How COVID-19 has forced beauty brands to think online to cope up with these unprecedented times
How COVID-19 has forced beauty brands to think online to cope up with these unprecedented times

Just like all the other industries, the global beauty industry consisting of skincare, cosmetics, haircare, fragrances, and personal care have been dismayed by the COVID-19 crisis. With the spread of this communicable disease, businesses are thinking twice before re-opening their stores. Brands have certain expectations to live up to maintain their brand image and are hence taking every precautionary measure possible, for the same. From the viewpoint of salons and skincare clinics, they need to take extra care as services like haircuts, waxing, and other services require a lot of physical contacts.

As people are unable to go for their frequent salon visits, beauty brands are taking this opportunity to showcase how their products are simple to use and give salon-like results at home.

Most of the beauty brands have understood the importance of entering the online consumer space. Initially, the increase in online sales was not countervailing the decline in in-store sales. Constantly coming up with offers and hosting campaigns have become the way to go for most beauty brands. Brands with a large scale of ready inventory and shipment facilities are prepared to scale up their sales, even higher than their pre-COVID levels. The increase in consumer reach is not only getting the unsold seasonal inventory out but also building their brand image.

The rise in the demand for skincare products

For the most time, people preferred using makeup as a quick fix for their skin problems. Ever since quarantine happened, it was an instinct for most people to switch to good skincare practices. People prefer less of smokey eyes and more of dewy skin.

Given the actuality of working from home, social distancing, and wearing masks and shields, people don’t see the worth of investing their money in expensive makeup. On the contrary, sales for skincare, haircare, bath & body products are booming. Aromatherapy, detoxing, beauty supplements, DIY products are getting more importance. People are looking for alternatives of easy DIY (Do it Yourself) hair coloring methods, salon-like hair spa at home, manicures and facials, etc.

How are beauty brands coping up?

L’Oreal - To increase its sales, L’Oreal has started its own YouTube channel- ‘Lockdown Binge’ where they invite top influencers like SimmyGoraya, Shalini Samuel, and Bollywood stars like Kalki Koechlin to showcase DIYs, give at-home skincare tips incorporating their products, etc. It is a great way to give out value to the customers as well as promote your brand.

Nykaa - Since the novel coronavirus outbreak entered in India, Nykaa faced a dip in their sales in April. They took immediate measures to revive it and focussed mainly on online channels. Reena Chabbra, who is associated with the e-commerce department of the brand states that the transition to e-commerce is here to stay irrespective of the COVID-19 situation. She believes that with the increasing trends in technology, companies have already started focussing on bringing in AR and VR to give a very real-life shopping experience to the customers sitting home.

Marico’s by Kaya Clinics - Apart from taking hygiene and safety precautions at the salons, Kaya has also come up with a pan-India outreach campaign where through video consultations, they help the customers in adopting dermatologically approved skincare and haircare measures at home. This is accessible to people all across the country. E-commerce and e-payment facilities are taken into consideration for the contactless delivery of products that are recommended by the doctors.

Personalized beauty brands gaining competitive advantage

With the introduction of AI and technology in the beauty industry, the brands offering personalized hair care and skincare regimen have a clear advantage. Getting personalised solutions at the salons that are relevant to one’s problems is what has been going around all these years. However, personalized brands ask you to fill up a small questionnaire stating your hair/skin problems and the goals you wish to achieve and they curate the products based on the customer profile. And not to forget, everything is done online.

One of the examples of this in the Indian industry is Freewill. Freewill offers a personalized hair care regimen for people of all ages. Their products are made with clean formulations and natural ingredients, free from any harmful toxins or chemicals.

The emerging need for personalized solutions is making more people enter int his market and is leading to an increase in competition. Personalization is the future of the beauty industry.

Some changes resulting from the COVID-19 crisis are likely to be permanent. 

1. Capturing the attention and interaction with the consumers in the online space.

2. Providing value to the customers through content marketing

3. Prioritizing influencers and celebrities for word-of-mouth

4. Impeccable importance of technology in the beauty industry

5. Having attractive brand websites and a shoppable social media presence.

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