How The Body Shop is Integrating Tech and Sustainability to Stay Relevant to Changing Consumer Needs
How The Body Shop is Integrating Tech and Sustainability to Stay Relevant to Changing Consumer Needs

Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand and a certified B Corp™. The Body Shop seeks to make positive change in the world by offering high-quality, naturally-inspired skincare, body care, hair care, and make-up produced ethically and sustainably. Having pioneered the philosophy that business can be a force for good, this ethos is still the brand's driving force.

The brand operates about 3,200 retail locations in more than 72 countries. Along with Aesop, Avon, and Natura, The Body Shop is part of Natura & Co, a global, multi-channel, and multi-brand cosmetics group that is committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impact. The four companies that form the group are committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impact. 

The Body Shop India is managed by Quest Retail Pvt Ltd and is operational in India since 2006. It operates 180 stores across the country. And for the last 17 years, consumers have always been at the forefront of the brand.

“Over the last 2-3 years, consumers have evolved and understand what they really want and stay relevant to the consumers, we have always been accessible to them, and provided the best quality products,” stated Antara Kundu, General Manager - Brand Relation, Marketing, and Customer Acquisition, The Body Shop.

“We have realized that consumers are becoming omnichannel and there is no hard and fast rule that the store consumers only like to buy from the stores and the online shoppers only like buying online. So we have to make sure that we have to be where the consumer is,” she further added.

Change Making Beauty

The brand is embarking upon a new strategy of ‘Change Making Beauty’, which means that it is a platform, it is a way that the brand does things across all aspects of its business and products.

“On the product side that means offering a high degree of naturality of ingredients, offering plant-based solutions that really deliver results and are good for consumer’s skin, good for the planet, and based on the simple philosophy that The Body Shop has always believed is to feel good about yourself,” she asserted.

“We’re also working towards making our packaging 100 percent recyclable. Currently, nearly 70 percent of our packaging can be fully recycled, and by 2025, all our bath and body, and hair care products will be fully recyclable. As part of our packaging strategy, we’ve undertaken a comprehensive review of our whole product portfolio, and we’re exploring how we can increase this percentage in the future,” she further added.

So, the brand has always advocated in terms of what is relevant not only to the environment but also to the consumers. 

“Apart from this, from a community perspective, it is really about living up to our brand’s DNA which is to support the local community and to support fair trade which is something we have pioneered in the business. We ensure that with every product, every campaign, every initiative, we’re giving back to the planet and its people,” she explained.

Offering Unparallel Experience

The brand is living the concept of ‘Change Making Beauty’ even at its retail stores.

“Every element that is there inside the store talks about sustainability, talks about change making beauty, talks about new products. So, it’s an experience in itself. Now we are not keeping this experience to metros and we plan to take this concept to every corner of India soon,” stated Vishal Chaturvedi, Vice President, The Body Shop - Asia South. 

It’s really a sustainable store experience where every surface you touch, every product you touch, every element of that store has been thought through talks about sustainability and that is something we are placing a big bet on. We believe that this store design is the future for the brand in India and globally as well. Now we are looking forward to translating the same beauty education to the online customer and on that front, we are re-launching our brand website soon. The new website is very content rich and offers a customer-friendly interface,” she added.  

The Transversal Skincare Range 

Bringing the phrase ‘Flower Power’ to life, The Body Shop, recently launched a transversal skincare range infused with the Edelweiss flower, known for its remarkable antioxidant properties. The brand has packed powerful natural protection systems found in Edelweiss into its new range covered in more sustainable and recyclable packaging, reiterating the brand’s commitment to ‘Changemaking Beauty’. 

The Vegan certified Edelweiss line-up includes Edelweiss Daily Serum Concentrate, Edelweiss Eye Serum Concentrate, Edelweiss Serum Concentrate Sheet Mask, Edelweiss Bouncy Jelly Mist, Edelweiss Liquid Peel, Edelweiss Cleansing Concentrate, and Edelweiss Intense Smoothing Cream.

Found growing in brutal Alpine conditions against the extreme wind, snow, and rain, the resilient Edelweiss flower thrives. It protects and repairs itself, thanks to its natural antioxidants, including Leontopodic acid, which is only produced when the flower is in distress. Growing in rocky, limestone areas, the Edelweiss flower offers benefits to maintaining the skin barrier’s health and smoothening the skin’s surface for all skin types and ages.

Around 80 percent of our daily skin issues like dryness, itchiness, redness, irritation, acne, etc., are the result of pollution and dust, which make the skin appear dull, parched, and tired. Edelweiss stem cells and Edelweiss extract which contain hard-working antioxidants are combined with natural-origin peptides that protect the skin from external aggregators. While most peptides on the market are synthetic, The Body Shop sources from rice, a natural-origin alternative.

“Beauty for us is a wellness-based approach focused on self-care, hygiene, and protection. Sustainable, efficient, and ethical skincare is something that forms the core of our beliefs. For us, product and ingredient innovation generates from deep insights into consumer needs. The Body Shop’s Edelweiss skincare range is transversal – for all ages and skin types. We are excited to launch an all-new ethically sourced ingredient with natural origin,” said Chaturvedi.

“Edelweiss extract is 43 percent more powerful than Retinol, making it incredibly effective in protecting the skin’s barrier. With immense lifestyle stress, building our skin barrier and making it resilient like the Edelweiss flower is necessary for supple, radiant skin. Of course, like with all our other products, the Edelweiss collection, too, will come in sustainable, recyclable packaging to ensure we remain eco-friendly. We believe in skincare that makes people feel empowered and confident, and that’s precisely what our Edelweiss collection will do,” he further added.

Tech Integration

In terms of technology, the brand is evolving and will soon be launching its own app soon.

Explaining the tech innovations happening at the brand’s end, Chaturvedi said, “We will be introducing AR/ VR technology on the online store in the next 6-8 months.”

“Apart from this, video call assistance has really worked for us where the customers can get the help online from the nearest store, talk to their favorite beauty advisors and get that same experience that they would have in the store but from the comfort of their homes,” she added.

Along with this, the brand also offers express delivery and Whatsapp assistance.

Future Plans

At present, stores contribute 60 percent of the revenue of the brand, 15 percent comes from online channels, and the rest 25 from omnichannel. 

“We will be extending our retail footprint across India and we plan to open at least 3 stores every month. We will be expanding to more than 20 new cities in the next year. So, by 2025 there will be 300+ stores of the brand,” he stated.

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