Of Shycart, where you can buy products you would hesitate to in a store
For a business that thrives on people’s shyness, Shycart is a bold website that immediately introduces you to the kind of products they sell; condoms, lingerie, sanitary napkins, pregnancy tests, she cups and so on. It lists everything that you have hesitated for a second before buying off the shelves, mostly because of the furtive glances and knowing smiles of the people around you.
When Vivek Raja and Oli Arul listened to stories of friends who couldn’t access certain products or felt too embarrassed to buy them in public, the idea for Shycart dawned. “My friend was hesitating to buy a pregnancy test kit. A friend’s mom who happened to be a gynaecologist was telling us about the alarming increase in abortions because of unexpected pregnancies. People are still reluctant to buy contraceptives and that’s when we thought this was a market to be tapped,” says Vivek.
Started in November last year, Shycart now offers 24 categories of products numbering more than 600. “It is true that people are conservative and we wanted to do something to help them overcome this. Shopping online can be done discreetly, and we don’t put even our logo on the delivery package. It is sent in a white box with no details but the address. Only the buyer knows what’s inside,” he explains. “We also keep close contact with the courier guys because some of the customers don’t want to receive the packages with people around.”
Some of their bestsellers include menstrual cups, thermal heating pads and cloth sanitary napkins. “Once a customer subscribes to the site, we send them a newsletter on new products and our blog also has information on useful topics. We’ve also seen that we have a lot more women customers than men,” adds Vivek. Shycart also offers an Ask Doctor option where customers can post questions.
The site is now seeing good traffic, with anywhere between five and ten orders everyday. “It’s a rather niche market that we’re tapping but the feedback has been good so far. Some people even call and ask us for the products and we send them across.” They also have cash-on-delivery facility.