Monday, May 26, 2014

Store Review: Elaborestore.com

I have this immense addiction to online shopping that I've been trying hard to combat ever since it got out of hand. I was making good progress and had almost overcome it for a long time, when it kicked in again with full force with the impending arrival of my two besties' birthdays back to back (they're both extremely gift-hungry I tell you).

So one day while checking my inbox, I found a mail from the owner of an online store called Elabore, that exclusively sells shawls, scarves and stoles, requesting for a review on my blog. I was intrigued and paid it a visit. And am I not glad I did! The store has the most splendid collection of scarves and stoles in all hues and designs. They come in a wide variety of styles - Jamawar, Printed, Embroidered, Stripes, Checks - and so on. I particularly liked the prints on some of the fine wool and paisley ones, as they were both offbeat and elegant - just the way I like my clothes and accessories to be.
I have a particular soft corner for stoles. They can make the simplest of outfits turn eye-catching if you pair them with the right wrap. Especially with this scorching May-June Delhi heat and the sun breathing fire volleys down my neck, I am glad for an option of a wide variety of scarves and stuff to choose from and order online without having to actually hit the market and sweat it out before you find the perfect piece for you.
Here's what the COO Mr. Pankaj Dhingra has to say about the idea:

"Our idea for concentrating on this particular segment was pretty obvious as it is a truly essential fashion accessory that hasn't yet been promoted in India in a big way even though it is a make of the Indian Subcontinent. It was surprising for us to see that an Indian product which has such a huge market across the world hasn't had its potential tapped into here. So the idea clicked and we started this project. We strongly believe that this particular segment has a huge potential and within a short span of time the idea has indeed blossomed tremendously." 

It was nice of the owner to send across a stole for me to try out. I got a reversible grey number with big and small stars on it. It is made of fine wool, is soft to the touch and extremely light. As it is slightly warm too, it should work well as a stole during summers and a wrap during early winters. The looks and quality of it are good. [Although I had originally chosen an olive green-black stole, but they somehow mixed it up and sent me the wrong one, and two of my e-mails requesting for a replacement have gone unheeded and unreplied to so far.]




Here's a brief low-down on what makes Elabore Store click, and what it needs to work on.

Pros:

 1. It has a really comprehensive range of scarves, stoles and shawls in innumerable colours and styles for all kinds of shoppers, both men and women. Some of the designs are commonly available in the flea market, but many of them are unique and exquisite in design, not easily available in the markets.

 2. The website conveniently classifies the wraps into categories based on occasion, gender, fabric, season, style and price. So we have evening, yoga, meditation, special occasion, outdoor and home shawls. Then we have stoles in Pashmina, cotton, silk, wool, fine wool, synthetic fabrics and their various combinations as well. 

 3. Like any other online store, it has a number of filters for shoppers to narrow down their search according to their preferences and need. Saves time and makes browsing easier. One can also add their favourite pieces to a wishlist and compare them.

 4. The quality of the products is impeccable. In any case if found otherwise, there is an easy return and exchange policy.

 5. They have a policy of free shipping within 7 days across the world. Now that's something to cheer about.

Cons:

 1. The store website could do with some overhauling. Products of the same design but differing in colours could be grouped together as variants of the same product. Further, the descriptions provided for most of the scarves are similar to each other with only minor differences. I know this is too demanding, but I think each product must have its own specific detailed description and not a generic one.

 2. The prices for many products are, umm, a bit too much. The market for scarves and stoles isn't that big in India as yet, and online even less so. I don't think many people would choose to invest so much in buying wraps off the Internet. The store could therefore do with introducing more low and medium priced variants in order to appeal to all kinds of buyers with all kinds of pockets.

Nevertheless, the store will find its niche buyers soon enough. It has a lot to offer for those who prefer shopping from the comfort of their couch and don't mind spending some extra bucks in exchange for a wider variety and a comfortable shopping experience. I would recommend a mandatory visit to the store website or their Facebook page to know more and witness all that I've said above with your own eyes.

P.S. Did I forget to mention they have an inaugural sale going on right now, with upto 50% off on many products? Sign up now to also get Rs. 250 off on a minimum purchase of Rs. 1000. Go on girls, this one's for you.
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