Intimissimi’s premium lingerie ecommerce in Brazil
For lingerie connoisseurs, Intimissimi is a true household name. The brand was established in 1996 in idyllic Italy as part of Calzedonia Group, hoping to conquer the underwear market with its iconic Italian style that flawlessly combines romance and sophistication. And conquer it did – its glamorous pieces are now available in a total of 1518 physical boutiques and 24 online stores spread across 45 countries. One of those countries is Brazil, where VTEX has helped power an ecommerce channel on par with the lingerie label’s prestige for over five years. The Brazilian web store has gradually become a shining star in the brand’s network of operations.
A date with technology
Intimissimi arrived in Brazil in 2012. After a few successful years of delighting the nation with its wide product offering through its brick-and-mortar presence, in 2016 the lingerie brand desired to implement an ecommerce operation. This decision would match the increasing interest in online shopping for lingerie, which was named by DigitalCommerce360 as one of the “fastest-growing ecommerce categories”.
In the search for the perfect technological fit, Intimissimi Brazil first looked at what ecommerce platforms other country units were using. But the team felt like those, alongside plenty of other big players, were not customizable enough to satisfactorily serve the Brazilian market and its associated customer expectations. The ideal solution needed to support certain website layouts, specific payment requirements and local tax intricacies whilst also upholding Intimissimi’s seductive look & feel.
The lingerie brand eventually found all that in VTEX after several other retailers recommended the regional, yet soon-to-be-global ecommerce platform provider. So in May 2016, after just three months of implementation, Intimissimi launched its digital store in Brazil.
An enticing lingerie ecommerce operation
Just like lingerie empowers its wearers and can be used as a tool for attraction, so should an ecommerce operation empower the brand and entice customers throughout the entire shopping journey, even after post-purchase! Intimissimi got all of that figured out.
1. A photography-driven front-end
Intimissimi’s ecommerce store puts the brand’s dazzling lingerie front and center throughout the entire shopping journey. The front-end is adorned with visual cues, as high-end photography graces every page, including the categories’ previews. There is dynamic imagery on the product listing page that quickly changes when hovered over and product recommendations guiding the customer to add pieces from the same collection or even mix and match. Additionally, a Today’s Promo button highlights the current must-have pieces.
No matter where the shopper navigates on the website, they are met with Intimissimi’s distinctively elegant identity and can easily find the products they’re looking for – or even discover new ones.
2. Effortless processes
Behind the scenes, a superior, fully-integrated OMS makes ecommerce management smooth, providing order insights and order orchestration options. Generally, the ecommerce platform is intuitive and easy-to-use, with the catalog module garnering a special appreciation from the Intimissimi ecommerce team, as product info is basically child’s play. Last but not least, a myriad of integrations and customizations prop up all digital initiatives, such as social selling through Facebook and Instagram.
“The OMS of VTEX, for me, it’s the best. Additionally, it’s very easy to integrate other providers, especially payment methods. There’s nothing else left to be done besides activating them on VTEX.”David Buvol, Ecommerce Director at Calzedonia Group
3. Powerful ecosystem
The icing on the cake is that the many agencies Intimissimi is working with (i.e. for both marketing campaigns and website management) are all knowledgeable of VTEX’s inner workings due to the platform’s robust ecommerce ecosystem – and those that are unfamiliar with VTEX can rapidly advance on a learning curve.
Making the news
Digitally, Intimissimi sold 427% more in 2020 compared to 2019, with special retail events spicing things up – sales for Mother’s Day, for instance, grew 685% YoY. Relatedly, the share of revenue derived from digital commerce skyrocketed from 5% before the pandemic to approximately 50% during the global health crisis’s peak. Ecommerce thus offered a helping hand during unprecedented times to both the lingerie retailer and its customers.
Indeed, the ecommerce channel reached a new record during the COVID-19 pandemic, when shoppers had to resort to online buying for most fashion items due to lockdowns and closures of stores. General sales prospects were further aided by the fact that Intimissimi offered the trifecta of underwear, sleepwear and loungewear, all of which were on a roll in 2020. But the 2020 growth was based on a very solid foundation, as Intimissimi Brazil’s ecommerce operation grew year over year since its inception, boosted by changes in website layout specifically attuned to the Brazilian shopper.
Overall, in a global comparison of the Intimissimi operations, Brazil currently places fourth when it comes to the number of physical stores, with 71 locations. Most importantly, however, Brazil also places fourth worldwide in the brand’s total volume of sales, trailing only after Spain, France and Russia, largely upheld by online sales nowadays.
Styling the future
After the rollercoaster that was 2020, Intimissimi is looking to take its relationship with ecommerce to the next stage by formally marrying online and offline commerce channels through an omnichannel operation, which will imply relaunching the pick-up in-store solution temporarily stopped during the pandemic and also implementing ship-from-store. Additionally, the lingerie label hopes to expand its digital horizons with on-demand product personalization, the Pix payment method (i.e. the Central Bank of Brazil’s instant payment tool) and even a proprietary app meant to mimic the in-store experience, providing personalized styling suggestions to the shopper.
Simultaneously, the romantic tale between VTEX and another Calzedonia Group brand, namely the eponymous Calzedonia, is also cementing. The sister-brand, offering beachwear and legwear with the same dose of Italian charm, launched in 2018 its own digital store in Brazil as a means to test whether the brand would be welcomed by Brazilian consumers. The blind date turned out to be a perfect match, so Calzedonia opened five physical stores in the country, with more to come soon – another example of how digital can pave the way for expansion.