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India’s beauty and personal care market has boomed on the back of the direct-to-consumer (D2C) rush. Projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.23% between 2020 and 2025, the industry is estimated to be worth $8 Bn.
The rapid growth of the beauty segment in D2C coincides with the rising penetration of internet services in India, the growing acceptance for ecommerce and social commerce platforms, as well as exposure to social media. In fact, the beauty and personal care sector is one of the few sectors which didn’t face a slump during the pandemic. And given the tech-driven operations of most D2C brands, India is also seeing content platforms being used by these brands for acquisition, marketing and more.
Mumbai-based D2C cosmetic and personal care startup MyGlamm is doubling down on this approach by leveraging the digital presence of community-driven content platform POPxo, which it acquired last year. MyGlamm is looking to bypass the traditional online distribution channels with this acquisition and revamped it into MyGlammxo.
Founded by Darpan Sanghvi in 2017, MyGlamm today also has POPxo founder Priyanka Gill as a cofounder. The startup intends to create a 3C platform — content, community and commerce— where content and community converge with commerce.
Converging Commerce With Content
MyGlammxo is envisioned to be independent of MyGlamm. With the move, MyGlamm is creating a community for women where they can discuss personal care issues and trends, as well as educate themselves on the brand’s products.
With 88 Mn unique women users, MyGlammxo has a wide consumer base for MyGlamm to capitalise on for products in style, skincare and women’s health categories. Blending content with commerce, the platform is driven by a sense of community. MyGlammxo focuses on creating and curating content in personal care, beauty and lifestyle. The platform also hosts many local influencers which it onboards using POPXo’s influencer marketing platform Plixxo. Influencers spread awareness about MyGlamm products and promote them as well as other brands that are partnering with the company. Plixxo claims to have over 37K influencers on their site and has partnered with brands such as Maybelline, Cadbury’s, Nike and Puma.
Growth Amid Pandemic
Acquiring POPxo in the middle of the pandemic, the startup has shown clear signs of wanting to grow. The acquisition is expected to reduce the customer acquisition costs, which is one of the biggest expenses for a D2C company. The company’s growth till this point has been steady with the startup recording INR 100 Cr in revenue FY19 and INR 200 Cr annual revenue rate in 2020.
Now, with the acquisition in hand and a scope for fast scaling, MyGlamm is aiming for 300% growth and maintaining its positive EBITDA with a revenue of INR 500 Cr. This will be driven by substantial expansions in various niches.
“We intend to expand on all the three fronts of digital, product and offline point of sale. We want to triple our monthly active users (MAU) from 3 Mn to 10 Mn. We want to expand our product line and increase our offline presence from 50 to 100 cities of India in 2021,” said Neeraj Sanghani, Chief Strategy Officer, MyGlamm.
Currently, MyGlamm has over 600 SKU ranging from cosmetics, skin and personal care on their online platform and mobile application alongside 4K offline point of sale in 50 cities and deliveries in 1K cities across India.
Watch MyGlamm’s Chief Strategy Officer, Neeraj Sanghani, Talk About The Startup’s Journey And Growth:
Need For Marketing Automation
The success, however, hasn’t come without challenges. At the beginning of the pandemic, like most companies, MyGlamm also faced the challenge of setting up tools and processes for remote working. The bigger challenge was to ensure that growth continued and sales were not impacted severely. With MyGlamm’s products not being counted under essentials in the first few weeks, there was definitely some impact. Plus Sanghani said that managing an industry that is primarily seen as luxury goods is always difficult. After the initial few weeks of setback, MyGlamm brought things back on track. Sanghani claimed that revenues are 50% higher than pre-Covid levels with a retention rate of 45%.
Growth and customer retention are intertwined in the world of D2C. For MyGlamm, it is a direct result of the integration towards marketing automation. As traditional marketing channels reach a point of saturation, companies are looking for newer ways to improve their brand promotion and customer engagement. Marketing automation is seen as the fix given that this allows brands to focus on the product primarily, while the technology involved in marketing is largely handled by third-party partners.
With this approach, MyGlamm partnered with WebEngage, a marketing automation solution for enterprises targeting consumers. This allowed it to explore newer avenues and the latest techniques to strengthen customer retention and widen its repeat user base.
In the Indian context, marketing automation is rising rapidly, thanks to the unique needs of the D2C businesses. With many legacy brands also following the D2C route, this brings a host of challenges to solve and widens the opportunity. The global market for marketing automation software and SaaS will cross $10 Bn by 2025, registering a 12.7% CAGR between 2019 to 2025.
With WebEngage’s omnichannel customer engagement platform, MyGlamm was able to derive actionable insights and make the most out of visits and traffic. While there are alternatives, Sanghani states that the choice was made easy by WebEngage’s hands-on approach — including an offer of brainstorming sessions with the leadership team, understanding MyGlamm’s needs and challenges.
Sanghani said, “WebEngage has a high emphasis on working “with” their customers, not just “for” their customers. This in our opinion has been the single most valuable experience in adopting their platform. The leadership is open to suggestions and has collaborated with us in building new, valuable features.”
The Journey Forward
The growth in the past few months has bolstered MyGlamm and Sanghani’s confidence. He believes that co-creating beauty products is the next milestone for the company. For this, it would be working with customers, influencers and public figures. Taking inputs from customers to develop personalised beauty products is also on the agenda for the D2C brand, which is tied to driving user engagement.
Sanghani is optimistic about the future despite the host of competition such as Nykaa, Purplle, NewU as well as D2C brands such as Mamaearth, Azah, The Moms Co, Plum, SUGAR Cosmetics and others in this space. On the rising competition, Sanghani said, “There is room for a lot of new brands to be built in India. And thus, this is not a market that is a winner take all. Each brand will be speaking to a specific consumer persona and will fulfill a particular need. The profitability of each brand will be based on their strategy and execution.”