Retail therapy is solely responsible for keeping me happy on most days. When I say that, I mean spending hours on beauty e-comm, scouting for the newest product launches or even a few tried-and-tested favourites too! As a beauty enthusiast, most of my needs when it comes to skincare, makeup and haircare are always resolved by one of the most sought-after platforms for beauty currently, Myntra. The best part is the delightful mix of international, domestic and new-age consumer brands one gets to pick from—Barry M, Caudalie along with Minimalist and Arata!
To gain a few insights into the dynamic beauty and personal care category of Myntra, we spoke to Sharon Pais, Chief Business Officer and Rahul Sachdev, Senior Director – Beauty and Personal Care.
ELLE: The beauty and personal care category is constantly evolving. How do you see this change?
Sharon Pais: It’s no secret that the beauty and personal care category at large is a burgeoning one. There’s a massive difference between what this category was years ago, and what it is today. Today, it stands to be worth $25bn-$26bn by 2025. Back in the day, we always prioritised benefit-focused skincare as opposed to the ingredient-focused skincare we see today. With a leading platform like Myntra extensively focusing on the beauty and personal care category and personalising the entire shopping experience for the consumer, there’s certainly a positive shift that’s taking place.
ELLE: What has the journey from a fashion-first destination to a holistic, beauty-focused one been like?
Sharon: Myntra has pioneered itself as the go-to lifestyle destination for all of its consumers. With our focus on beauty and personal care, we’re planning to democratize it by bringing the finest selection of products and brands that cater to every choice of our consumers with technology as a pivot. We currently house over 75000 products and 1400+ brands in our portfolio which has allowed us to expand the beauty and personal care category in a way that has provided access and value to the customer. The journey has been extremely fruitful in the sense that this category has helped us create an everlasting relationship with our consumers by becoming their first choice for beauty purchases. Our aim is to make our consumers look good, and feel even better— so the journey towards a beauty-focused future has been equal parts exciting and learning.
ELLE: Speaking of beauty and personal care, what are a few trends forming in this space?
Rahul Sachdev: First, I think from a pure consumer lens, the definition of beauty is becoming intrinsic. It’s not extrinsic anymore. It’s entirely internal and very subjective to how each person feels about it. Secondly, it’s becoming more inclusive as an idea, it’s for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s their definition of beauty that kind of defines how they feel about themselves. Thirdly, I think, the proliferation of beauty from an early age is becoming massive at the moment. This is owing to the fact that there are multiple products which talk to consumers at fairly young ages as well to be able to get them started.
Coming specifically to key highlights that we’ll be seeing play out in 2023, clean and conscious beauty is here to stay, and it’s definitely something our consumers are actively partaking in. We’re also seeing ingredient-first, science-backed regimes be a hot favourite amongst our consumers since education surrounding skincare and beauty is at an all-time high. However, there are also several newer subcategories that are seeing hypergrowth. Whether it is lip tints, plumpers, sunscreen-based foundation or eyebrow palettes! These things are kind of catching the consumer’s attention, and they are going growing at a significant rate in comparison to the overall category.
ELLE: The beauty and personal care category encompasses a wide range of products. What is interesting to the Indian beauty right now?
Sharon: With reference to all of the trends springing up in the beauty and personal care category, a lot of science and performance-based skincare has been having its moment in the limelight. We’ve seen a stark increase in the demand for face and hair serums, owing to regimen expansion as a lot of consumers are building their skincare and haircare routines extensively. Indian consumers are a lot more evolved in terms of their choices now, so we’re also witnessing a rise in purchases for products that fall in the ‘conscious and clean beauty’ category as well. Another category that’s been booming has been fragrances, with concepts like layering taking off, consumers are exploring different fragrance families, which is interesting to see.
On the make-up front, while Gen Z is skewing towards pops of colour whether that be on their eyes, face or lips, we are also witnessing the ‘no makeup makeup look’ becoming increasingly popular among the younger cohort of shoppers, with foundation, blush and lip tint being their preferred products to achieve that healthy dewy look.
ELLE: What sets Myntra apart in terms of offering an immersive shopping experience?
Rahul: If we’re being honest, Myntra solved a great problem consumers faced when it came to fashion. We really elevated the trial room experience and then further married it with the endless aisle of options offered on Myntra. We’re striving to do the exact same thing for beauty, but also keeping the consumer at the core of all of our actions for it. The introduction of tech innovations under ‘Assisted Selling Tools’ like the AI skin analyzer (skin and hair), Virtual Try-Ons and the product finder have enabled Myntra to customize the experience by catering to each individual’s needs making it a seamless and immersive shopping experience for beauty enthusiasts flanking the platform. These tools are poised to solidify our position as India’s new beauty expert.
Marrying personalization with technology enables our consumers to make smart choices. We are trying to enable the discovery of brands and simplify the ease of navigation across the flurry of products that exist between new-age brands, international brands, and traditional brands for our consumers. So, helping them on their journey and solving the issues faced by each and every consumer then becomes a task that technology powers for us, and that’s how we are certain that the experience becomes truly rich and immersive.
ELLE: When it comes to onboarding brands in the beauty and personal care category, how does Myntra curate its selection of international as well as new-age consumer brands?
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Rahul: Honestly, the answer to this is really simple. We follow a very consumer-centric approach to onboarding brands. We have a set of consumers who clearly communicate with us about their choices through the app. So in that sense, we’re always aware of everything they want. When they’re looking at beauty trends that haven’t made their way to India but are available in international markets, we know that they’re signalling to us to get those brands and products to the country. When we spoke about trends like single-ingredient serums and lip tints, there are also quite a few new-age Indian brands that are striving to offer these products at a great price point. So, at the end of the day, it’s all about looking inward at what the consumers want, and what they’re searching for on the app.
ELLE: Myntra Beauty has tapped into social commerce to propel its growth extremely well. Could you tell us a little bit about your strategy?
Rahul: It all begins and ends with the consumer for us, that’s where our focus is. We have a large chunk of Gen-Z audiences who absolutely love utilizing this medium. So in terms of social commerce, popular influencers creating compelling content that appeals to them visually and mentally is of utmost importance to us—which means snackable and quirky content is everything. Access to all of these beauty products and the information surrounding them has been very limited in the past, so bridging that gap by tapping into non-metro cities and equipping our consumers with every bit of information they require to make a purchase is our goal. Education-led content is something our audience is enjoying.
Speaking of creators, broadly we bank on a few types of them. The first category obviously being influencers owing to the level of advocacy they add to anything along with the friend-like appeal they often exhibit. Specialists from specific categories, whether that’s makeup, skincare and haircare are the second category we go for. Lastly, in order to cater to the higher-order benefit-seeking consumer, we partner with dermatologists as well. However, we want to kind of expand this and cover a wider spectrum of consumer cohorts. But largely, we look at consumer cohorts, what is the medium that they really enjoy in terms of conversation and then solve it with the right kind of creativity from our side!
ELLE: What is 2023 looking like for Myntra Beauty?
Sharon: 2023 is an extremely interesting and exciting year for us. We’re strongly looking to reach out to all of our consumers and directly communicate what exactly we’re planning to build for them. Through Myntra Beauty’s extensive marketing initiatives, we are confident with our dedicated consumers and solve their unique problems. As Rahul mentioned previously, enabling our consumers to find their intrinsic beauty is a crucial aspect we’re planning to focus on entirely. The platform’s tech innovations are also something that is going to be in focus all throughout this year, especially the skin analyser, the product finder and even the virtual try-on. As you can gather, we’re all about making the consumer experience as enjoyable and seamless as possible. At the end of the day, the democratization of beauty is what we’re aiming for— making beauty accessible to one and all.