The number of internet users in India is projected to touch 829 Mn by 2021. With a number this high, the ongoing upward swing of digitisation will only rise in the coming years. Today, everything from food delivery to flight tickets is digitised. And something that was earlier an offshoot of this digitisation is now defining how businesses are conducted today, namely — the subscription model.
More and more companies today are moving towards subscription-based models, as it is economical, convenient and a one-time undertaking at the consumer’s end. Be it Netflix which has over 125 Mn subscribers today or the SaaS industry, the subscription-based model is slowly but surely becoming the norm for consumers. From Online streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, to grooming companies such as Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club offering razors and shaving products, to beauty companies as Ipsy providing personalised makeup for women, or companies such as eat.fit with their weekly subscription meal plans, subscription models are now ruling people’s minds globally.
Back in 2015, LetsShave started off as a brand catering to men’s grooming products, but today it caters to both men and women with more than twenty grooming products which include — shaving kits, trial kits, blades, shaving foams, scrubs, shaving brushes and exclusive products such as 6-blade razor with trimmers.
Empowering The Consumer
Sidharth S Oberoi grew up in the small town of Chandigarh and while pursuing engineering, the idea of bringing in good quality grooming products occurred to him and his rich experience in product innovation gave him the vision to bring in world-class razor products to the market.
Thus, he started LetsShave with a mission to put the power back into the hands of the consumers as the men’s shaving and grooming market in India was monopolised and consumers had little idea about what to expect or demand. A handful of players decided the prices and quality of shaving products, and consumers had no choice but to go with what was available in the market.
LetsShave is defining this by providing a wide range of high-quality products at affordable prices and is steadily onboarding a large demographic of the millennials and Gen-X customers. ‘’We sell directly to consumers which cuts the middlemen cost and allows us to offer products at a fair price. In addition, Dorco’s latest technology and unique techniques to manufacture blades ensure delivery of high-quality products while still keeping the manufacturing costs in check,’’ says Oberoi.
The startup offers subscription-based shaving products where consumers order a complete shaving kit with razors online and get it delivered at their doorsteps. In addition, consumers receive a reminder via SMS and emails about changing the blades every month. Based on these reminders, they order again or order in advance for the next few months to get a regular supply of blades without having to physically go visit a store.
LetsShave follows a direct-to-consumer online sales model and has a repeat customer rate of more than 40% with approximately 90% of the sales generated from LetsShave’s own platform, while 10% from other sources.
Since its launch in November 2015, LetsShave has touched a customer base of 450,000 people; and sales of 19 Lakh products.
Simplifying Grooming Needs
LetsShave started out as a men’s only grooming products company but slowly diversified to include products for women after realising how some women preferred quick-fixes in their busy schedules. “There’s a large demographic of women who don’t like to be operated for skin or hair removal treatments. They prefer short-term but safer ways. And this is a large enough market which we are tapping,’’ says Oberoi.
With its tagline ‘Love Your Body,’ the company aims to help women rely on them for their grooming needs by using technically superior products.
‘’We did start off as a modern grooming brand for the millennials but a whole demographic of older men and women completely surprised us,” says Oberoi.
Shaving is no longer looked upon as a daily chore before heading out for the day, but it is now a personal choice with different needs, and startups like LetsShave are helping in offering a pleasant experience not just with their suite of products but by providing easy access to these products as well.
Oberoi says, “With regards to the technology of our blades, we have patented angulated blade platform, Venetian flow, and redying bars to prepare the hair, lubricating bars and patented common docking systems.”
With an aim to serve both men and women equally, the products of LetsShave fall in a similar price range. The initial kit pack for both men and women, that is LetsShave Pace 4 and LetsShave Soft Touch 4 starts at $5.62 (INR 399).
On the other hand, this sector is majorly dominated by traditional players offering a different range of products, but in most cases, products for women are costlier than men’s. For instance, Amazon offers Gillette MACH 3 limited edition shaving kit for men at $7.02 (INR 499), whereas Gillette Venus gift pack for women comes at $7.73 (INR 549).
Moreover, the subscription model of the startup helps people remain worry-free about their next refill purchase date. Tapping into the pool of internet savvy people, the startup plans to capture markets outside the Tier 1 cities in India.
While big names like Gillette are dominating the market not just with their products but also their ideology, the model of LetsShave and the ‘one for all approach’ gives the company an edge. With newly raised funds, the company wants to focus on its online business and on expanding the product portfolio to cater to the grooming needs of men and women efficiently, while becoming a one-stop solution for grooming, keeping shaving as its core category.
LetsShave was a Gifting Partner At Inc42’s flagship conference — The Ecosystem Summit.