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Emergence of Online Beauty Specialists in India

July 2017

Online retailing has been growing steadily in India. One of the primary growth drivers for the online channel is the rising needs of convenience. With the demography of India being primarily millennials with increased income, and shortage of time, shoppers are looking at online channel for most of their needs. Beauty and personal care is also one of the product categories which is witnessing this change. This is changing slowly, with the new entrants in this channel growing exponentially.

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Convenience is key to the growth of online beauty specialists

Convenience emerged as the one of the strongest drivers of the growth of online beauty and personal care. The median age in India continued to be 27 years in 2016. The young and empowered millennial consumer base has high disposable income and a shortage of time. Hence, one of the key decision-making factors contributing to the selection of retail channel is convenience. This decision is no longer driven purely by price, although prices continued to be more affordable online. The perfect combination of price and convenience drives the growth of online beauty specialists.

Omni-channel strategy became prevalent amongst beauty specialists as well

Beauty and personal care specialist retailers are slowly moving towards the omni-channel route. Consumer loyalty towards both brand and channel were at their lowest, hence being present across all channels was imperative for growth. Furthermore, consumers were spoilt for choice, and consequently bargaining power was with consumers. Hence, in order to turn a new consumer to a repeat one for any retailer, being available across all retail formats is more important than ever.

Specialisation of online retailers is the next big thing

The online channel in India has grown exponentially since 2007. However, up until 2016 growth was driven by multi-brand and multi-category retailers, where the focus was primarily electronics, appliances and apparel. However, the online channel in the country is now witnessing specialisation by retailers. Beauty and personal care specialist retailers online were the first of its kind in India after apparel and footwear online retailers, who also had other product categories in their portfolio.

Key findings
Online beauty and personal care remains niche in 2016
Nykaa revolutionises the online beauty space in India
Colour cosmetics lead the way for Nykaa revenue
Nykaa and its private label growth
Omni-channel route important for online beauty specialists
Other entrants into online beauty space also growing
What lies ahead?


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