Bengaluru: Online home design start-up Livspace (Home Interior Designs E-commerce Pvt. Ltd) plans to invest Rs25 crore in the next 12-18 months to strengthen its brick and mortar presence, a move that is likely to help the company expand its customer base and increase revenue.
Livspace, which currently operates 15 experience centres in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, aims to increase the count to at least 25 by 2018, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The company aims at generating Rs4-6 crore in annual sales from each of these centres.
The experience centres are essentially stores that showcase Livspace collections for bedrooms, living rooms, modular kitchens, floorings, false ceilings and wall solutions, among others.
“Our design centres allow consumers to select one of the pre-designed looks on our website, customise them from our library of over 10,000 finishes, see the various looks in our design centers, get a virtual reality experience, and, do all this seamlessly between our website and physical locations,” Anuj Srivastava, co-founder and chief executive at Livspace, said in a statement.
“This omnichannel experience reduces the time customers take to finalise their order from 6-8 weeks in the traditional model to 2-3 weeks with Livspace by easing several key steps in the customer journey, selection, visualization, personalisation, automated order placement and final installation from certified professionals. Additionally, the design centers inspire trust and also help in increasing the order size by over 30% in the purchase cycle,” he added.
Founded by Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma, former senior executives at Google (Alphabet Inc.) and Myntra Designs Pvt. Ltd, respectively, along with Shagufta Anurag, founder of architectural design consultancy Space Matrix, Livspace has so far raised about $27 million from Bessemer Venture Partners, Jungle Ventures and Helion Venture Partners.
Online furniture stores such as Pepperfry (Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt. Ltd) and Urban Ladder Home Décor Solutions Pvt. Ltd, the two most well-funded furniture e-tailers, are also investing heavily in offline stores and introducing lower-priced products to attract new customers and boost sales growth, Mint reported on 29 May.
Pepperfry will invest about $6 million this year to increase its current store count from 14, in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune, to about 50 by December in several new cities, including Ahmedabad, Kochi, Chandigarh and Lucknow.
Urban Ladder, which last raised Rs100 crore from existing investors in February, is in the middle of transforming itself from an online furniture store to a brand. The company plans to widen offline distribution channels beyond company-owned centres. It plans to launch at least three experience centres in Bengaluru, and is exploring partnerships with large format retail stores.
Urban Ladder also has its eye on local furniture stores, where it might take the assisted commerce route through kiosks displaying the Urban Ladder catalogue.