Nykaa has seen an amazing journey, being a true disruptor in the beauty industry. How was the idea born, and what propelled you to take this step?
I once walked into a Sephora store and was amazed by the profusion of brands, the beautiful displays and the women behind counters who offered advice, sold beauty products and helped women discover a whole new side to themselves. This and other exposures to multi-brand online retail made me realize there was such a huge gap in India with a severe dearth of good multi-brand retail experiences in the beauty and wellness space. I saw the need for a multi-brand retail format that gives unbiased advice to consumers, being able to guide them on the right products for their beauty and health concerns. It was a risk I was willing to take but, I am happy to say that we have seen significant success with Nykaa.
Women as an audience is always seen as a tough segment to reach, but Nykaa manages to not just reach them, but also keep them engaged and loyal for long period of time. What really helps – product, marketing or something else?
We at Nykaa focus on curation, content and convenience. At Nykaa we first focus on curation – to ensure that we have the best beauty product offering and the then on customer engagement with creative content. We also focus very strongly on customer trust – to always deliver what we promise.
Nykaa has a unique position in the market, with a depth of curated offerings within the beauty, makeup, skincare, hair care and wellness space, with 1000+ brands. It is the only online and offline destination for such a large assortment of beauty and wellness brands in the country at the best prices. We are also bringing to our customers the best of international beauty. We are aware of global beauty trends, and demands of the Indian consumers and constantly launch the best of international beauty on Nykaa.com.We have been able to bring international brands such as Huda Beauty, Wet n Wild and Kielhs exclusively on Nykaa.com. It’s a truly a one stop shop, online and offline for all your beauty needs.
We believe that educating our customers will in turn create desire. We also believe in content, and we make sure to put content throughout the website and in our stores as we strongly feel that it creates better customer engagement. We create constant engagement and forge education on ‘beauty know-how’ through tutorials, product reviews, guides, videos and blogs. Customers need advice in the beauty segment, for example right foundations for the Indian skin tone etc. This is why we have a dedicated section called the ‘Beauty Book’ which features product reviews, tips and tricks on applying the right makeup and guidance on choosing the right products for concerns.
We work very hard to offer genuine fresh products, never violating the customer’s trust by following an inventory led model. We can guarantee the products are 100% genuine and will promise to deliver to deliver to the customers in the best condition. As a result customers find it easy to trust us, remain loyal and have developed a strong relationship with Nykaa
I see a variety of products on Nykaa, everything from drugstore brands to super luxury products. How is Nykaa positioning itself in this increasingly competitive space?
Since inception we have strongly believed in developing a strong conversation with our customers, understanding their demands, their wants and the trends they follow. We are constantly expanding our product range and category to have a wide assortment and curation. We notice global trends, and make those available to the Indian consumers. We were the first e-commerce player in India to notice the Korean Beauty trend and bring it to India. We have also managed to get Huda Beauty exclusively in India on Nykaa.com and Nykaa Retail stores. We also have international brands like Kiehl’s, NYX and L.A. Girl have exclusively partnered with Nykaa for online sales, and this unique offering helps us have an edge over our competitors. Beauty is no longer a luxury, it is every woman's right. Make the right products available to every woman.
We also believe in developing strong conversations with our customers, whether through product reviews, or on social platforms or our video tutorials. This in-depth customer connect has allowed us to understand their needs and learn continuously. This translated to the launch of the native Nykaa beauty brand in-line with our long term goal of offering quality products to our customers. We have traveled the world to bring the highest quality and on trend products to our customers. We prioritize the quality, get the best product and then price it at the best possible price.
We also follow an inventory led model. This model is reason for our success as we earned consumer trust. Consumers are always looking for authentic, fresh and genuine products and we meet all those customer needs.
Apart from our online presence, we are building on our offline presence. We already have a Nykaa store in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai and we plan to have 45 stores by 2019.
Do you have a specific strategy to target Tier 2 markets in India, considering the aspirational buyers are increasing in these markets?
We do realize there is a huge demand for beauty products in Tier 2 cities, and we are already catering to the Tier 2 market. We realized there was a huge demand for beauty products in these cities, and we wanted to make our products accessible through online and offline modes.
A large proportion of our customers are from Tier 2 cities. 60% of our orders are from the major metros whereas 40% of our order come from other cities. We are constantly looking in to data as to what these consumers are buying, find interesting and wanting to purchase. With our wide range of products we ensure there’s something for all our customers across India.
Currently we ship products pan India, but we are also opening physical stores in Tier 2 cities, so customers can experience these products. A fairly large number of our stores are in Tier 2 cities already, like Coimbatore, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Indore and have plenty more in the pipeline over the next few months.
We also think it’s important to interact with these customers, understand their needs and buying habits. To facilitate this, we have been hosting Beauty themed events titled “Beauty Bar” across all major tier two towns ie Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Guwahati to introduce the multi brand experience to end users in a more interactive format.The Nykaa Beauty Bar was launched to be able to offer Nykaa customers a chance to touch and feel a curation of beauty brands for personalized makeovers.
What has been the strategy with offline stores, as you move into this space. Why did you feel to need to go offline?
We are of the strong belief that Nykaa customers demand an online and offline format. Customers are happy to buy products online, but the omnichannel model allows customers to go in to a store and have a sensory experience which they can’t online. The store gives customers the opportunity to see, try and experience the product.