Skin in the game: Cult beauty brand The Ordinary launches into India


ciem, Nicola Kilner.

Kilner said India ranked relatively highly in the company’s direct-to-consumer e-commerce traffic, but until recently, the business had low conversion rates there, due to difficulties with shipping times and customs fees. 

“The company’s workaround was to establish a partnership with Nykaa, a major beauty retailer in India, to broaden distribution and reach even more of our audience, while allowing brand storytelling in a market where there is currently no bricks-and-mortar presence,” she explained. 

It is hoped that the target audience will be able to shop for products with ease via the omnichannel routes.

“We will be aligning an omnichannel approach to our launch with pioneering beauty retailer Nykaa, across their Luxe stores as well as Nykaa.com,” Kilner said. Partnering with Luxe stores under the Nykaa umbrella, The Ordinary will launch with over 30 SKUs, selected based on relevance and consumer insights. 

The Ordinary meets India

The Ordinary is well-loved all over the world and most recently launched into Singapore and Mexico. One consistent trend globally is the increased consumer demand for products that are results-driven and ingredient focused, whilst having formulas that are safe and effective, said Kilner.

“This is something that stands out in India, just like in many other markets, yet India is deeply rooted in Ayurveda and natural, ayurvedic products, so there is a need to further educate consumers on ingredients and technologies used within our formulations, as well as where they are best used and layered,” she said.

The Ordinary’s assortment will evolve to support the changing needs of the Indian customer and to suit seasonal changes, through campaigns that provide the right product education at the right time, she added.

“Seasonal variations in temperature and humidity mean that Indian consumers switch their skincare regimen regularly. For example, in the wetter months, humidity is really high, so a moisturiser is often removed from a regimen but there is a high demand for waterproof makeup. Yet in the cooler months, a rich moisturiser is added back into regimens, to aid hydration and support skin barrier protection,” Kilner explained. 

Values matter

Deciem is keen to maintain its core values of integrity, efficacy, honesty, and transparency but it will also ensure its product offerings and educational communication fit the customer profile. 

“We often surprise our consumers with a bespoke skincare set in partnership with our retailers [that celebrates] the regional heroes and better guide those who may be new to The Ordinary, so keep your eyes peeled,” Kilner elaborated.

The year so far has been eventful for Deciem. A widening of its Asia distribution network launched in Singapore in January and Malaysia in June. The company also partnered with key retailers in Mexico to launch The Ordinary, in the Latin American market. Its expansion plans are still in full swing, so further announcements are expected later in the year.

Beauty giant Estee Lauder increased its ownership of Deciem in February last year from 29 to 76 per cent.

“There are still many markets where we are not physically established, so their expertise plays a vital role in accelerating our retail expansion, improving our infrastructure and making our brands and products available to many more audiences,” Kilner said.

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