Looking good: How beauty startups are rejigging experiences for the new-age shopper

The beauty landscape is moving away from mass production and is now offering bespoke experiences, says Chaitanya Nallan, Co-founder, SkinKraft, an AI-driven skincare solutions brand. Here's how the beauty industry is changing now...
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Beauty and personal care brands today are leveraging changing behaviour patterns and technology to provide hyper-personal and holistic experiences to a new generation of remote shoppers.

Beauty brands are customised for individual customers

For several generations, consumers have resorted to off-the-counter products, discounting the fact that ‘one size’ does not fit us all. The beauty landscape, with its vast and multifarious possibilities, had carried on mass-production for years, not taking into consideration the uniqueness and dissimilitude of each individual.

Innovation is the key

Customer preferences have changed over the years

As we switch over to a new reality, technology becomes mainstream, transforming the way we work, eat, travel, socialise and even make decisions. Over time, having access to a worldwide web of information and spending hours with new-age tech, consumer preferences have changed drastically, compelling players to constantly innovate and upgrade to stay in the game.

With evolving tastes, the historical penchant for generic skincare approaches has been hindered by the increased customer fondness for personal and holistic experiences.

For this reason, beauty brands and cosmetic start-ups are now leveraging emerging technologies to rejig ancient methods of home-made, result-driven remedies, incorporating them into advanced formulations created for individual skin-type.

AI-distilled smart skincare experiences

Today’s contemporary beauty landscape and its courtship with technology have deep-rooted possibilities, opening doors for the ultimate skin solutions.

Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics have all been deployed to curate first-of-its-kind experiences for consumers who are constantly on the lookout for value in a crowded segment.

‘AI knows you better than you do’

Artificial intelligence has been a game-changer for the beauty industry

The advent of Artificial Intelligence has no doubt been a game-changer for various industries, including skin and beauty. It helps determine an individual’s accurate skin profile by acquiring in-depth intel about a person’s skin-profile.

From skin textures and characteristics to an individual’s lifestyle aspects, eating habits, location, exposure to pollution and different weather patterns, all parameters are taken into consideration before coming up with the right regime.

Customer insights amplified with hours of intensive research and collaboration with experts enables AI to take better care of your skin. Data is the backbone of this process, helping AI comprehend, assess, identify and match your skin profile to the right formulations, through a series of feedback loops which create an extensive learning process.

Online channels come to the fore

With much of the population staying indoors, there has been a massive behavioural shift among consumers who have quickly substituted brick-and-mortar set-ups with online marketplaces and D2C options.

The appetite for online shopping and convenience has accelerated post-lockdown, leading to multiple new users, increased adoption and participation by tier 2 and 3 towns, who are now rapidly switching to digital avenues for day-to-day purchases and payments.

Virtual Therapy

Many beauty brands offer mood-enhancing properties

While the world transitions to e-commerce models, discarding multi-brand retail, direct to consumer brands unearth vast possibilities. From tailor-making products and services to replicating the nuances of a retail set-up, D2C brands are now devising new ways to provide holistic virtual experiences for shoppers who look for therapeutic perks.

Direct chains and startups are checking all the boxes to ensure that an online purchase is not only packed with the mood-enhancing capabilities of a retail experience but also offers its shoppers the best prices and informative data at all levels.

Hyper-personalisation and men

Brands are striving to create hyper-personal experiences for their user-base, catering to individual needs and requirements. The growing popularity of hyper-personalisation in beauty and personal care has now made its way into men’s grooming, tapping into this niche to recognise and create formulations in tune with the different lifestyles and skin textures.

Individualistic formulations

Beauty products are created on the basis of data of customer preferences

In the D2C approach, brands are the sole custodians of information on consumer preference, tastes, complaints and inclinations, collated through a continuous feedback loop. These unique insights provide a deep understanding of the customer, which can be leveraged to further fine-tune offerings by ‘bucketising’ grievances and success incidents.

This steady process of communication and resolution, in turn, boosts consumer confidence and stickiness, helping brands make a lasting impression in the long run.

Currently, India constitutes 5% per cent of the world’s total cosmetics share, and is projected to emerge as one of the top five global markets by revenue, by the end of the year 2025.

The confluence of three significant trends, mass internet adoption enabling feedback loops and user input, AI-enabled understanding of ingredient effectiveness, and modern manufacturing technologies, together will drive this trend, ushering in a new era in the beauty and personal care space.

(Images credit: Shutterstock)

Edited by Asha Chowdary

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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