How creator ecosystem is impacting the beauty industry in India

February 27, 2021 3:55 PM

Platforms like YouTube are a destination for consumers to understand and meet their unique needs

Customers are treating YouTube reviews and tutorials as their beauty counter and advisor.Customers are treating YouTube reviews and tutorials as their beauty counter and advisor.

By Nazneen Joshi

As we delve into the future of the business of beauty in India, it’s hard to ignore how the pandemic has shaped our beauty behaviors – or rather re-shaped them. How have priorities shifted for the individual, what role has technology and social media played in that marked shift and how has the creator ecosystem evolved to substantiate this progression?

Google, Kantar and WPP recently released a joint study on the beauty and personal care industry in India. The report states, “a large population of connected consumers and a dynamic content and creator ecosystem has created an unprecedented opportunity for brands.” The study explains that the user journey for a beauty consumer used to be simple, with a single-entry point for driving awareness and consideration. Over the past few years, we’ve seen that journey evolve, as consumers are now inundated with “multiple sources for discovery and information research.”

And through this evolved user journey, increasingly customers are treating YouTube reviews and tutorials as their beauty counter and advisor. Leader in prestige omni-channel retail, Sephora, started their journey, by inviting an unbiased approach to experiential retail, a pioneering move at the time. Prior to the inception of a Sephora format of shopping, customers shopped at pharmacies or department stores for their beauty requirements, placing their requests in the hands of a pharmacist or a manager behind the counter. Sephora audaciously changed that format allowing customers to explore and experience products for themselves, thus resulting in customers shopping for products they didn’t necessarily come into the store looking for, but through experience adopted a leannacy towards.

With 81% of customers engaging with beauty creators on YouTube and 26% of customers purchasing a beauty products as a result of watching a beauty video on YouTube we are witnessing a parallel between wandering through a beauty aisle, with the ability to touch, feel, smell and try on a product and watching a video that gives you all that information and more. Today, platforms like YouTube are a destination for consumers to understand and meet their unique needs, and we saw this behavior erupt during COVID-19. Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles.

Beauty brands are compelled to adapt to a world where most of our time is spent at home, “spaces in which glamour is not entirely forgotten but certainly has less currency than before”, writes Baya Simons (Financial Times, July 2020), wherein creator platforms like YouTube are no longer video archives but rather play roles of community and authenticity that adhere to best practices in meta-data, style and consistency.

The author is vice president, brand strategy of RepIndia. Views expressed are personal.

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