Undergarments retailer Bare Necessities Inc. is giving new life to its URL Lingerie.com.
In 2009, Bare Necessities launched Lingerie.com as a place for shoppers to buy sexy and risque lingerie. In 2012, the Lingerie.com URL started redirecting back to BareNecessities.com, according to the The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. And now, the retailer is trying this strategy again of selling on the separate URL.
Bare Necessities, No. 252 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, relaunched Lingerie.com in August 2017. The now standalone site focuses all on sexy lingerie, says Stephanie Salardino, online marketing manager at Bare Necessities.
While Bare Necessities has a “sexy” department on its e-commerce site, the retailer wants to have differentiated merchandise on each site. Salardino says there is little overlap between the 6,000 products on BareNecessities.com and the 800 SKUs on Lingerie.com. For example, Lingerie.com has a “Looks We Lust” section that has edgier products such as teddies and open-cup bras, whereas Bare Necessities has very few open-cup bras, Salardino says.
The differentiated focus seems to be working, as “sexy lingerie” was the No. 1 search term driving traffic to Lingerie.com, at 16.5% of search traffic in the last 28 days according to SimilarWeb. “Lingerie,” Lingerie.com,” and “open cup crotchless caged dress” were the next-most-popular search terms driving traffic to Lingerie.com, according to SimilarWeb.
“(Lingerie.com) may very well successfully create a distinct brand personality or vision as a result of the variance in merchandise,” says Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Sucharita Kodali.
Salardino confirmed the retailer has owned “Lingerie.com” for a while, but declined to comment on why Bare Necessities is trying to sell under this URL again. Prior to 2009, Leach Computing Services Inc. owned the Lingerie.com URL and it was an e-commerce site for Lingerie.
Bare Necessities did not hire any new personnel for the site launch. The buyer who was in charge of the sexy lingerie department on Bare Necessities is now shifting her focus on products for Lingerie.com, Salardino says. Because Bare Necessities already has relationships with designers and manufacturers, it’s just a matter of merchandising a different product set for the new site, she says.
The summer launch was a soft-launch, and now the retailer is making more of a marketing push to amp up traffic. For example, the retailer distributed a press release about Lingerie.com; offers a 20%-off and free shopping promotion for first-time buyers; advertises on Instagram and Facebook; and BareNecessities.com has a link on referring shoppers for “More Sexy Styles at Lingerie.com.”
Sales at Lingerie.com have increased since the summer, although, Salardino would not reveal specifics.
Traffic to Lingerie.com has varied widely in the past 18 months, with many months having fewer than 5,000 visitors and others more than 20,000, according to web measurement vendor SimilarWeb. Since the August launch, web traffic has climbed and reached more than 68,000 visitors in January 2018.
An unbranded word as a domain name is a good strategy to grow a customer base with a lower acquisition cost, says Brian Klais, founder and president of Pure Oxygen Labs, a mobile marketing and mobile search engine optimization firm. For example, there were 1.5 million searchers for “lingerie” on Google compared with 90,500 for “bare necessities,” according to Google AdWords.
“Operating a domain like this that contains the product category phrase ‘lingerie,’ coupled with the many subcategories of lingerie pages on the site could help Google rank them highly for competitive phrases like ‘Valentine’s lingerie’ or ‘plus-size lingerie,’” Klais says.
Other retailers have tried this unbranded and long-tail strategy, Kodali says.
“That is what both Hayneedle and Wayfair Inc. did in the past,” Kodali says. “In fact those companies started as a bunch of long-tail items like hammocks or bocciballsets.com, which they then consolidated to a master brand specifically to get better economies of scale.”
This also is not the first time Bare Necessities has launched another e-commerce site to sell a separate category and subsequently folded the site. In 2012, Bare Necessities launched BarePlus.com for plus-sized lingerie, and as of 2014, that URL redirects back to BareNecessities.com and still does today.Favorite