The India beauty industry is approximately worth Rs 3000 crore, and the colour cosmetics market is considered to be around Rs 900 crore. Stating the same, Sangeeta Kamath, director, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics India, said, “The cosmetic retail market has grown in leaps and bounds since the time Lush has entered the market.”
With the growing urbanization, and increased disposable income, consumers are more willing to spend on beauty and cosmetic products. Apart from increased consumption rate of women’s cosmetic product, the recent time have seen growth in demand of men’s product as well, majorly driven by young urban metrosexual men.
Nowadays men’s are extremely cautious about the way they look which has helped the cosmetic industry boom. Men are more aware and have a lot more choices. Around 40 percent of cosmetic sales catered to the male consumer. “Men have become more aware of their beauty needs and beauty solutions over the last decade; however, this consumption is largely restricted to skin and hair products only”, said, Sameer Prasad, CEO, Faces Cosmetics India.
Trends in cosmetic retail
Cosmetic industry is one of the most dynamic industries driven on the one hand by global trends in fashion and on the other hand by product innovations. Going natural is seen as key trend in today’s beauty conscious consumers. Apart from natural, organic and fair trade is the new movement in the beauty segment.
Talking about the innovations made in cosmetic industry, Kamath says, “We are pioneers of innovations, we have solid deodorants and now we are making solid perfumes too. Apart from this, bio-degradable shower gels and ubtan (paste for skincare) in a pot are some of the new innovations made so far.” Explaining that today’s consumer are more aware and wants to have more versatile product on offer, Prasad says, “Consumers are demanding enhanced packaging that delivers more efficient product usage as well enhanced functionality and versatility in products eg. longer lasting, versatile day and night colors etc.”
Some of the highest selling products at Faces Cosmetic include lipsticks, lip-gloss, pout enhancing ultra lip plump, eye shadows, eye pencils, eye liners and eye primers. At Lush, the handmade soaps are the best selling category followed by cleanser and the solid shampoos.
Every retailer strives on good location and getting an ideal space is always a retailers dream. Commenting on the point, Kamath said, “With the emergence of a lot of new malls, one is not too sure about the sustaining ability of these malls in the long run. Right staff is also a hurdle. If you have good location and the right staff you are on your way to success.”
Prasad also believes that making economics work initially at some of the premium mall locations in the country, at such a high real estate prices is a major concern. Creating loyalty amongst consumers in certain sub-categories is also a challenge. Clutter in the category in MBOs is another problem.
Speaking over the marketing strategy, Kamath said, “Our marketing strategy is very simple. We believe in word-of-mouth. This helps us seep our way into the market as we do not advertise. Our well trained staffs give demonstrations and that helps in defining our differentiating edge. We do not spend anything on marketing, we rather believe in utilizing the money to buy quality ingredients that go into the products.”
“Our aim is to deliver the highest quality of products to the discerning Indian consumer through constant innovation and products that are premium or international in quality but with shades adapted to the Indian skin tone. We want to bring the latest colour trends to the Indian consumer”, said Prasad. Also he informed that the Faces Cosmetic is focusing on increasing its distribution footprint across tier I and tier II metros.
The path ahead
The cosmetic sale in India is expected to surge at a CAGR of around 20 to 25 percent over the next 5-7 years in India. “It is hard to say now, but we can expect an upward trend in this segment”, says Prasad. Concluding at the end, Kamath said, “We see a peak in cosmetic and beauty retail in India. When we started there were not too many brands retailing natural or handmade cosmetics and today there are quite a few market players.”