With our decades of experience in the sari business, we hope we will be able to give you some valuable advice on how to find customers for your home based saree business. This advice would be equally applicable to small boutique owners, and especially to those sellers targeting the NRI audience.
Choosing what to stock: It is really important that you identify your niche and maintain your collection accordingly. The biggest mistake you can make is try to stock everything and not have any focus. You thus need to really know your customer and their preferences well. This including understanding:
- The price range that they are looking at (saris can vary from Rs. 300 artificial material sari to Rs. 300,000 exclusive real sari sari!)
- Saree material and work (pure and handloom saris or artificial and power loom saris)
- Saree type (Banarasi, Ikkat, Patola etc.)
We also recommend that you maintain a small range of accessories such as stoles and dupattas to add to your collection. To summarise, pick your market segment and price range and get variety within that. You should keep a initial budget to afford a curated collection of 10-15 good quality saris.
Letting people know you exist: It is very basic advice, but often where small home based sari sellers go most wrong. Get on the social media, open a page on Facebook and your profile in Instagram and update on a daily basis. WhatsApp is one of the most amazing way to let people know about your products. Message all your friends and relatives locally to tell them about your business. For those interested in your products, form a WhatsApp group and share your latest products on a regular basic. It is also good to go some style concepts: recommend combinations and help people mix and match products.
Creating and promoting your sari website: Here are some tips on setting up your saree website and promoting it:
- You can easily buy a domain name from a site like Godaddy.com, Name.com or Bigrock.com. It should cost you about $10-$12 for a domain for 1 year. Get a .com or .net or your regional domain extension for eg. .in or .co.uk depending on where you are based. Similarly hosting is also available at most of these platforms. Another hosting provider I recommend is Hostmonster.com which is very easy to set up your website. Shared hosting is cheap and should be around $5 per month. Install a platform like WordPress where you can choose among different themes that suit you. (if you find this really technical you can find a freelancer on Fiverr.com who could help you with this for just $5.
- Alternatively, if you want to sell on your website, you can get a Shopify account.
Write content for your website in such a way that it talks about the products that you are selling and where you are based. For example if you are a sari seller based in Seattle, you should have the key phase “Saree seller in Seattle” or “Sari shops in Seattle” or “Where to buy saris in Seattle” in your website content so that Google knows that when a user is searching for saris in Seattle you are the right person. You can read up a bit more about promoting your website through organic search here.
Sari exhibitions and trade shows are also a great way to showcase your products and build a client database. Even if you do not sell a lot of products during the exhibition don’t be discouraged and you would have build a long list of interested clients that you could email or WhatsApp with your product details.
Forming Partnerships: Businesses are built with partnership. Make sure you collaborate with as many people you can who can help you get business. These could be local wedding planners, jewellery shops, community houses, or even your fancy neighbourhood coffee shop.
Lastly and most importantly, be honest and fair. Give your customers genuine products that are fairly priced and of good quality.
We hope that you find this advice useful. If you could like to purchase Banarasi saris for your collection please feel free to contact us on +91-7388731111 (call or whatsapp) or email us on info @ banarasi.net.