Navigating The Nuances Of The Lingerie Industry

A lingerie brand that can cater to all audiences, agnostic to affluence & consumption, will make the maximum impact, believes Pankaj Vermani, Founder & CEO, Clovia

In the past years, the Indian lingerie market has cemented itself as a key growth driver of the overall apparel segment. Having undergone a transformational change, the category was valued at around US $ 3 billion in 2017. It is now expected to grow at a CAGR of around 14 percent to reach US $ 6.5 billion by the year 2023.

Much of the category’s success can be attributed to the influx of international brands, changing consumer mindset, rise in purchase power and technology, that has been ensuring a seamless online lingerie shopping experience. 

The pandemic has emerged as another catalyst to drive awareness and sales, having more buyers to experiment with buying lingerie online. Innovation is at the core of everything that has brought in exciting developments and changes to a hitherto basic category. In a candid conversation with Pankaj Vermani, Founder & CEO, Clovia, he admits that there could not have been a better time for the category as people are nesting at home, open to trying the new media. “This opens up a very big opportunity for people like us. So, it may sound harsh, but it is a great opportunity on the business front,” he says. 

“Also, on the macro basis, people are more educated now, the category is not merely limited to the younger audience and tier is not a problem,” he points on some of the breakthrough trends in the industry.

"With most consumers opting for a digital mode of purchase, is the offline market being overshadowed?" we seek.

Giving us a snapshot of the last quarter vis-a-vis JFM quarter, Vermani shares that the offline business was down by 25-30 % (JFM), while the online business shot up from quarter to quarter by 55-60%.

In order to bring the online shopping experience closer to assisted offline retail experience, Clovia has enhanced the consumer experience on the back of extensive use of technology. Highlighting the kind of tools and technologies that the brand is deploying, Vermani asserts, “Our continuous effort is to bring the experience closer to human interaction. The Clovia curve fit test is a case in point. This tool has about double the conversion rate than the regular site has. When somebody uses the tool, the probability of buying something is twice vis-a-vis the person who has not used the tool. The repeat rate is also 70% higher for somebody who is not using it.” 

“The eventual benchmark will be if you walk into the ecosystem of apps for an assisted purchase, you should not have discomfort or confusion of what you should be doing. We should handhold you by keeping your privacy intact, without any humans complicating life for you,” he further explains. 

On Giving Back To The Society

Talking about how Clovia is inspiring a positive change and significantly reducing apparel waste, on the back of sustainable and environment-friendly products, he comments, “A beautiful thing which happened in the organization was when the team realised the high usability of the brand struck out. 

Also, we work heavily with 3rd parties, some of them work very closely with us. So, our prime steps include the use of non-toxic colors & dyes, recycling, etc.”

“There were a few agenda items we listed down. We realized that it was not going to be simple or cheap, as we are still young. So, we picked our battles. The first step included some amount of recycling.

On the production side, we took a couple of steps to reduce wastage in the production cycle. We had a 5-point agenda, out of which, we are rigorously working on two,” he further adds. 

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