When the world's view of beauty becomes more complex, how do make-up brands grow in tandem? This is a direct challenge for beauty and skin care companies who need to find a way to create products that are diverse, inclusive, and reliable in terms of current beauty trends. While the emphasis turns increasingly towards diversity and inclusion, personal care companies are leading the path to inclusiveness. Product innovation includes lines covering race and gender. Consumers want to identify with the brands they purchase and to align themselves with the brand values. As a result, cosmetic brands that aim to evolve and launch new products and line extensions rapidly cannot fail to ensure that customers stay linked to the brand. There is a paradigm change in customer desire from 'looking good' to 'feeling good,' and the industry is innovating to tackle growing market perception and expectations.

The market is classified into seven major categories -
  • Cosmetics
  • Fragrance
  • Men's grooming
  • Skincare
  • Bath & shower
  • Hair care
  • Oral care

Specific categories such as cosmetics, fragrance, men's grooming, and skincare are outpacing the surge of common categories because generic categories such as bath & shower, hair care, and oral care are already experiencing higher penetration. Herbal cosmetics products are driving growth due to high acceptance as people are more conscious of potential hazards by actively using chemical ingredients to turn to 'safer' herbal and ayurvedic products.

Source: FICCI

The growth of beauty and wellness is not restricted to core beauty products but is also spilling to other peripheral industries. From a report by FICCI we have found that these industries are evaluating opportunities for collaboration and investment in the wellness and beauty industries. FMCG players are introducing new product lines such as herbal, ayurvedic, organic, etc. with a focus on overall wellness. Salons are expanding to wellness via gyms and joining the hospitality business by opening spas in luxury hotels. It is, therefore, fair to assume that conventional market boundaries are rapidly blurred by cross-selling and portfolio expansion.

Beauty and personal care goods are also well suited for online purchases, as they usually have fair unit prices and are small in size. The collective interest of customers in both the exploration of new goods and the replenishment of those they already own make the category ripe for online growth. As a response, consumer spending on personal care product brands has moved further online than almost every other segment of consumer-packaged goods. Even though the economic magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic on brands and retailers will be far greater than any recession, there are signs that the beauty industry may once again prove relatively resilient. According to Mckinsey The global beauty industry generates $500 billion in sales a year and accounts for millions of jobs, directly and indirectly. The industry has responded positively to the crisis, with brands switching their manufacturing to produce hand sanitizers and cleaning agents and offering free beauty services for frontline response workers.

Source: Mckinsey

In this scenario of rapidly changing customer tastes, the industry needs to take concerted action to remain relevant. Industry players need to change their value chain to be able to respond to the changing industry. In essence, ideate on product information with analytics and consumer insight, adapt with new-age manufacturing and supply chain, amplify by identifying new sales channels and unique messaging, encapsulate consumer engagement and experience, blurring the lines with integration with new partners, and moderate to enhance partnerships. Here is where ANS Commerce has the upper hand.

A report by A.T. Kearney tells us about eight key consumer trends, along with 3 broad dimensions -

Who is consuming is transforming
  • Arrival of the ‘Martians’ – men are increasingly opting for grooming products
  • Chronicles of the ‘bride to be’ - Consumers are seeking memorable weddings and are willing to spend a fortune
Where and What is consumed is evolving
  • Emphasis on ‘inner well-being’ - Consumers moving to all-natural, anti-fatigue, antipollution, anti-ageing products
  • Emergence of ‘I-beauty’ - Growing interest in usage of technology in beauty products, services
  • Rise of the ‘right Here, right now’ attitude - Consumers opting for at-home services, using e-commerce
Why it is being consumed is changing
  • The republic of ‘People’s Choice’ - Peer feedback, product reviews increasingly affecting purchase decisions
  • Climbing up the ‘Consumption ladder’ - Consumers willing to “trade-up”, with larger repertoire of products
  • evolution of Generation ‘me’ - Millennials looking to personalization as form of self-expression
Evolving beauty shopping experience

There are plenty of places to buy beauty and personal care items. It's unlikely that a beauty brand will expand quickly by relying on only one distribution channel. Based on Clarkson Consulting's 2020 beauty and personal care trends, companies are trying to introduce more expertise in their shopping experience by integrating AR / VR. Most buyers choose to buy cosmetics after checking colors and specific items that are difficult to integrate into e-commerce experience. Yet, as younger, digitally-native customers gain more buying power, businesses will continue to seek ways to draw buyers to the direct-to-consumer channel. Online beauty shopping gets its appeal primarily from unfiltered reviews and community engagement, product recommendations, and the listing of ingredients. Digital will continue to rise as e-commerce, brand websites, shoppable social media channels, and marketplaces become more critical. Around the globe, customers have shown that they are likely to increase their online engagement and spending.

Source: Mckinsey

In the absence of physical experiences of sampling items, online health and beauty traders need to inspire confidence and fidelity through the seamless shopping experience. ANS Commerce’s platform Kartify provides unprecedented flexibility to ensure that you are well placed to use your site experience as a core part of your business strategy. It takes care of all the needs of your storefront. It features a range of customized configurations from an integrated website, product testing tools, a blazingly quick and elastic search option. The reliability of the product is a troubling consideration for a consumer when purchasing a beauty product. Kartify has covered it for you as it has a built-in FAQ model, return policy, an about us information template, and for more assurance, a store locator feature that has all the details of the offline store.

Rethinking the Value chain

According to a Redseer report on the online beauty market, customers wish to choose super verticals for premium line items, horizontals for cross-category shopping with discounts and verticals for a mixed shopping experience. The preference for super vertical is due to genuine goods and luxury assortments. ANS Commerce can provide you with an intuitive forum of services for engaging content, international brands & signature collections. Combine the user experience of beauty and fashion shopping with a vertical value proposition. ANS Commerce provides cross-category shopping for existing brands as we are interconnected with 50 + companies and manage numerous partners and have broad and cross-sector e-comm, software & product expertise.

Offers & discounts are the principal reason for purchasing beauty products online, followed by a broad range and trust. Players that can carry international/national brands and offer them rapidly to customers are seeing early adoption. The benefit of the ANS Commerce is that it provides various payment features. Set up your payment method and payment gateway network with options such as smartphone, wallet, UPI, payment on delivery, or card payment, among others. Customize the promotion by setting up your discounts, gift cards & coupons, cashback, special offers as per customer's needs.

Market Planning & Strategies – Data will be a game changer

Every brand can profit from change wherever they play on the trend curve. Many companies view marketing as a separate feature. This results in either rapidly eroding marketing budgets or not being able to reach the critical mass to create enough marketing momentum. Mintel, a market intelligence agency, says that advances in software, hardware, applications, and augmented reality mark the Fourth Technological Revolution and dramatically change the way consumers choose, purchase, and communicate with products. Biometric data and personal information provide a creative way for businesses to communicate more closely with customers by providing useful customizations. Yet marketers must be prepared for criticism if customers believe that their data is being misused.

We use our state-of-the-art performance marketing technique and marketplace management to enable companies to achieve optimal returns on marketing investments. We start with the creation of a long-term strategic plan and then break it down into phase-wise tactical marketing initiatives. Finally, we map out these strategies to create an organization-wide alignment, since we recognize that a successful brand can only be established on the consistent execution of the promise of a brand on all fronts.

Some of our comprehensive standard operating procedures and performance marketing strategy include testing the brand logo and design instructions, customizing ad material for different users, keeping track of payment status and ordering items, and optimizing website loading times for faster checkouts. We ensure that insights, reports & intelligence provides you with the right competition benchmarking, average order value, marketing automation driving tool, and up-to-date alerts & heuristics for result-oriented marketing.

Reach the unreachable channels with Agile and Flexible Supply chain

The expansion of travel horizons will solve geographical limitations. Village-based commerce will expand supply to emerging markets and create comprehensive outreach through cities, towns & communities. The industry must, therefore, be prepared to develop its logistics to get products to customers more efficiently and to meet the needs of those who do not live in common areas.

Platforms such as Nykaa, Purplle, etc. have been able to provide a wider variety of products by selling more foreign brands, particularly in the specific segment, and are thus able to expand at a faster rate. ANS Commerce manages end-to-end products right from the product in warding, handling the pick-pack & dispatch process, managing warehousing, until the final delivery while ensuring that all the supply chain needs are met. Our innovative and personalized solution for automated storage and seamless integration with client's OMS and WMS can ensure timely delivery at automated costs for both domestic and foreign deliveries and handle all logistics components by tapping order journey checkpoints, including efficient return & refurbishment.

To sum up, the Indian Beauty and Personal Care market is competitive and characterized by fast-moving consumers and changing needs. There are new categories such as men's grooming, the use of beauty apps and technology-driven products and services, and much more, but what drives us is that our partners should concentrate on innovation and leave all e-commerce to us. Some of the most significant opportunities for beauty and personal care companies in 2020 – even though it will be one of the toughest years the sector would have to experience – is to develop products with characteristics that suit the needs of their shoppers – customized, inclusive and safe. Opportunities such as developing a sustainable packaging strategy in the circular economy and investing in beauty technology are generating opportunities for emerging and well-established brands.