Kiehl's India's E-Boutique & Naturally Derived Product Range Giving New Meaning to Pandemic Skincare Routine
Kiehl's India's E-Boutique & Naturally Derived Product Range Giving New Meaning to Pandemic Skincare Routine

One word to describe the past year and the changes it brought to the lives of people: unprecedented and unimaginable. The pandemic caused by Covid-19 has had a drastic impact on almost every sphere of life, it has changed the way people used to interact with each other, shop, and live their lives. However, with this becoming the new normal and the new way of living, people have started finding a silver lining within this ‘unprecedented’. Many started finding new interests and following newer routines, utilizing the ample time during the lockdown. One such growing interest was towards self-care which included working out, following newer skincare and haircare routines, etc. People started nurturing their skin with new products and focusing on gut health – suddenly everything was about holistic wellbeing and better living.

One of these silver linings that emerged from this has been increased interest in beauty routines. While the global beauty industry (comprising skincare, color cosmetics, haircare, fragrances, and personal care) has been shocked by the COVID-19 crisis initially, it picked up pace as people started focusing more on elaborate skincare and haircare routines. The industry currently is attracting both investors and consumers and is slated for the next level of growth. The initial months of 2021 have seen more funding in D2C beauty space in India than in all of 2020, confirmed Tracxn.

According to a report by Avendus, the global beauty and personal care market is expected to touch US$ 725 billion by 2025 and the fledgling Indian market is expected to grow to US$ 28 billion by then.

Kiehl’s is one such beauty brand leveraging this growth potential, extending the finest skincare apothecary to its customer base in India. The brand has launched its e-boutique to refill people’s skincare digitally. While the technological push is helping the brand keep its customer base in close proximity, the brand has been consulting them as well and giving them insights on the best skincare and hair care routines during the ongoing pandemic.

Santosh Kumar, DGM, Kiehl’s India, asserts, “The Kiehl’s India e-commerce website was launched in June last year with an aim to cater to all skincare needs of the Indian consumer with effective and tested dermatologist solutions and men's grooming ranges in addition to the iconic formulas like Calendula Range, Clearly Corrective Range and many more products. The website offers tailor-made services to provide one-on-one personalized consultation and a skincare routine. In a changed scenario, omni experience is relevant for consumers hence Kiehl’s is paying attention to in-store and online channels to give them a well-rounded experience.”

Kiehl’s India has been continuously pivoting in order to stay relevant and significant in India’s beauty segment and in order to retain its customer base during the ongoing crisis and the brand has witnessed a visible increase in the consumer base, as well as sales, post the launch of the e-commerce website.

Indian Retailer interacted with Santosh Kumar on this tech innovation, its performance, and also on recommended skincare and haircare routine, during the pandemic.

What all facilities/ technological advancements have you incorporated in the newly launched website to make it truly digital?

Santosh Kumar: In order to ensure the standards of quality, the website is constantly evolving. In the recent past, the additional features added to the website are – virtual consultation, live chat, and Whatsapp shopping, bringing Kiehl’s shopping experience to your doorstep. The website offers tailor-made services to provide one-on-one personalized consultation and a skincare routine.

The new e-boutique is intuitive, user-friendly, and takes virtual consultation to new heights. With a sophisticated user interface designed to make shopping online a fulfilling experience, the website is optimized for mobile phones and desktops. The e-boutique gives various segments into separate sections such as bestsellers, new arrivals, brightening, anti-aging, and gifts.

The consultation is purely personalized. One can ask all skincare queries, over one-on-one format with our coveted skincare experts. One can avail of a skincare consultation with the click of a few buttons and from the comfort of one’s own home. In case of skin concerns, an individual can book a virtual consultation with the KCRs to get a skincare routine that is specific to their needs. Online consultation has played a key role in building the consumer’s trust for the brand. This has helped us understand the consumers much better as our KCRs interact with them on a one-on-one basis.

What’s your advice for skin and hair care routine during the current times?

Santosh Kumar: In the current times, each individual should be aware of what products work for their skin type and it is integral to understand the concerns that are specific only to them. Firstly, one should have a night and daytime routine as it allows us to spend some time taking care of ourselves and in turn provides us with calmness. Secondly, one should include an eye cream in the nighttime skincare routine as it provides the skin with time to rejuvenate, and with the increase in screen time, it is an essential step. Lastly, for haircare, a scalp massage helps in relaxing the body and improves blood circulation.

Are you using influencers too for beauty consultations? How is it working out for the brand?

Santosh Kumar: Yes, the brand is enhancing the consumer experience by influencers who are helping in setting a routine as per their skin concern. As a brand, Kiehl’s has collaborated with different categories of influencers. There have been live sessions with them on social media to discuss skincare tips and lifestyle habits.

We are trying to partner with influencers from categories like wellness, beauty, health, makeup artists as they help in creating a holistic campaign for the brand. The wellness influencers talk about the soothing effects that skincare has and also help in calming the mind. The health influencers provide useful advice that helps in aiding the skin as it is a reflection of what our diet constitutes. The beauty influencers provide consumers with recommendations for skin problems and also guide them on the best skincare routine for morning and nighttime. Lastly, the makeup artists mentor the consumers to get flawless skin for getting the best of their makeup while stepping out for occasions.

The consumers are elated to interact with the influencers and are also active participants in the live sessions that take place on the Instagram page of the brand.

How is Kiehl’s product assortment different and better than others in the market?

Santosh Kumar: Kiehl’s extends to its consumers the finest skincare apothecary and at the same time ensures that all safety guidelines are met. The driving force of Kiehl’s vision is the ‘try before you buy’ initiative allowing clients to try products before they purchase. This 92-year old initiative has won hearts and has led to loyal patronage over the years. Taking a cue from the success of Kiehl’s stores across the world, it’s no surprise that all Kiehl’s customer representatives have the technical know-how to guide clients and leave no stone unturned to provide unmatchable service and expertise.

Kiehl's was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York's East Village neighborhood. Its unique, extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed and advanced through the generations. Kiehl's India is providing safe home delivery options, contactless delivery to its customers. The stores are all sanitized and safe for shopping purposes. Kiehl's provides gifting options for friends and family and has a great range of corporate and individual gifting options for celebrating occasions.

Kiehl's Made Better campaign has been made keeping in mind the changing consumption patterns of the consumer base as they have now taken a drastic shift towards being more thoughtful about each purchase. Skincare routine is now based on ingredients that are naturally sourced and provide us with benefits that get us positivity and are beneficial in the longer run. Each product from Kiehl’s has one key ingredient that has been sourced from nature, and the list of these ingredients keeps growing with time. Secondly, all of them are derived sustainably and are sourced directly from farmers hence enabling communities to thrive. Thirdly, Kiehl's Recycle and Be Rewarded Program has led to consumers ensuring that they are mindful about the environment and encouraging them to participate. Lastly, products are manufactured by using post-consumer recycled materials wherever possible. Since 2005, the Co2 emissions have been reduced by 82 percent, water consumption has been reduced by 21 percent and waste generation has been drastically reduced by 36 percent.

 

 
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Top 15 Technology Trends Reshaping Fashion Retail in 2024: Dress for the Future
Top 15 Technology Trends Reshaping Fashion Retail in 2024: Dress for the Future
 

The fashion industry is in the midst of a digital revolution, with technology weaving its way into every aspect of retail, from design and production to marketing and customer experience. As we step into 2024, the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, presenting exciting opportunities for both established brands and emerging players. To stay ahead of the curve, understanding the key technology trends reshaping fashion retail is crucial.

This article dives deep into the top 15 trends that will have a significant impact in the coming year, providing insights and examples to help you leverage them for success. Whether you're a fashion designer, retailer, or simply an avid consumer, buckle up for a journey into the future of fashion.

1. Immersive Shopping Experiences:

Gone are the days of static images and basic product descriptions. Consumers crave engaging and interactive experiences, and technology is delivering. Here are the key drivers:

  • Augmented Reality (AR): Imagine virtually trying on clothes before buying them. AR superimposes digital clothing models onto users, allowing them to see how garments fit and look on their specific body type. This reduces returns and boosts customer satisfaction. (Source: The AR/VR Headset Market is Expected to Reach $20.4 Billion by 2024, Statista)
  • Virtual Reality (VR): Take things a step further by stepping into immersive, 3D virtual showrooms. Brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Tommy Hilfiger are already offering VR experiences, allowing customers to explore collections and interact with products in a realistic setting.
  • 3D Product Visualization: High-quality 3D models give a detailed view of products from all angles, zoom levels, and even in different lighting conditions. This enhances online shopping experiences and increases conversion rates. (Source: 3D Modeling Market to Reach $3.8 Billion by 2027, 3D Printing Industry)

2. Personalization at its Peak:

One-size-fits-all is a relic of the past. Consumers expect personalized experiences, and technology is making it possible:

  • AI-powered Recommendations: Leverage customer data and purchase history to suggest relevant products, predict styles they'll love, and offer personalized styling advice. (Source: 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that offer personalized experiences, Epsilon)
  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: These AI-powered tools provide real-time customer support, answer product inquiries, and offer personalized recommendations, 24/7.
  • Dynamic Content: Showcasing products and offers tailored to individual preferences based on demographics, browsing behavior, and past purchases creates a more relevant and engaging experience.

3. Livestream Shopping Takes Center Stage:

Livestream shopping blends entertainment and real-time commerce, allowing brands to connect with audiences directly and generate instant sales. Expect to see:

  • Interactive Livestreaming: Viewers can ask questions, interact with hosts, and purchase products in real-time, creating a dynamic and engaging shopping experience.
  • Influencer Collaborations: Partnering with relevant influencers for livestream shopping events leverages their audience trust and drives sales.
  • Shoppable Livestreams: Products featured in the livestream are tagged and instantly purchasable, removing friction from the buying journey.

4. Omnichannel Integration Seamlessly Blends Online and Offline:

The lines between physical and digital retail are blurring. Here's how:

  • Click-and-Collect: Customers order online and pick up in-store, offering convenience and flexibility.
  • Buy Online, Return In-Store (BORIS): Allow customers to return online purchases to physical stores for added convenience.
  • Mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS): Empower store associates with mobile devices to assist customers anywhere on the shop floor, enhancing the in-store experience.

5. Sustainability Takes Center Stage:

Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of fashion. Technology is helping brands become more sustainable:

  • Transparency through Blockchain: Blockchain technology enables tracking the origin and journey of materials, ensuring ethical sourcing and responsible production.
  • Sustainable Materials and Production Processes: Utilizing recycled materials, organic fibers, and low-impact dyeing techniques is becoming increasingly important.
  • Circular Economy Initiatives: Resale platforms and rental services encourage clothing reuse and extend the life cycle of garments.

6. Voice Commerce Emerges as a Powerful Tool:

Voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are changing how we interact with technology, and fashion is no exception. Expect to see:

  • Voice-activated Shopping: Purchase clothes hands-free using voice commands, ideal for multitasking or busy consumers.
  • Product Information and Reviews: Ask voice assistants for product details, size recommendations, and customer reviews for informed decision-making.

7. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Streamlines Operations:

AI is automating tasks and boosting efficiency across the fashion value chain:

  • Demand Forecasting: AI algorithms analyze sales data and trends to predict future demand, optimizing inventory management and reducing stockouts.
  • Automated Design and Production: AI can generate design ideas, personalize patterns, and even optimize production processes.
  • Fraud Detection and Prevention: AI helps identify and prevent fraudulent transactions, protecting both brands and customers.

8. The Rise of Social Commerce:

Social media platforms are evolving into powerful shopping destinations:

  • Shoppable Posts and Stories: Allow customers to purchase products directly through social media posts, eliminating the need to switch platforms.
  • Social Proof and Influencer Marketing: Leverage user-generated content and influencer partnerships to build trust and drive sales.
  • Social Gifting: Social media platforms are introducing gifting features, making it easier to purchase and send fashion items to friends and family.

9. The Metaverse Beckons:

The metaverse, a virtual world where people can interact, shop, and socialize, is still in its early stages, but fashion brands are already experimenting.

  • Virtual Fashion: Design and sell digital clothing items specifically for avatars within the metaverse.
  • Virtual Showrooms and Experiences: Create immersive virtual spaces where customers can explore collections and interact with brands.
  • NFTs and Digital Ownership: Offer unique, limited-edition digital fashion items secured through NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

10. Data-Driven Decision Making:

Data is king, and fashion brands are leveraging it to gain insights and make informed decisions:

  • Customer Analytics: Analyze customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history to understand their needs and personalize offerings.
  • Marketing Attribution: Measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across different channels and optimize advertising spend.
  • Trend Forecasting: Identify emerging trends and styles based on social media data, search trends, and sales patterns.

11. Robotics and Automation Take Over Repetitive Tasks:

Robots are taking over repetitive tasks in warehouses and factories, improving efficiency and accuracy:

  • Automated Picking and Packing: Robots can speed up order fulfillment and reduce errors.
  • Quality Control and Inspection: Robots can inspect garments for defects with greater precision than humans.
  • Automated Customer Service: Chatbots powered by AI can handle basic customer inquiries, freeing up human agents for complex issues.

12. The Power of Community and Co-Creation:

Brands are building stronger relationships with customers by fostering a sense of community and co-creation:

  • User-Generated Content (UGC) Campaigns: Encourage customers to share photos and videos wearing your clothes, leveraging their authenticity and reach.
  • Crowdfunding and Collaborative Design: Allow customers to contribute to product design and development through crowdfunding platforms.
  • Loyalty Programs and Exclusive Experiences: Reward loyal customers with exclusive access to products, events, and experiences.

13. Cybersecurity Becomes Paramount:

As technology advancements create new opportunities, cybersecurity threats also evolve. Brands need robust security measures:

  • Data Protection: Implement strong data encryption and access controls to protect customer information.
  • Payment Security: Ensure secure payment gateways and transaction processing to prevent fraud.
  • Cybersecurity Awareness and Training: Educate employees about cybersecurity best practices to minimize risks.

14. The Future of Retail is Phygital:

The physical and digital worlds will converge further, creating seamless and engaging experiences.

  • Interactive In-Store Displays: Interactive displays with AR features and product information enrich the shopping experience.
  • Personalized In-Store Recommendations: Utilize customer data to offer personalized product recommendations while they shop in-store.
  • Frictionless Checkout: Implement self-checkout options and mobile payment solutions for faster and more convenient transactions.

15. Continuous Innovation is Key:

The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve requires embracing continuous innovation. Here are some key strategies:

  • Invest in Research and Development: Allocate resources to explore emerging technologies and experiment with new solutions.
  • Partner with Tech Companies: Collaborate with technology providers to develop innovative solutions and access expertise.
  • Adopt an Agile Mindset: Be open to change, experiment quickly, and learn from failures to continuously improve.

By embracing these top 15 technology trends, fashion brands can unlock new opportunities, enhance customer experiences, and thrive in the ever-evolving retail landscape. Remember, this is just the beginning. The future of fashion is brimming with possibilities, and those who embrace technology will be the ones shaping it.

 

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