In the past five years, over 20 international brands in the space of beauty and skincare have entered the Indian market. Whether online or offline, you can choose beauty and skincare products from labels like Charlotte Tilbury, Too Faced, Huda Beauty, Pat McGrath, even Lancome. Recently Zara entered the market, with a collection of lipsticks, lip oils, nail paints and eye shadows.
While foreign brands try to tempt the Indian shopper, there's also a simultaneous growth of homegrown brands like Juicy Chemistry, Neemli Naturals and Mamaearth that are promising to offer quality products at more affordable prices.
Small wonder then India is ranked fourth globally for generating the highest revenue from the beauty and personal care market in 2021. According to latest Statista findings, the beauty and personal care market is expected to reach $33.33 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.32%.
What is making the Indian beauty shopper so attractive?
In a previous interview with Mint, Yosser Zmitri, general manager (luxe) of L’Oréal SAPMENA (South Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa), offered an answer: “South Asia is the zone of the future, and India is one of the key strategic countries for us.” This was in 2022 when L’Oréal had just announced Lancôme’s re-entry into India. “The first time I came here (to India) was before covid, in December 2019. As soon as I came, I did what we call ‘consumer connects’, which basically involves going to customers and getting their perspectives on the way they consume beauty and beauty brands. These conversations made me realise the Indian beauty market was ready to accelerate. …the consumer was ready for the luxury beauty market in a big, big way... the appetite was there and it was growing."
What has led to the increase in the appetite? Growing penetration of marketplaces like Nykaa and Sephora, the increased spending power of the consumer, the desire to experiment, and the exposure to different brands via social media. The presence of more brands has also spoiled the customer for choice. You can find a moisturiser for ₹400 and also for ₹4,000—there's a product for every shopper.
Such demands have intensified competition as well, pushing brands to try different way to attract the customer.
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When Mint asked Eva Lopez, the head of Zara Beauty, how will the brand ensure their products stay ahead, she said: “Our products are compatible with everyone and that’s what I feel will be our main strength in addition to great pricing. For example, our foundations come in 51 shades. As a brand, we also encourage consumers to experiment with an array of styles, textures and colours by embracing bold colours that suit the upcoming seasons and future fashion trends.”
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Brands will have to continue to keep themselves updated to attract more shoppers. Like Zmitri said in the Mint interview, “Today’s consumer is not very loyal. They are butterfly consumers. Their routine evolves every day. Today, it’s a five-step skincare routine, tomorrow it’s about the mask, the next day it is about layering serums.”