This case study looks into the project that Innovative Hub has worked on with a beauty & personal care company. Before diving into the digital marketing strategy implemented, we will look into the overall market outlook of beauty & personal care products.
Market Outlook – Beauty & Personal Care
Not long ago, there is a clear distinction between premium and standard beauty & personal care products in the market. On the higher end, you will have SK-II and CLINIQUE. At the same time, those lower-end products are seen on the display rack on your favorite hypermarket (Tesco, Giant, AEON, etc.).
As we enter into the 2010s, we then see lots of smaller brands started to take over the market, mainly brands from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and others. The introduction of these brands blurred the line of premium vs. non-premium. They offer the right quality products with a strong brand, but yet at an affordable price.
Fueled by the rising middle-class in the South East Asia (SEA) market, these beauty & personal brands gain increasing market share gradually. Today, there is no clear line between the premium and non-premium brands in the market. Innisfree can be quite a premium brand (good quality, strong brand presence), and yet their pricing remained affordable among the middle-class.
Earlier this year, the beauty & personal care market is expecting continuous growth at a CAGR of 5.81% globally during the forecast period 2019-2026. But it was then negatively impacted by the COVID-19 entering the third month of 2020.
Experts see a prolonged effect on the pandemic toward the market, where 1/3 of the market is expected to cut spending on beauty & personal care products. However, there is an evident surge in personal cleanliness and hygiene products as a result of the pandemic.
We also observed a shift among major brands to address this market trend. Vaseline, a brand of the Uniliver brand family, is adding anti-bacterial products to their line of lotion for the first time in history. It’s not common to see a combination of lotion and germs-killing products in the market. But the strategy made is brilliant and perfectly capturing the market trend, serving what the market needs the most.
With the idea of offering superb products without charging a sky-high price, the company was formed to serve the rising middle class in the local market. They have been offering outstanding beauty & personal care products that are on par with major brands in the market— supported by their vital R&D facilities and teams, along with their extensive experience in the market.
Before the engagement with Innovative Hub, the company has tried to implement digital marketing strategies but failed to do so without the proper expertise in the team. Hence, all project has been called to a halt and doesn’t have any proper digital marketing channels or strategies.
With its mission to offer value-for-money beauty & personal care products, the company that relies solely on offline marketing is taking its steps in the digital market starting in late 2019. Innovative Hub has been appointed as the digital marketing partner to plan, develop, and execute the company’s digital marketing project.
Digital Presence Strategy – Building the Foundation
Objective: To establish multi-channel digital presences and offering a consistent brand experience to the customer by building a website, setting up Facebook page, and Google My Business, and other business listing on the web.
Just like everything in life, we are working on the digital marketing project to start by building the foundation of the digital marketing of the company. The essential digital channels and assets on the web must be built first.
At this stage, the primary objective is to establish multi-channel digital presences and offering a consistent brand experience to the customers on the web. We start by building their website, social media, Google My Business, and other digital channels for the company gradually.
Throughout this process, branding elements were set & established, from revamping the logo, resetting the brand strategy, documenting the mission, and other branding elements to make sure that the brand is aligned across all platforms, either offline or online.
These activities are conducted to make sure that we can offer a consistent brand experience across all marketing channels, and all the branding elements are coordinated.
Now, we have all the digital channels set up and ready to get their products online & set up their online sales channels.
Establishing Sales Channels – E-Marketplaces
Objectives: To connect & establish online sales channels by adopting the e-marketplaces (Lazada & Shopee).
In the second stage of the project, products were published on the website. However, we did not turn the website into an e-commerce website. Not transactional activities can be performed on the website.
This strategy implementation was a result of the planning and the discussion of sales channels, where the team has agreed to unified & centralized the sales channels on the e-marketplaces. Button was added on each of the products on the website, to lead users to the exact product page on Lazada.
Hence, Lazada & Shopee store was then set up as the primary sales channels of the company. More than 60 products were published and ready to be sold on both platforms. At this point, the e-marketplace’s sales channels have been established and prepared to start the push marketing to attract customers to their store.
Gaining Trafic on E-Marketplaces – Shopee Ads
Objectives: To kick-start the sales on Shopee & collect GMV & reviews for the star product sold on the platform.
With a limited budget assigned to the advertising strategy, the team has worked on a focused ads strategy to be run solely on the Shopee platform. The primary objective is to kick-start the sales on the Shopee to collect GMV & reviews on the platform.
Having GMV & reviews on your products will help to establish confidence among the potential customer toward your products & services. At the same time, it helps to get a higher ranking on Shopee as the algorithm will have a strong preference toward strong GMV and good reviews products.
We have started the ads with only five selected products on Shopee; the total investment is RM500/month.
The sales on Shopee have spiked up during Feb 2020 with the help of ads as well as the market response toward the pandemic where the nation is having an increased concern toward personal hygiene and increased purchasing trend of disinfectant products.
Impact of COVID-19 on Shopee & Lazada
Entering March 2020, Malaysia has announced its first case of COVID-19 patients, and the country is implementing the movement control order (MCO) at a later date. During this period, the sales of the company have skyrocket overnight, contributed mainly by their hand sanitizer.
The sales were peaked at RM25,000 on Shopee along in March 2020, and the company decided to discontinue the product due to short of supplies where the production cannot keep up with the orders.
Post MCO Performance on Shopee
The data below shows the organic sales trend (no ads) in July 2020 (after the MCO, entering Recovery-MCO in Malaysia). The sales have been slowed down even the hand sanitizer, and other disinfectant products have been restocked on the platform. The trend has entered into a stable mode.
We have seen how businesses have benefited by going online while the pandemic hit hard on our country. It’s a safe-heaven for companies where the offline business is no longer feasible; the online platforms still stand firm to help them to acquire sales. It has reduced the impact of the pandemic on the company by having an online presence, and sales channels established right before the black swan event.
Although the company didn’t stock up enough to keep up with the demand of the market, and have been forced to discontinue the supply when the demand peaked. But it has acquired sales several times than what it would able to gain selling offline.
Overall, they have a fruitful gain from their digital marketing strategy implementation and continue to expand and improve their online presence.