Ever wondered what accentuates Sunny Leone's curves? Her fashionable lingerie collection perhaps. Bollywood divas' influence notwithstanding, it is a fact that Indian women eager to buy stylish lingerie had to look at shopping options abroad earlier. But no more.
Perfectly backed-up by the e-commerce boom, online lingerie sale has caught the fancy of Indians in the modern world. Now proudly out of the closet, lingerie sales are raking in handsome revenue for everyone in the business. What's more, this segment is eyeing a bigger slice of the market-pie soon.
The lingerie retail market in India is currently estimated at an approximate Rs 15,000 crore. It is expected to grow two times over and capture a market size worth Rs 30,000 crore by 2018.
Now, to look at a fascinating fact. For those who thought buying lingerie online was an all-ladies affair, here’s some trend which states otherwise. Men visit online lingerie stores more frequently than women. Eager to hand out the classy gift to their partners, men indeed shop a lot around Valentine's Day, giving online sales figures a desired upward push. Online stores allow buyers — be it men or women -- to discover options without feeling awkward. “Male customers form a growing segment. Men usually find it embarrassing to buy lingerie from physical outlets. With the category present online now, they get to save the embarrassment, select in a private ambience, seek consultation if necessary and can spend more time choosing what they want," says Richa Kar, Founder and CEO, Zivame.com.
It fills up the missing link in the demand-supply in the intimates segment, say companies who have invested in selling lingerie online. "Most women used to shop for lingerie abroad as there were simply no options available in India," feels Neha Kant, Co-founder, Cloe. That is precisely when she decided to go ahead and distribute her products exclusively through their online store.
Founded by Karan Behal, Pretty Secrets started off as a nightwear boutique. "While the brick and mortar required a complex system of middlemen and distribution points, e-commerce removed all these bottlenecks and put the brand directly in touch with the only people who really mattered -- the customers," Karan was quoted saying in response to the great push that this industry got from e-commerce. Excited by this prospect, a leap of faith was made and Pretty Secrets went entirely online. Today, as a business secret the company understands the online consumer's needs and consumption patterns to be entirely different and is busy catering to that.
Lingerie is fast becoming a style statement too for the Indian women. Reading the pulse, Shoplmagine first launched a French luxury lingerie collection in 2012. They followed it up with a California collection -- with a huge range of uniquely styled evening wear, party wear and club wear too -- and they managed to sell it off to more than 10,000 people all over India -- that well explains the fad.
The best news last -- move over metro cities, it is the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities from where thumping sales figures are coming in. It is a customer sitting in the picturesque Dimapur and Katihar to Andaman and Nicobar islands who are filling in their shopping cart with fashionable lingerie at the click of a mouse and getting them delivered at their doorstep.