Online Boutique Shopping at it's Best
Do you love boutique shopping, but also love your pajamas? Enter the world of online boutiquing. Since 2008, Farfetch, an online retail store based in London, has been bridging the gap between the boutique shopping we hold near and dear to our hearts and the convenience of online shopping. They take the experience, diversity and independent nature of boutique shopping and share it with millions. The products are shipped right from the boutique to the consumer through their online store. People everywhere can buy from the elusive and eccentric boutiques of Bucharest and Seattle while also perusing the coveted styles of well known labels like Givenchy and Balmain without leaving their couches.
With a motto of "Be Yourself. Be Different. Because your fashion choices should be just as unique as you are," Shoptiques is another viable contender to toss into the ring of online boutique shopping. In the impressive company of Katrina Lake (founder and CEO of Stitch Fix), Katie Beauchamp (co-founder and CEO of Birchbox.com), Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss (co-founders of Rent the Runway), Olga Vidisheva, founder and CEO of Shoptiques, is most definitely included in this list of Harvard Business School graduates to form successful, and impactful fashion startups in the last half-decade. Unlike Farfetch, Shoptiques has a smaller range of stores, brands and locations that it carries, but it is also a younger company that is growing quickly. By tapping into the needs of brick-and-mortar boutiques that lack the resources and/or expertise to implement a successful e-commerce solution, Vidisheva provides a product that supplements the traditional sales model as a paid service, which if you love boutique shopping, is great news.
The enjoyment many of us get out of boutique shopping not only comes from the thrill of the purchase, but from the shopping experience itself. Boutiques often contribute to the local economy and the personalized attention each customer gets is comforting to the consumer and helps to build confidence in the brand(s). However, in moving this experience online, is some of that ambiance or personal interaction lost? Of course it is. When we are getting a hands on, personalized tour of that new Dior bag in all of its compartmental glory while the pretty sales attendant oooh's and aaah's over how it complements our skin tone, nail polish and gold flecks in our eyes, most of us are in our happy place in the sun. Obviously, some of the deeply rooted enjoyment we get from holding and touching the products is lost in the e-commerce approach, but with that loss comes the efficiency, convenience and ever increasingly expansive product selection of shopping remotely.
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