From women secretively buying intimate wears from their preferred local shops to exploring fancy websites to make that perfect piece a part of their wardrobe; lingerie shopping has certainly come a long way in India. The opportunities are huge, where a big chunk of population still remains untapped, making the industry far from saturation. With myriad of choices available, in terms of size, style, fit and color; women are day-by-day getting more open-minded, comfortable and experimental in buying lingerie online.
Technavio’s analysts forecast the online lingerie market in India to grow at a CAGR of 42.32 per cent over the period 2014-2019. The concept of online lingerie stores have further enhanced the growth prospects of the lingerie market as it offers a wide range of international and private labels on a single platform.
Disrupting the Lingerie Space
Recently, Bengaluru-based online lingerie retailer Zivame revealed its strong intentions to continue dominating the category and provide a world class lingerie shopping experience to Indian women. In line with this objective, the e-tailer announced raising Rs 250 crore in the Series C round from Zodius Technology Fund and Khazanah Nasional Berhad – the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia. Existing investors Unilazer, IDG Ventures and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round.
Getting more women to shop online, strengthening its merchandise offering with innovative products, increasing consumer touch points and building the category with path-breaking technology, are integral to this vision. The company also announced the launch of its first dedicated lingerie app.
Shilpa Kulkarni, Zodius Technology Fund, said, “We believe Richa and Team are building a formidable business by providing Indian women consumers product choices of the like that she has never experienced before, while providing superior customer engagement. Their ability to use technology to customize the buying experience and provide world-class private label products is noteworthy. We are delighted to partner with the Zivame team in this journey forward.”
Launched in August 2011 by Richa Kar, Zivame has emerged as a clear leader in the online lingerie space in India and has played a major role in educating women across the country about intimate wear, shaping consumer behavior and making good lingerie accessible and affordable to all.
Speaking on the same lines, Kar, Founder and CEO, Zivame said, “Worldwide, lingerie is the most exciting category in the women’s apparel segment. The Indian woman, who is more confident than ever before is indulging herself in lingerie to express her individuality. She wants to look and feel good and has the economic independence to splurge on lingerie she never had access to before. Zivame is the catalyst of this change; using technology to understand her better and providing her an unsurpassed lingerie experience.”
Focus on Research & Development
From its inception, Zivame has had a dedicated wing for development of lingerie based on intensive research on body types and lifestyles of Indian women. At present, about 60 per cent of its revenue comes from its in-house products, with 30 per cent revenue coming from tier 2 & 3 cities. Strengthening this vision, Zivame has also announced a data sciences lab to make confidence boosting products that are affordable and accessible to all.
“We are also proud to launch the first Indian lingerie app today. We want to empower women to shop their most intimate wear in the most intimate environment – their mobiles.” Richa said. The app has been built after intensive study of navigational behavior of consumers to create a design that would quicken product discovery. With a browse-driven experience, it is made for speed with a two click checkout process. Today, close to 60 per cent of Zivame’s traffic comes from mobile and the company is confident that this will grow as the personal nature of the device allows women to indulge in her choices more confidently.
“The fact that reputed investors like Zodius and Khazanah have invested in us highlights the robustness of our vision, business model and execution capability. We are optimistic, restless and ambitious to build Zivame as the brand that is transforming Indian women.” Richa added.Chinta Bhagat, Executive Director Investments, Khazanah India Advisors Pvt. Ltd., said, "With Khazanah coming on board, Zivame's funding needs are expected to be fully secure for the foreseeable future, and the focus will be on supporting them in building their institutional capabilities in the coming years. While Khazanah have invested over $1 billion in India, this is the first investment in e-commerce, with hopefully more to follow."