The new-age beauty consumer is increasingly looking at interacting with new technologies, according to research.
Today’s beauty consumers are online for advice, ideas and inspiration, with 9 out of 10 beauty consumers influenced by digital, as per a recent report launched by Google, Kantar and WPP that traces theevolution of the beauty and personal care industry in India.
As per the findings, 67% beauty consumers are interested in virtual reality, 64% are inclined towards augmented reality and 69% keen on using voice assistants. These new and emerging technologies can show the future of the burgeoning beauty industry and help brands meet buyers’ needs and provide a stronger user experience.
Online is getting big and beautiful
- As the habits evolve, the consumers are increasingly shifting from TV to digital avenues, says the report, with 33% beauty consumers engaging digitally every day, 50% every week and 93% every month.
- Kaushik Dasgupta, group head, insights and partnerships, Google India, said: “most of the purchase decisions take place in the discovery and understanding phase itself which now happens online. Even in the offline consumer journey, online plays a key role as research, comparisons and trends are searched online.”
Seeing is believing in this case
Video is playing a big role in the purchase of beauty products in India with YouTube emerging as a beauty advisor and search as a discovery platform. Says Sushmita Balasubramaniam, domain lead for commerce, South Asia, Kantar’s Insights Division, said, “The increasing comfort with digitalization has given them a sense of empowerment to be able to literally ‘go anywhere and look at anything’, in ways that are not possible in offline shopping. As a result, there has been the discovery of new products and brands to suit their new lifestyles.
- Among consumers surveyed, 81% are engaging with beauty creators on YouTube and 26% have purchased a beauty product because of watching a beauty video on YouTube.
- Over 50% beauty consumers are using social media and online videos, and 40% consumers use online search for research.
- 56% consumers use YouTube to compare and consider, while 30% reach their final decision through a mix of YouTube, Google Search and e-commerce websites.
Beauty: no longer a metro-only phenomenon
In India, Tier-1 and Tier-2 city consumers are fast catching up with their peers from the metros when it comes to purchasing personal care products. Tier-1 cities show similar engagement levels with digital touchpoints at 83% and Metros’ at 81%. However, price, benefits, comparison and recommendations stand at almost 60% overall.
No gender divide here
Interestingly, the gender divide is a myth when it comes to the beauty segment – with both men and women showing similar interest and buying an average of nine beauty products every month.
Challenges in the beauty journey
There are multiple obstacles being faced by the beauty-consumer face on their purchasing journey: with 21% facing difficulty in choosing the right product, while 24% find it hard to decide on a product without brand experience and 20% unable to envision how suitable a product is for them.
Learnings for brands
- With digital playing such a major role in the purchase journey, brands need to make it easy for consumers to access information, to facilitate purchase decisions and gain brand loyalty.
- As perCVL Srinivas, Country Manager for India, WPP, “There are still untapped opportunities for beauty brands out there, from catering to different city audiences to leveraging varied consumer segments.” Consumers count on trusted content and authentic personal advice to complete their buying journey and brands can thrive by owning that interaction, he adds.
- Previously for makeup as a category, less informed consumers had the comfort of walking into stores with beauty advisors to educate and guide them. That is no longer the route being taken and online retailers are increasingly being pushed to use creative ways to guide consumers in this journey of discovery and education.
- The future will be about the adoption of higher-order technology and marrying it with the critical element of personalization.