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Online sales of beauty products gaining huge traction in India

There are many new products in the pipeline for all brands of AmorePacific and Innisfree, says Doyoul Lee, MD, Innisfree India, and General Manager, Amore Pacific India

Doyoul Lee, MD, Innisfree India, and General Manager, Amore Pacific India
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Doyoul Lee, MD, Innisfree India, and General Manager, Amore Pacific India

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There has been a major change in the beauty industry over the years. People have also got more evolved in purchasing their skincare regime. Customers have got comfortable in purchasing beauty products online which is again a major shift in purchasing formats. In an exclusive Interview with BIZZ BUZZ, Doyoul Lee, MD, Innisfree India, and General Manager, Amore Pacific India, gives insights into the success story. For Innisfree, we have seen an overall 35 per cent increase in demand of its Korean beauty products in 2019 as compared to 2018, he says

Our brand's target market and audience are different, but we also cooperate with each other for MBS channel. We tried to launch together to manage efficiently. Sometimes we send our BA to control 2 or 3 brands together as a group. We are also running Group promotion on a digital platform which is named AmorePacific Day to maximize performance

The products have been accepted very well and Indian customers really like K beauty products. First and the foremost brand strength in India market are Innisfree products which are made with natural and pure ingredients. It has eco-friendly containers and its connection with Jeju Island. A lot of people know this and hence they believe in it

What has been your experience of India in the years that you have been here?

I am overwhelmed to receive huge responses whenever we launch our new brands in India. It has been an amazing and unforgettable journey for Innisfree, Laneige, Etude and Sulwhasoo to learn and understand the market and customer behavior. K Beauty is a rage these days and Gen Z loves K beauty. K Beauty stands for an incredibly personalized approach to skin care with utmost care given to quality. We are honoured to have such an incredible market and customers who love our products and for giving us a chance to bring our brand closer to them. We would like Indian consumers to get maximum benefits from our brand and products. Indians are already aware about the Korean Beauty Regime especially North East India, Delhi and Mumbai who love everything about Korea like K Beauty, K drama, K Pop culture and lots of other things. The response of all the brands has been good till now. Hence, we have expanded all our brand stores to all over India.

Can you give a background of both AMORE PACIFIC Corp. and Innisfree India?

Founded in 1932 and officially established in 1945, AmorePacific Corporation is a leading cosmetics company headquartered in Yongsan-gu Seoul, South Korea. A continuous devotion to quality improvement has led to AmorePacific's renowned research and development centre to be at the forefront of the cosmetic industry. With a great dream rooted in humanity's beauty and health, AmorePacific seeks to push the boundaries of traditional beauty with innovative solutions drawn from rich Asian heritage. AmorePacific oversees a wide umbrella of brands including Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Etude House and Innisfree. With growing popularity in regional Asian markets and beyond the world will know AmorePacific as 'Asian Beauty Creator', we launched Innisfree India in October 2013 in Khan Market and that was our first store in India. Innisfree was the first K-beauty brand in India. We tested our brand for the first 2 years and the response was overwhelming. Afterwards, we launched our 2nd store in Galleria market, Gurgaon. Innisfree is now a decently known brand in India. We are already available in all metros cities of India and have so many offline and online stores - Nykaa, Myntra, Flipkart etc. Also, we launched Laniege, Etude and Sulwhasoo last year.

How are your products accepted in the Indian market and what is the USP of these products?

The products have been accepted very well and Indian customers really like K beauty products and all our brands that have been accepted well in India. First and the foremost brand strength in India market are Innisfree products which are made with natural and pure ingredients, it has eco-friendly containers and its connection with Jeju Island. A lot of people are aware about this island and know how pure it is, hence, they believe in this. Adding on to the brand strength, Innisfree offers a variety of ranges for every skin type at different price points. Hence when customers visit the store, they make sure they pick up something because Innisfree caters to different people with different skin and price points.

What are the market initiatives taken to grow your brands and how are they faring pan India? Which states are they available?

AmorePacific has done many marketing activities offline and digital to build brand awareness. Innisfree is available in all below cities and online channels. Delhi & NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh. Online - Nykaa, Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Purplle and Boddess. Laneige, Sulwhasoo and Etude is available in all major online channels like Nykaa.com etc and all Nykaa luxe stores too.

How would you rate the prospects for both the companies AmorePacific& Innisfree India?

We have started business in India during the past nine years as a first K-beauty brand. We have learnt about the market and customers. We believe both our brands AmorePacific and Innisfree have huge potential. Innisfree already became one of the major brands in the skincare category even while growing every year. Laneige and Sulwhasoo is also getting amazing response from its customers with triple digit growth. As the income level of India is increasing, we have an opportunity for a future big jump.

What synergies have been created by the companies for the brands?

Our brand's target market and audience are different, but we also cooperate with each other for MBS (multi-branded stores) channel, we tried to launch together to manage efficiently. Sometimes we send our BA to control 2 or 3 brands together as a group. We are also running Group promotion on a digital platform which is named AmorePacific Day to maximize performance. When new brands come into the market, existing brand reputation helps smooth launch.

Which new products are in the pipeline?

There are many new products in the pipeline for all brands of AmorePacific Innisfree, Laneige, Etude and Sulwhasoo and we will announce it super soon.

What kind of portfolio of brands would you like to create for the brands in the next three years?

We have many candidate brands among which the next brand would be the hair category brand since there is a huge market size of hair in India. We hope our new brand meets our customers' expectations.

What is the forecast for your companies and what new projects you have in mind?

While seeing good performance in digital channels, we tried to expand our digital partners. It helped to build a business portfolio as occupied around 20 per cent sales portion from new digital platforms. We think it will contribute more this year. We tried new things such as live commerce which was activated in some countries. Even though we couldn't achieve as much performance as other countries, we think it was a good trial. We want to keep trying on this kind of new attempt. For offline, we have focused on MBS channels instead of our own stores. We accelerated to launch for Innisfree and Laneige. Innisfree has started an MBS business to expand offline presence. We also tried to promote our own store like starting home delivery for our offline existing customers and we have tested online shopping places for offline customers using shopify platform. We tried to engage our customers through all our SNS platforms, and we collaborated with various Influencers and reached their audience in different ways.

Vincent Fernandes
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