Innerwear as a category has evolved with a lot of power over the last few years and is turning out to be the fastest growing category over the last few decades in India. The category was earlier depicted as mere essentials but over the last few years it has transformed itself into a trendsetter sector within the fashion category.
Women’s innerwear is dominating this category accounting for 64% of the total innerwear market and online brands have come up with new styles and designs offering products in different segments. According to a report, women’s innerwear is poised to grow at a rate of 12.5% over the decade, and will reach INR 68,000 crores by 2025.
To know about this market, we spoke to Neha Kant, Founder & Director, Clovia. The brand started in 2013 and ever since has disrupted the way lingerie is sold in India. The brand has offered world-class products to the Indian customers at the right place. The brand has forayed into lounge wear and active wear, and recently also into the personal-care segment as well.
An idea for a change
D2C brands are coming up with new innovations and ideas to crack up the market. The brands are ready to come up with a unique product offering in order to disrupt the category with their services. When asked about the idea that has been the seed for growth for Clovia, Neha Kant replied “We started a brand with an idea that is centered around joy, with the purpose to deliver joy to our consumers. Over the last five years, the brand is building an intimate space and building trust with the customers. We as a brand try to understand the customers’ needs, problems that they are not able to share with their friends, family. And seeing this problem, in India there is not a single brand that is offering bras and breams with different styles. All the brands were making it in just two or three designs and we were looking for the solutions.”
She further added, “India is not just one market, it’s a multitude of markets of different sizes, seasons and shapes. The Inventory in our business is a big aspect, it can either make the business or break the business. We use technology and data to capture our real time customers’ feedback and the only idea behind starting the brand is to understand the customers deeply.”
Building across touchpoints
Nowadays, brands are reaching customers via an omnichannel approach. This retail strategy can improve the customer experience and add more channels for the customer purchase. Kant told us the importance of building the brand via an omnichannel model “Today, we have gathered around million plus new product feedback and we have around 116 million data points to get an optimum solution for our customers.”
Talking about the physical touchpoints, she added “In the 200 sq.ft space, it becomes tough to display the best fabric in the best size in the right price range. In that case, our algorithms can predict the demand and can help us in the production as well.”
Customer as the backbone
Neha Kant when talking about the ethos on which they have rested the foundation of the brand said “Our brand is built on the premise that we listen to consumers sharply. We gather the customer’s emotion through words. Initially, when we started a brand I traveled to SriLanka, Bangladesh and China and no one was entertaining as we were asking for small batches of designs that we wanted to introduce. Then after we raised the seed funding, we use professional production incharge that can help us with the small batches. Through this approach, we can cater to the customers who are in small communities. There are a bunch of youngsters who are looking to make their beans also young. We’re trying to make it cool so that people can talk about it.”
Evaluating insights & trends
With digitization, insights play an impactful role in the business decision making process. When asked how market insights help fuel growth for her brand, Kant highlighted “We’ve put certain metrics in place to actively research our consumer base. We always keep an eye whether our awareness index or consideration index has improved or not. We’re regularly tracking our NPS ( Net Promoter Scores) that tells us whether customers are willing to recommend it to their friends and family or not.25% of our business comes from word of mouth and referrals.Then we research our customer base and come up with that 84% of our customer base has recommended Clovia. SO, these are the strong parameters that we are tracking on a regular basis.”