Small Indian Boutiques Go Online

Sheetal Batra
Image Courtesy: Sheetal Batra

Small Indian boutiques are using social media to spread their message and access newer markets. Instagram and Facebook have turned into an easy and cost effective advertising tool helping local boutiques reach their target audience. Not only does it help owners to grow their business, it also opens a whole new world of fashion for girls in the inaccessible towns of India. On the other side of the spectrum, it allows NRIs to shop for Indian clothes conveniently.

Also Read: Selfies To Replace Passwords For Online Shopping

Selfies To Replace Passwords For Online Shopping
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Most of the local boutiques are run by middle-aged women who have been in this business for a long time. They say Facebook and WhatsApp have really helped their business to grow.  Many of them also feel more empowered.

“Wow. I am getting some great responses from people around the world. They love my designs and a lot of my Indian wear range has been a sell out, “ says Meera Jain, who runs an Indian attire boutique in Jaipur.

On the other hand, 30-year-old Anju Mehra who recently separated from her husband, says she has just opened a boutique to support herself. Along with her kids, she is using Facebook to send invites for a new clothing line every week. “I am happy with the initial response,” she says.

Many niche boutiques have come online, including Abiza, Olvez and Zari. Technology has given a global face to these local boutiques and their Facebook pages are a testament to the popularity of social media shopping.

Delhi-based owner Sheetal Batra is also joining the online bandwagon. She says, “I think it’s the global way to shop so it’s a great opportunity for designers to increase their client base.”

Abiza co-owner Hina Hasnain Singh says, “Social media has been our main marketing tool and clients who have shared our page or worn our outfits put pictures on Facebook. That’s how word has gone around.”

Today, it’s also easy to find happy buyers buying dresses online. One is flooded with Facebook and WhatsApp messages promoting products during Diwali season. This really enhances sales at the boutiques.

Avid online buyer Charu Takkar talks about the future of these boutiques. “Online fashion is the future. But the local boutiques have to think more on the lines of deals. They generally depend on one-on-one interaction and many of us don’t have time for it. Better marketing gimmicks will surely help,” she says.… Read the rest

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Fear of Meltdown Hovers City Hall, Employees Stopped from Watching Olympics Online

Who could have thought that ongoing Olympics could raise the risk of computer meltdown? The fact is that Olympics 2012 are so popular among people that most of city employees are watching games online at work. This has raised a risk of computer meltdown in municipal offices in Los Angeles.

The intensity of risk is so much that Randi Levin, chief technology officer for California’s largest city has send an email to two thousand city employees asking them to stop watching games online at work.

“We are experiencing a high volume of traffic due to people watching the Olympics online” and it is affecting city operations, Levin said.

Following the email, the employees have stopped watching the games online at office, which has returned the traffic to normal said Mark Wolf, executive officer at city’s information technology agency.

“It had spiked about 20 percent,” Wolf told The Associated Press. “It was not enough to impact business applications, but it was enough to give us a nudge to see what it was. We looked into it and saw it was attributed to the Olympics video.”

Though the situation is now under control but members of the city council are of the view that employees should not be allowed to watch games at work. They are not paid to watch the games.

“City employees aren’t paid to watch the Olympics on their computers or TV. That is not what the taxpayers are paying them to do,” Councilman Dennis Zine told the Times. “The question is where are the supervisors when this is going on?”

The situation is so intense that Jan Perry councilwoman has asked to block the streaming of the games in the City Hall computers.

But the state government has made it clear that they are facing no such problems and that their employees come to work and not watch TV.

“Our employees are here to work, not watch television, whether it’s on a city computer or their iPad or a television,” Darren Pudgil, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, told the AP. “If they are observed watching television, whether it’s the Olympics or Oprah, we’ll take appropriate action,” Pudgil said.… Read the rest

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