The Body Shop Pioneers Sustainable Beauty in India, Aims for Double-Digit Growth

The Body Shop Pioneers Sustainable Beauty in India, Aims for Double-Digit Growth
Its future plans also involve expanding third-party partnerships with retailers such as Tira, SS Beauty, Shoppers Stop, amongst others.

By Vaishnavi gupta , Sr Correspondent

29 Sep 2023 | 11 min read

The Indian beauty industry is at the cusp of a transformative shift, underscored by a remarkable growth trajectory that can be attributed to the increasing consumer awareness and rising income levels in the country. One of the most striking trends within this evolving landscape is the heightened focus on sustainability. Consumers in India are increasingly prioritizing eco-conscious and ethical brands, aligning with global sustainability movements. This shift is driven by a growing awareness of environmental issues, ethical sourcing, and cruelty-free practices. Brands that embrace these values are well-positioned to thrive in the Indian beauty market.

For instance, The Body Shop’s Activist Workshop stores enable customers to become changemakers themselves, offering an interactive and enriching experience from start to finish. The new Activist Workshop store format is the perfect representation of The Body Shop’s firm commitment to being a pioneer in environmentally progressive values and store design. The store has been outfitted with sustainable fixtures made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastics to help minimize its environmental footprint. There is extensive usage of aluminum, which requires less energy production than other materials and is also infinitely recyclable. The store also features worktop surfaces that are manufactured from 100 percent recycled material, otherwise destined for landfills.

“From a futuristic standpoint, the Indian beauty industry offers a goldmine of potential. As consumers continue to champion eco-friendly and socially responsible brands, there is ample opportunity for growth and innovation in this space. The convergence of sustainability and beauty represents not only a trend but a fundamental shift in consumer expectations, making it imperative for brands to embrace these values to succeed in the evolving Indian beauty market,” said Vishal Chaturvedi, Vice President, The Body Shop Asia South.

India: An Important Market for The Body Shop

India is among the top 5 markets for The Body Shop International, and it is also one of the fastest-growing markets across the globe. Domestically, the brand’s top-performing markets are Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. “We are focusing on expanding our base in the current cities along with monitoring and expanding in new cities like Varanasi, Imphal, Darjeeling, Amravati, Rourkela, Vasai, and other Tier III and IV cities,” he stated.

The Body Shop is one of the first international beauty brands to set up shop in India, a high-potential market. It has been operational in the country since 2006 and currently operates 200 stores in 75 cities across the country. The brand plans to expand more stores in another 50 cities by 2025.

The Body Shop Pioneers Sustainable Beauty in India, Aims for Double-Digit Growth

“Further, we plan to open at least 30 activist workshop stores across the country, enabling customers to join us in our fight for social and environmental justice and our advocacy for sustainability,” he stated.

In addition to this, its future plans also involve expanding third-party partnerships with retailers such as Tira, SS Beauty, and Shoppers Stop, amongst others.

A Multichannel Approach

The brand is following an omnichannel approach with plans to achieve two-fold growth in its e-commerce business. Its online business has played a pivotal role in its growth trajectory.

“Our online sales have witnessed substantial growth, contributing significantly to our overall sales. Earlier, our business used to be 90 percent offline and 10 percent online. Currently, this percentage stands at 75 percent and 25 percent for our offline and online business, respectively,” asserted Chaturvedi.

The brand also plans to venture into the quick commerce sector, recognizing its relevance in today's retail landscape.

Additionally, to offer more convenience to consumers, The Body Shop also offers video consultations, WhatsApp shopping, same-day delivery, and three-hour delivery through partnerships with local logistics providers.

Myriad of Choices

The brand offers 5 major categories, including face, body, hair, makeup and fragrance. It has over 600 SKUs in these categories and has a plan to further introduce new variants as the skincare market evolves.

The brand came up with the Activist Makeup collection, which reflects The Body Shop’s commitment to sustainability through the range of skincare and color cosmetics. All the products in the Activist Makeup collection are formulated with ethically sourced ingredients, 95 percent of which are from natural origin.

Recently, it has launched its new fragrance range, ‘Full Flowers’. Full Flowers is a range of Eaux de Parfum that immerses consumers in the world of blossoming flowers. Certified by The Vegan Society, each of the 4 scents in the collection celebrates nature's beauty and authenticity.

“Additionally, our entire product portfolio will be certified 100% vegan by The Vegan Society by the end of 2023,” he added.

The Body Shop Pioneers Sustainable Beauty in India, Aims for Double-Digit Growth

Tech at Play

The brand has revamped its UI/UX to enhance the consumer experience, incorporating features like video consultations and geo-targeting. A standout innovation is the integration of Augmented Reality (AR) into its shopping app, enabling customers to virtually try its products for an interactive and immersive shopping experience. Alongside this, The Body Shop’s app offers personalized product recommendations, ensuring a tailored journey for every consumer.

It has also implemented blockchain technology to trace the origin of its key ingredients, reinforcing its commitment to transparency and sustainability. This initiative empowers consumers to make informed choices about its products' ethical and environmental impact.

READ MORE: How Technology is Seeping into the Future of the Beauty Industry

Future Ahead

In this fast-paced industry, the brand is prioritizing diverse touchpoints, strategically opening standalone and multi-brand retail outlets. This approach has been instrumental in the Western markets and is now yielding positive results in India. The Body Shop’s goal is to sustain double-digit growth aligned with its strategic plan. To achieve this, it'll allocate significant funds to expand into Tier II, III, and IV cities, broadening its consumer reach.

“Through these strategic investments and expansion plans, we aim to reinforce our position as a trusted and preferred brand in the Indian beauty market while staying true to our core values of ethical, sustainable, and inclusive beauty,” he concluded.

The Indian beauty industry is at the cusp of a transformative shift, underscored by a remarkable growth trajectory that can be attributed to the increasing consumer awareness and rising income levels in the country. One of the most striking trends within this evolving landscape is the heightened focus on sustainability. Consumers in India are increasingly prioritizing eco-conscious and ethical brands, aligning with global sustainability movements. This shift is driven by a growing awareness of environmental issues, ethical sourcing, and cruelty-free practices. Brands that embrace these values are well-positioned to thrive in the Indian beauty market.

For instance, The Body Shop’s Activist Workshop stores enable customers to become changemakers themselves, offering an interactive and enriching experience from start to finish. The new Activist Workshop store format is the perfect representation of The Body Shop’s firm commitment to being a pioneer in environmentally progressive values and store design. The store has been outfitted with sustainable fixtures made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastics to help minimize its environmental footprint. There is extensive usage of aluminum, which requires less energy production than other materials and is also infinitely recyclable. The store also features worktop surfaces that are manufactured from 100 percent recycled material, otherwise destined for landfills.

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