The pandemic has made a drastic impact to the skincare and beauty industry, as the year has been all about new digital techniques, consumer experience, catering to customers’ demands and the growth of the D2C sector. Consumers have made a drastic shift to adopt the new all-natural and earth friendly products. According to research by Avendus, the global beauty and personal care segment is expected to touch US $725 billion in 2025 and the Indian market is to grow by $28 million by then.
Today, the consumers are aware and know what they are using when it comes to skincare. They not only want value for money, but want to invest into organic and chemical free formulas. This is the space where new homegrown beauty brands are treading into and offering chemical-free, natural and organic products.
Arata is one such brand that has created wonders in the beauty D2C segment with its unique product line. Talking about this, we had Dhruv Madhok and Dhruv Bhasin, Co-founder Arata share some insights on how the brand has evolved through innovation and right customer approaches.
Understanding the new digital customer
Overall, the consumer behaviour has changed thanks to evolving e-commerce trends. Customers now want everything in just one click. Dhruv Madhok shared some insights on how they understand the customers’ sentiment, “We use multiple methods of communication to understand the consumer sentiment. So fortunately, in direct to the consumer, we have the advantage of staying close to the customer. So we use email, SMS, and social media channels to have a two way communication. So as opposed to how it was previously for FMCG brands where they would essentially put their products in a store and then they would rely on the store owner or store executives to get feedback on why customers are coming or not. We can actually communicate with the customers through surveys, through emails, and through social media as well.”
Dhruv Madhok further added to this, “I think it’s very important for the new brands to really understand and focus on niches. Earlier, a lot of the large scale FMCG brands had made products that cater to as large an audience as possible. And that was the way it kind of worked, because that was the distribution that they had. He further added “ Whereas now I feel like, you know, direct to consumer brands or, or internet driven brands, they tried to focus on the niches and understand what are the voids in the gaps that are not being fulfilled by the large players.”
New Tools and Technologies
One of the key elements for any successful D2C brand is the introduction of technology at the right time to leverage right practices. Modern brands are leveraging technology in every aspect of their business to meet the customers’ demands. Dhruv Bhasin shared on this, “The most effective tool that we do use is predominantly on our website, because that’s kind of where we control the customer journey, we have customer data that enables us to reach out to our customers. So we conduct quarterly surveys, in the surveys, it’s on a more brand level on a product level on a caterpillar level, where we like to understand the impact that we’re having. So we do this every quarter, we get a lot of quantitative as well as qualitative feedback in this.”
He further added to this, “the brand asks a lot of qualitative questions where customers have the option to not just choose from but to be able to type in and give more creative feedback. And, I would say, that’s the predominant way in which we are able to measure the impact that we’ve had in the market.”
‘Learnings’ from the brand
Arata is the first, and the only, brand in India to have received the coveted EWG Verified certification for its products. The brand has grown over 10-fold in two years, and significantly during the lockdown. It caters to over 250,000 customers across the country, with more than 50% repeat purchases. Dhruv Bhasin shared some learnings that how did the brand made a great impact in the market, “The biggest learning we’ve had is that we had a lot of preconceived notions about our brand, about what we want to do, in terms within the space that we were operating. And we’ve had a lot of humbling experiences, you know, in terms of customer feedback, kind of redirecting us in the direction that we want me to go with regards to the company.”
He added to this, “the most important part is to keep listening to the customer. He said it sounds very common but it’s important to understand the impact that the product or the service has had on the customer. And then based on that feedback, the brand can tweak it, and find a unit, if the brand believes it has offered a perfect product or a perfect service and the customer does not believe that as well. Then, it’s really important for the brand to make sure that you are acting on what the customer is saying.”