“We were elated to enter into this marriage!”

Consumers in India now get to enjoy the private label products of AMORELIE – thanks to a distribution agreement with IMbesharam.com. We wanted to know more about the expectations both parties have regarding this exciting collaboration, so we asked Mira Waidelich, Senior Manager B2B Distribution Sales at AMORELIE, and Raj Armani, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of IMbesharam for an interview.

When did you meet the IMbesharam team for the first time?
Mira Waidelich: I had the pleasure of meeting Raj Armani at the XBIZ Berlin Retreat in September 2019.

What did you know about IMbesharam and the Indian market before you signed the distribution deal?
Mira: Raj is quite well-known in the adult industry and is certainly a leader in business development, as seen by his many ventures and important brand acquisitions. I also knew that IMbesharam had made bold moves to be an inclusive company that welcomes and supports the Indian LGBTQI community. This was particularly important for us as inclusion and diversity are the foundation of AMORELIE also.

How important is it for you to have an expert in the Indian sex toy market by your side?
Mira: IMbesheram is fast becoming a world leader in the online adult retail space. Offering a selection of premium adult brands to the Indian market is a true testament to the commitment they have to normalise pleasure products and make them acceptable. Similar to the IMbesharamphilosophy, AMORELIE are pioneers, committed to the mission of reaching thousands of households. Our common goal is to make the topic of sex uncomplicated and the use of pleasure products a natural part of a healthy and happy love life.

“Similar to the IMbesharamphilosophy, AMORELIE are pioneers, committed to the mission of reaching thousands of households.”

What makes you feel that your own brands will be well received by Indian consumers?
Mira: AMORELIE offers an exciting range of well-made, affordable adult toys and body care products that are designed to deliver on all levels of the experience and to address the mass markets. IMbesheram are offering their consumers a great selection of AMORELIE brands, including BOHO and Cupe. Both brands offer body-safe silicone, mostly rechargeable toys in playful designs and with eye-catching packaging – a special feature of our brands. Also, our soft bondage range k;nk is popular among beginners and the more experienced users alike. AMORELIE Body Care liquids are made in Germany which is a huge draw for consumers in all countries.

So, your own brands are now available in the Indian market – what does this step mean for your company?
Mira: AMORELIE is in a unique situation as our brand and online store are very well known in German-speaking countries due to mainstream sales channels such as drugstore markets and cosmetic perfumery stores, which in turn use television advertising for optimal reach. Moving into the adult (erotic) markets abroad with a selection of our brands is the next obvious choice.

What are your expectations regarding this collaboration? What potential do you see in the Indian market for your own brands?
Mira: We are confident that IMbesheram has chosen a selection of AMORELIE brands to suit the trends and focus of the Indian market which they’re obviously experts at. There is definitely potential to add new brands as we develop them to offer IMbesheram customers a broader choice.

How will AMORELIE support its distribution partner in India?
Mira: AMORELIE has some great resources available. We’re able to offer direct customer service with a dedicated sales representative. Also, we have a creative team that can design custom online banners for AMORELIE brands, and we offer testers for influencers or blog reviewers.

And what about the future of your brands? Do you see more expansions in the international market?
Mira: AMORELIE have a dynamic product design team that is developing products to suit not only our mainstream partners in Germany, but also many erotic retailers internationally. The overwhelming interest in our brands at this year’s eroFame and XBIZ Berlin Retreat is testament to what lies ahead for us.

“The overwhelming interest in our brands at this year’s eroFame and XBIZ Berlin Retreat is testament to what lies ahead for us.”

Did AMORELIE’s reputation play an important role in your decision to cooperate with the company?
Raj Armani: Absolutely. In our line of business, we first evaluate the reputation of a potential partner, which is a combination of product and service quality. Besharam has earned the reputation of being a top shop for adult products worldwide, which is visible from the almost 5-star customer reviews online, expansive social media following, and our team’s pursuit to deliver excellence ever since the company’s inception.

AMORELIE’s brand’s products have shown to have high quality of manufacturing and upscale packaging & design; their service and sales compliment the charm of the brand, and their social media following shows how much the audience loves these products.  For us, they fit like a glove. Think of it being the perfect bride for the Indian groom (chuckles). We were elated to enter into this marriage!

What makes AMORELIE’s house brands a perfect addition to your product range? What requirements do they meet that other brands do not?
Raj: I have been in touch with the AMORELIE team for three years now, from the first time they introduced their products at trade shows all the way to our last meeting in Berlin when we finally sealed the deal. What I think of AMORELIE is that they are the BMW of adult toys – stylish, reliable, and decently priced. We have both high-profile customers – like sports and movie celebrities, social media influencers, and politicians – as well as first timers who look for brands that look cool, work well, and last a long time.

We also get requests from many women shoppers who are looking to purchase products for themselves, as gifts for their friends and colleagues, or who make recommending to their partners about products they can use as the couple. We feel AMORELIE will hit a sweet spot with these shoppers, and they will appreciate the fantastic line-up, the distinct packaging and the welcoming products which are very fairly priced for India. It’s not that there aren’t many brands who meet these expectations, but we picked AMORELIE from the crowd and we are confident it’s a great decision!

“What I think of AMORELIE is that they are the BMW of adult toys – stylish, reliable, and decently priced.”

Is IMbesharam.com offering the full portfolio of AMORELIE’s house brands?
Raj: At the moment, IMbesharam.com will carry the top lines, which includes BOHO, Kink, Miss V, BOLD, Cupe, AMORELIE SETS & AMORELIE CARE. They can be seen here: http://bit.ly/IMBAmorellie

What are your plans for the AMORELIE brands? How do you want to promote, present, and market their products?
Raj: We have already started working on a soft launch for AMORELIE products. We were fortunate enough to get Europe’s top model and VIXEN Girl Tiffany Tatum for a campaign that will be released shortly. We will showcase AMORELIE as the preferred item to buy for the upcoming New Yead and lead into Valentine’s Day from there. Our influencers will unbox and review these products on Instagram and Facebook, and we estimate to get a few million views and hopefully great sales from them.

We are also going to do a few photoshoots in India to share on our social channels and with our customer database of over 2M including fans and followers. We also plan to be featuring the brand all throughout January 2020, so we expect these combined efforts to lead to excellent results. Let’s wait and watch!

Which factors have an impact on your customer’s purchasing decisions nowadays? What is the Indian consumer looking for if they want to buy sex toys?
Raj: IMO, the average consumer first looks at the reputation of the brand. That brand has to appeal to the user, offer discreet shopping and delivery options, but also should show the opinions of others who have purchased these products. So, in a nutshell, the trust factor is the most important thing. Then, when they can trust you, they will know that, when you showcase a product or a brand, you will stand by it. Its quality and reliability.

The second-most important factor is a split between the pricing of the product and what others say about it (user reviews). The Indian consumers are probably the more savvy and ready to buy than they have ever been in the past, especially as the conversations around sex and sexual wellbring are plenty in the urban culture, on social media, on the internet, and in movies. This drives up the curiosity factor and demand. The most conservative estimates put the volume of this market to being $2B in India alone.

That is why we usually run out of products 30-45 days after they arrive in our India warehouse. While that’s a good problem to have, we believe that, in a very short time, his industry will boom in India, and only the brands that have been there first, the ones that are well-established, will reap the benefits.

“We believe that, in a very short time, his industry will boom in India, and only the brands that have been there first, the ones that are well-established, will reap the benefits.”

What role will the AMORELIE brand play within your product range? What are your expectations regarding this cooperation?
Raj: The AMORELIE brand has several lines out there, and the 5 lines we picked up will serve to meet the demand among young and independent women as well as BDSM beginners.

BOHO appeals to the working woman who is well-travelled and appreciates the finer qualities of life, what with its bohemian design and solid manufacturing.

Miss V appeals to the younger generation, an audience just out of college who desire quality but are conscious about pricing. Cupe is for the young lovers trying out toys for first time, with a quirky packaging and superhero design that makes it a mass favourite.

K;nk is for the romantic couple who are ready to take the next steps in their bedrooms. It can be the transition from romance to foreplay, and the heavyweight gift box presentation also makes it a very attractive honeymoon or anniversary gifting.

Can you talk about your plans for 2020 already? How will IMbesharam.com change and evolve next year?
Raj: We believe 2020 will be a turning point for Besharam. We have been here first to introduce the online adult store concept in India, and now, 7 years later, we are working on taking the next step. Apart from a completely fresh makeover of the brand, a super-fast and sleek mobile site (up 67% in speed) and improvements to the customer experience when it comes to browsing, shopping, and delivery, we plan to go on national television to create more awareness for the brand.

And when that happens – which is something that has never ever happened before – we will be ready for the gates to open and make Besharam a household name for every Indian. And that’s 1.3B Indians out there, so that better be a huge gate, or else the walls will come crashing down!