A young, passionate and zealous Entrepreneur, Karan Gupta inherited his family business, Qraa Herbals but envisioned that the male grooming business has a bright future too. In 2017, He came up with his own extension of the brand, Qraa Men with innovative products for men like Gold Oils for Men and Hair and Beard Vitalizers. These Innovative products have been reviewed by some of the top Industry Influencers and Bloggers taking the brand by leaps and bounds.
It would not be an understatement to say that COVID-19 has transformed consumption and commerce for the foreseeable future in not just India but the entire world. Not even a single industry has remained untouched from its impact. Amidst the falling revenues and badly hit supply chains, it comes as no surprise that the skincare and beauty industry has to change the way it operates to remain relevant and profitable. While offline stores coupled with an excellent retail strategy used to be good to go in the pre-corona period, it is not enough in the post-COVID-19 era. The current state of the beauty and skincare industry necessitates offline skincare startups to move online swiftly. Here are a few reasons why:
Drop in retail shopping
The shift in the customer choices in the skincare and beauty industry started when the lockdown was first imposed in India. Before that, 70% of the skincare industry relied on offline sales. There was a sense of instant distrust between customers and brick and mortar businesses as people started locking themselves up in their homes and working remotely. There was a sharp drop in retail shopping, which contributed to a big chunk of lost revenues. Gen Z and millennials, which makes a big chunk of the customers of the skincare industry answered in a survey that they prefer online browsing instead of visiting retail stores. Retail marketing strategy and one-to-one promotion that skincare startups previously depended on are no longer sufficient. Thus, offline skincare startups need online expansion, and they need it now. It would be advisable for them to skip investing in retail stores or physical selling in any form and grow an online presence to grab eyeballs.
Boom in e-commerce
While people lost interest in offline buying, there was a consequent boom in e-commerce. Customers are trying to avoid visiting stores physically and have shifted their entire shopping experience online. Therefore, it is the best time for offline skincare startups to invest in an excellent robust e-commerce website, cloud storage, cybersecurity, automation solutions, communication technologies that are required for running a digital-first business model. They should abide by the shift towards online sales by localising their supply chains. They must focus on improving their tracking and delivery mechanism so that the ordered products can reach the customers swiftly but safely. While most companies are struggling with compromised transport and supply chains, any brand can make an impression by being prompt and fast.
In the past few months, many skincare companies have launched their products online with no offline promotions and have been receiving good response. It all depends on how well thought out your product and promotion strategy is.
Get discovered & sell with social media
A few years ago, google search used to be the preferred way to find inspirations, brands and products. However, the COVID-19 paradigm shift includes a change in the way consumers select a product. For the customers of the present day, if you do not exist on social media, you do not exist. Thus, offline skincare startups need not only a website but also a strong and well-planned social media presence to be known among potential customers. With an effective social media strategy, a brand can create a community of people who are interested in skincare. These people are potential customers that can be easily converted into sales with smart policy. There has been a shift in consumer preferences as well. Therefore, these skincare startups would need to build a plan around products related to overall health, hygiene and personal care.
But the use of social media does not stop at helping your brand get discovered. Now social media platforms are enabling e-commerce facilities, which can allow a skincare company to convert leads into sales with just the right strategy. For example, shoppable pins on Pinterest and checkout function added on Instagram makes the product ordering journey short and sweet.
The power of influencer marketing
One of the best ways in which an offline skincare startup can enjoy the benefits of online technology is to harness the power of influencer marketing. Various social media platforms allow the collaboration of brands with the top influencers of the domain for the promotion of their products or service. By being an active member of social media platforms, offline skincare startups can engage influencers to give their product sales a much-needed push. A good influencer marketing campaign can dramatically improve the discoverability of their brand and product range. Many skincare brands have made a mark in the minds of their potential customers with just getting endorsements from youth icons or influencers with a considerable social media following. We live in a time when trust is the enabling factor behind every single sale. The community made by influencers is based on trust, thus aiding the discovery and sales of any brand they promote.
Be seen with digital marketing
Following the lockdown period, several skincare brands have reported multiple fold increase in their website clicks. Online sales have helped them tap into a whole new segment of customers. As a result, many skincare companies have decided to shift their operations online. One of the best benefits of an online expansion is that you can reach out to customers beyond the limitations of time and place. Customers from all over India will be available at your disposal, and with an effective digital marketing strategy, you can be discovered by all of them. Digital marketing can help offline skincare startups make new customers and retain existing ones. Advertising campaigns, especially those in vernacular language and for personal hygiene products will fare well with the new audience of the post-COVID-19 period. Thus, the online expansion for skincare startups is the need of the hour, even though it might seem a little daunting at first.
More About Karan Gupta
Apart from QraaMen, Karan Gupta also manages two other brands under the umbrella viz Namyaa Skincare and Arama Naturals. Namyaa Skincare – a brand focusing on the intimate hygiene skin care needs of women. Adding to this, there is Arama Naturals which focuses on top-of-the-line premium quality products like Body Polishing Oils, Rose Gold Oil, etc. As a special mention, Arama Naturals received the Cosmopolitan Award for its Rose Gold Oil recently.
A visionary that he is, Gupta plans on increasing the delivery all throughout India in an effortless manner while also exporting the products to neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, UAE, Myanmar, and Malaysia. As challenging as the way forwards looks, the vigour with which he ousts his competition is well-known.
Sharing the work culture and ethos of his father Mr Raaj Gupta, Karan has been actively pursuing more innovative entrepreneurial pursuits. He believes there is a void to be filled in the Indian market for men and women’s skincare products being chemical-free and staying in touch with nature is the way forward.