The Indian beauty industry with its several segments such as skin care, hair care, colour cosmetics body fragrances and so forth has witnessed major growth in recent years
Beauty is considered one of the ancient aesthetic qualities in human beings, but every quality demands some amount of investment and nurturing to derive the best out of it. The beauty retail industry is growing at a swift pace and this article talks about its recent trends and progresses as discussed with two major players of the industry, the Body Shop and Evokes spa.
The Indian beauty industry includes several segments such as skin care, hair care, colour cosmetics body fragrances and so forth and these segments have witnessed significant growth in the recent years. The estimated value of the industry was 250 crore in 2008 and the increasing demand for natural and herbal cosmetics had scaled the value to around 460 crore in 2016. A report by KPMG revealed that the beauty industry is looking towards a market value of 80,000 crore by 2017-2018. The industry is growing rapidly at 15%-20% growth rate which is almost twice as that of US or European market.
There has been a 4% year on year growth in premium beauty products and segments. The reason behind this growth is change in consumer lifestyle, more spending ability as well as awareness. Aradhika S Mehta, Marketing head of the Body Shop India agreed to the same and said that advancement in technology without compromising on the natural goodness of the products have been two parallel trends in the industry. She explained that people are extremely careful about what they use on their skin and because of the popularity of social media people are more cautious about investing time and money. She said, “They are now adopting essential oils more than ever to cleanse and moisturize alone and in combination with other natural ingredients.”
Kolkata based Evokes spa’s MD, Arun Gupta revealed that the spa industry has also undergone significant development. For a long time there was not much difference between a beauty parlour or a salon and spa, but now spa falls under the wellness industry and there has also been a significant change in consumer behavior in terms of age and gender. He said, “wellness industry is no longer limited to females and includes various therapies”.
Both the brands shared their insights as to how can beauty and wellness segment emerge as a successful retail segment. As Aradhika pointed out, it is important to offer good quality products at affordable pricing as this is an important way to capture a significant portion of the Indian market. She said, “Accessibility, consumer insights and product innovation are all fundamental to manage a significant presence in the market place”. Regarding online expansion and presence she said that with more and more beauty brands coming online people are increasingly aware about the industry and products on offer through blogs, online reviews or simply by buying products online. In a cautionary message she said that consumers expect more and are less tolerant towards poor performing products so to grab the market, brands must focus on improving the quality of products.
According to Arun, “Primary fundamental being in the service segment in which salon industry can emerge as a good retail business is premium service”, in order to achieve growth in wellness retail segment.
In terms of innovation in the industry, the significant point has been the growth of e-commerce. People have the exemplary choice of quality product at a cheaper price. Retailers are adopting e-commerce channels along with brick and mortar stores to gain pan India market presence. The Body Shop India shared some of their strategies of expansion in India which focuses on quality first and growth later. They are inclusive of local brands and have more than 160 stores and also their own e-commerce channel. Evokes said, their marketing strategies include digital marketing, promotions and reaching out to the customers with offers. To quote Arun Gupta, the secret to success in beauty and retail is , “Success in the service segment can only comprise of two keyword. Persistence and premium service”.