Last week was quite interesting as I spent most of my time fiddling around with testing and installation of Drupal on local network. I would give an overview of it in the near future.
I also spoke with Sam from xtees.com which is an online hub for t-shirt selling. When I first took a look at xtees.com, I told myself here is another competitor to the likes of Myntra’s, Gnome’s (now Inkfruit), Pringoo’s and others. But as Sam told me there’s a subtle difference in what xtees.com is and in what it is trying to achieve! Operating from Tirupur (India’s t-shirt junction), Xtees.com has been active in the t-shirt selling space for about 5 years now (older than any of the current startups in this space).
Primarily it is serving Indian customers and till date has managed a base of roughly 200,000 customers. The key differentiators are that Xtees.com is into ‘screen printing’ and has it own t-shirt brands. So there isn’t any tie-up that has happened. Primarily they stock a lot of plain and professional printing t-shirts. However, Xtees.com has also partnered with rediff, storeguru and futurebazaar for its sales.
The team@Xtees is quite small and consists of only 4 people. Despite a small team special emphasis is given to efficient customer-servicing. The CEO acts as the customer-interface and politely responds to all the customer interfaces. Most importantly if you don’t get a t-shirt of your choice you can always return it back to Xtees.com
Xtees.com gets a lot of repeat customers and its marketing efforts are essentially restricted to offline tactics. For e.g. they always send special post-cards to their customer pool after every six months or so. Going by Sam’s words ‘Xtees.com is a unique example of a successful online-brand which is continuing to do well without any online marketing efforts’. What are your thoughts on such models? Do you think that brands like Xtees.com do not require special marketing efforts (online/offline) primarily because of the reputation that they’ve established in the industry?