Graphically Speaking

India’s beauty industry is getting a digital makeover

As more and more Indians get online, beauty and personal care brands reap the benefits

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Published a month ago on Dec 11, 2020 2 minutes Read

Gone are the days of children wailing in shopping carts while their mothers read through each and every ingredient on a shampoo bottle to ensure that the product is organic. Gone are the days of relying on a salon professional for tips on how to apply a makeup product. Also, gone are the days of men shying away from buying a facewash from a retail store to avoid judgmental stares.

As Indians leverage the internet and e-commerce, the beauty and personal care industry is shifting online – from supermarket aisles and racks to mobile screens and apps. According to a joint study by Google, Kantar and WPP, digital influence has caused a sea-change in the Rs.730-billion beauty and personal care industry, across skincare, personal wash, haircare and makeup categories. With more than 500 million internet users and a growing base of online shoppers, nine out of 10 buyers are getting influenced by digital touchpoints, mentions the report.

Around 26% of the people surveyed had made a purchase decision after watching a video by some content creator on YouTube, with over 93% of beauty consumers engaging with online content more than once a month. It is only natural that a journey which starts online, with searching for a latest trend, ends online as well, with the purchase of a product in a couple of clicks. This convenience has appealed to men, too. Due to online channels, the study finds, men are comfortable searching for moisturizers and facewash, and are even purchasing more haircare products than women. Tier-I and Tier-II city consumers are also catching up when it comes to purchasing personal care products online. Tier-I cities show similar engagement levels as metros with digital touchpoints at 83% and metros at 81%.

Digging deeper, the study reveals that the decision to purchase a product is made largely in the ‘discover and understand’ phase, which is the first stage in the consumer journey. This is where brands have to make their presence felt. With industry size slated to reach Rs.1.11 trillion by 2024, brands that are ready to take on the digital challenge will take the bigger piece of the pie.