand. “We like to have a presence because we’re about bridging the online and in store experience. It’s collaborative, it’s community driven. The power is in coming together and that’s when everyone gets the most value.”
With plans full steam ahead to expand into new markets, you can expect to see Boutiika in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. “We are constantly updating our product and testing innovative ways to engage both retailers and customers in this dynamic and new marketplace.” Boutiika just released their new UI/UX tailored by analytics and customer behavior where the product is discovered first and the boutique second. With an average of over 50 products per boutique, it appears that the boutiques are quite excited about Boutiika’s support. Ruchika gave us a teaser letting us know favoriting and following will soon be available on the platform too.
So what advice does Ruchika have for aspiring entrepreneurs trying to break into the fashion industry? “Be prepared for the long haul. Be prepared for the time it takes to really nurture your idea and get it off the ground.”
So, take Boutiika and DASH on a test run and see what’s hanging on the racks in your city and let us know what you think!
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