Evolution of the beauty and personal grooming category in India

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Consumer Trends Observed by Flipkart Through 2021 

Two years into the pandemic, multiple lockdowns and prolonged stay-at-home periods later, as people across the country now embrace a new lifestyle and begin stepping out with caution, they have turned their attention back to personal grooming. Tier 2+ cities, including Agra and Indore, recorded the highest traction over the past couple of months. With salons remaining inoperational for most of 2020 and 2021, and with the building customer-apprehension to step out, ‘salon at home’ as a trend began to witness an uptick as people tried to replicate the experience at home. This included hair colour, facials, face masks and waxing among others. Closely observing the segment, Flipkart, India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, has some interesting trends to share from the past year.

The beauty and personal grooming categories on Flipkart witnessed a Y-o-Y growth of 65%, with the sale of men’s grooming products growing by over 46%, and that of skin-and-hair care by 70%. As people continued to prioritise self-care, products like hair serums, face serums, sheet masks, shampoos, conditioners and the like, saw a steep jump in  purchases. Of this, the highest growth was clocked by verticals such as facial kits. As consumption patterns tend to alter depending on seasonality and trends, Flipkart observed customers’ inclination growing towards cosmeceuticals and Vitamin C as an active ingredient, building on its immunity boosting properties. The festive months also saw an increase in traction in hair and skin care, specifically in the premium segment.

With the masses hopping onto the ‘conscious consumerism’ bandwagon, the last couple of years witnessed customers and brands increasingly shifting their focus towards sustainability. As per a survey conducted in the Flipkart customer base, 83% customers showed a preference towards buying eco-friendly products and 63% said beauty and personal care is the category where they consider buying eco-friendly products.

Brands including Nivea, Vaseline, Pears, Dove, Tresemme, L’Oréal Paris, Biotique, Lotus Herbals, Garnier, Mamaearth, Bombay Shaving Company, WOW Skin Science, Beardo, Ustraa, Joy, MCaffeine, Muuchstac, Good Vibes and VLCC were most popular among customers. Tier 2+ cities in particular, accounted for increased purchases of combo kits and gift kits. Differentiated portfolio brands such as Mamaearth, WOW Skin Science and Beardo, also saw an increased traction in these regions.

Another interesting trend observed was the boom of eye make-up products. With K-dramas and pop culture shaping the trends for beauty enthusiasts, the at-home consumer experimented with eye-cosmetics which resulted in an uptick of eye masks and eye makeup purchase. Lip makeup products too made a comeback towards the end of the year with smudge free lipstick gaining popularity as people started stepping out in bio-bubbles.

Some of the most searched keywords included ‘facial steamers’, ‘gua sha’, ‘anti ageing’, ‘eye care’, ‘teeth whitening’, ‘bath salts’, ‘men’s grooming’, ‘hair volumizer’, among others. Going forward, Flipkart aims to continue to enhance its selection in these categories as well as focus on emerging trends such as Korean, Japanese and organic beauty.

As the segment continues to evolve and grow rapidly, Flipkart is resolutely delivering the latest and the best beauty and grooming trends to its myriad customers across the country.

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