India holds immense growth potential for the lingerie industry, which is evident from the entry of large international brands in the Indian market in the last few years. Increasing size of the organized market and the declining share of the unorganized market is resulting in growing independent brands taking charge of the market. In addition, growing income levels of Indian women portray their changing lifestyle which has rechristened lingerie from just an undergarment to a fashion clothing item, at least in the urban centers.
There lies a big gap in the lingerie market in India. Times have changed for better for the Indian women like never before in terms of fashion style and statement coupled with growing wealth that is helping the growth of the organized lingerie industry. But to their accessibility, there are not much options available to their reach.
Online retail of this type of product is a lucrative opportunity for the retailers to look into.
According to Deeksha and Saurabh Dadu, Co-founders, Strapsnstrings “The response has been phenomenal with over 3000 people visiting and checking out our online boutique within the first 3 days of it being launched. On an average, each customer spends at least 10 minutes on the website without any advertising activity on our part till now. This reflects on how eagerly our audience was waiting for us.”
According to Neena Bhathena, Operation Head, Shop Imagine.in, ”Our customers gain confidence in the kind of products we are offering them and once they have a pleasant experience and are satisfied with the quality we have to offer, they keep coming back for more styles. In fact, some of them even give us great customer feedback and give us ideas to carry other related items as well. “
Shy Product in the market
Online shopping gives them the advantage to shop from the privacy of their homes. They are able to search for the type of lingerie they may want to buy, and have it discretely delivered to the address of their choice. Even for women, they can use our easily navigable site to find exactly what they are looking for: something comfortable for everyday, to a nice cleavage enhancing bra, a demi cup etc.
For many women, Lingerie is a popular topic of discussion at 'all-girl parties'. As for the men, they probably feel shy walking into a Lingerie store to pick a gift up for their partners. Online shopping gives them the advantage to shop from the privacy of their homes. They are able to search for the type of lingerie they may want to buy, and have it discretely delivered to the address of their choice. Even for women, they can use our easily navigable site to find exactly what they are looking for: something comfortable for everyday, to a nice cleavage enhancing bra, a demi cup, to something sexy for the night.
Advantages over brick n mortar
Though physical store has its advantages, online business of lingerie has an edge over it. Setting up a retail store in a mall or a high-street would add to the cost, making the product more expensive for the customers. At the same time it would restrict the geographic reach. Online model gives us the scalability, and allows us to pass on the cost savings to our customers.
According to Neena Bhathena, Operation Head, Shop Imagine.in,” In a physical store, there is limited availability of styles, colors, size. In a physical store, there is limited availability of styles, colors, size. In a virtual store, we could offer numerous styles which the customer can browse at their leisure in the privacy of the environment of their choice. “
According to Deeksha and Saurabh Dadu, Co-founders, Strapsnstring, “Internet retailing of course has its advantages in terms of lower fixed recurring costs, and its ability to reach out to a larger audience; hence translating into both a good top line as well as bottom line. As for the customers, it gives them easy access to products across geographies, and cost savings from lower real estate costs are of course passed to the customer”.
· The cost of physical store is forbidden
· Big advertising cost is curtailed
· No need to keep front-end staff
Requires Specialised Skills and IT set up
To start with the technicalities of the business, retailer needs to have excellent IT support for day-to-day operation which need to be updated at timely basis. Along with this, a team of very experienced lingerie consultants who could help the clients select the right product would add to the success.
As opined by Deeksha and Saurabh Dadu, “Our customers need to be guided on what products should best suit their needs. They usually spend in excess of Rs.8, 000 on an average per transaction. The customer service staff has to take a very personalized approach to understand an individual customer's needs, find exactly what the customer wants and explain the product.” (Starting from the technical aspect of the product and its fits to the process of manufacturing of the garment, the aesthetics, the history and the craftsmen involved in making of the garment).
Emphasizing on the experts requirement to choose the right product, Mr Saurabh, Co-founder, Strapnstrings says, “The shopping experience online is supported by a team of experts which are available on Live Chat to assist customers in selecting the right products and the check-out process.”
Marketing & Delivery Process
Marketing for an online lingerie store is different. It need not necessarily be expensive project, but usually more different. Marketing efforts are usually focused on social media advertising, as well as doing on ground events such as workshops, exhibitions, and marketing alliances with more traditional brick and mortar stores.
On the delivery side of the product, depending on the goods that are being sold online, delivery options can vary between courier, a local delivery vehicle, post, etc.
1.People not willing enough to use their credit cards to shop for Lingerie online.
2.Since the products we sell are very new to the Indian market, developing awareness, and also explaining the products in detail trying to replicate a real life touch and feel experience is another challenge.
Future of Online Lingerie
At present, online retail does require a long term view and persistence. This is a long term investment with very good opportunities for good returns as consumers become more techno-savvy and feel comfortable to purchase online.
Online is the wave of the future. As India's population gets more technologically savvy, and the Indian woman becomes more independent, she wants to satisfy her desires and aspirations. Lingerie is one of the most suitable product for online business. It breaks the barrier of shyness and inhibitions that the customer feels when walking into a physical store and either, having to ask a salesperson for a babydoll, or having several pairs of eyes following the customer around while they browse these delicate and sexy clothing.
Further requires less investment cost and no looking for right location and it would be available to every customer who is just a click away!