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From Bankruptcy to Amazon top seller: Wow Skin Care Sciences

Quick Read : It all started 4 years ago when a group of friends ventured out into the Skincare & Lifestyle industry growing it to a 350 crore + organic business with their brand WOW Skin Science.


Wow creates safe, nature-inspired & dermatologically tested products which are a complete package of best skincare and nutrition products. Their, Bath & Body product range is globally acclaimed.


What's fascinating is how a small business grew purely with the help of e-commerce channels to become an amazon top seller. However, the story is all but a smooth sail. Let's take a quick look at how their journey unfolded.


Background :

The founders, Arvind Sokke, Ashwin Sokke, Karan Chowdhary, and Manish Chowdhary initially started in the retail industry by selling laptops and electronics. They incurred huge losses due to deep discounting offered by their counterparts in addition to the hoards of unsold stocks. This is when, the founders stood strong and turned the tide to pivot to a radically new sector altogether!


It was in 2013, they launched Fit & Glow as a dietary supplement brand having recognized the true potential in the natural and organic products segment in Indian market.


How did WOW start ?

Post their varied experiences, they decided to re-brand themselves as WOW Life Sciences in 2014. They later went ahead and created WOW Skin Science, a beauty and personal care brand with a vision to lay the foundation for sustainable, responsible beauty and wellness products in the industry. Having a lean team, steadily building a product line and churning out a market share with a Consumer-First Strategy is a journey that all entrepreneurs should embark on. WOW primarily grew through word of mouth reviews.


Being a bootstrapped company, it had to figure out a way to market their products online through Facebook/Google in both India and the USA and that too at a reasonable Cost of Acquisition. This was indeed a major breakthrough for them. In addition to this, they hustled and began working with tons of quality micro-influencers. They resorted to digital marketing tactics for their expansion and growth, which worked pretty well in their favor! Youtube brand engagements helped them spread brand awareness to an entirely new market.


Current Scenario:

WOW has become one of the fastest growing online brands in India and the USA. They have been dominating several categories such as haircare, skincare, and supplements on various marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa etc. Furthermore, they continue to invest a lot in R&D, thereby providing their customers with the best quality products. They have opened up additional warehousing facilities to ensure fast product deliveries meet the ever-increasing demand of their customers & vendor fronts in various parts of the country. Currently they are also available offline in supermarkets and more than 1500+ beauty & wellness stores.

Strategic Insights

Products

  • Have top notch quality products.

  • All their formulations are free from any parabens, sulphates, colour, mineral oil, and harmful chemicals They follow the Nature-Powered Formulations / Sustainable products strategy for all their products.

  • Certified and safe to use products following the latest skincare, healthcare and beauty trends blended with a lot of nature inspired ingredients imbibing Ayurvedic benefits.

Consumer-first strategy

  • Customer-First approach is what Wow Skin Sciences have followed and believed in strategically since their inception. Considering each and every customer who uses the products to be an ambassador and a part of the Wow team itself has helped them to bring about a paradigm shift!

  • Being invested in what their ambassadors are saying, delivering what they want, and giving an exemplary experience is the key to customers advocating for the brand,spreading the word, becoming repeat purchasers, and assuring them that their voices are valued.

  • From the time, they turned on the digital transformation switch, they have been able to reach out to customers in smaller cities and towns with no offline presence whatsoever.

  • US consumers prefer bigger bottles compared to Indian markets ,to be able to incorporate their customer feedback's, it enabled the team to map out innovative tactics.

Price Point

  • They have always offered products at a good price point for the customer, even though in India that is a difficult task as it is a very competitive market, with a lot of undercutting for similar products, in the e-commerce space. This stands true even for the US market.

New products, fast growth

  • Having 100-plus product variants in a short span of time giving consumers a wide array of selections. These include shampoos, conditioners, serums, face and hair packs, creams , bath & body products.

  • In order to eliminate the need of synthetic materials altogether, they believe in crafting new-age beauty and wellness products.

  • Lot of products using the same base ingredient such as onion black seed oil / apple cider vinegar in their wide array of products.

R&D & Manufacturing

  • They have spent a lot of effort on research, to release a safe & certified product.

  • Eco-Friendly packaging and design for the product. Their deep-cleansing face washes with built-in soft silicon brushes are indeed a game changer. What's worth mentioning is that its, regular use ensures that the skin is squeaky clean and looks even toned and smooth!

  • All manufacturing happens in their state-of-the-art facilities in the foothills of the Himalayas,so one can vouch for their products' purity and genuineness.

Tech & Marketing

  • Lot of emphasis used on getting trends and insights using data analytics to understand customer behaviour, and in-turn stay relevant while producing top of the line products.

  • Educating audience and creating awareness of the products on social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook & Instagram.

  • Promotional campaigns and handling inventory to fulfill demand through various online e commerce portals in addition to their own website.

  • Having hopped on the nudge moment, Go Vocal for Local they have indeed showcased potential to dethrone the international competition by winning their consumers on the back of quality, innovation, pricing and a right marketing mix.

  • With Disha Patani as their brand ambassador for the company’s hair care product range. they focused on being everywhere so that the consumers can know, taste, feel and buy the innovative and effective products, thus making the brand famous across all consumer verticals.

What is their top-selling product ?

Currently it is their Apple cider Vinegar Shampoo.What makes it so popular is that the premium shampoo is powered with 100% pure, unfiltered & unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar, Sweet Almond Oil & Argan Oil.


They also have a multitude of similar products using the apple cider ingredients ranging from face wash to hair mask. They sell over 5000+ number of this single product everyday in the US & Indian market combined.


There is an interesting story attached to this product as well, because it was initially a beverage, which in-turn got formulated into a shampoo after leveraging customer feedback and insights. A lot of other products have also used a similar strategy such as their black seed oil, aloe vera gel and avocado conditioner.


Today, these products are available on ecommerce sellers like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Bigbasket and Nykaa.


How has the health & beauty market refashioned?

During the past 5 years beauty business was highly dependent on endorsements by popular celebrity faces. Even the store sales were dependent on in-store beauty advisors appointed by the brand and the online sales were dependent on the "Social Media Influencers" recommendations.


In today's era however, consumers take a more cautious approach by taking informed decisions on the product after a through review. Lately, there has been a lot more stress on skin friendly, nature based and sustainable products. If we go by stats, more than 79% of consumers have changed their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, or environmental impact. Thus the shift in consumer buying, with more consumers willing to pay extra for environmentally friendly products, reinforces the need for companies to increase their commitments to responsible business practices.


Takeaways!

As I look back, here are some important lessons I do believe businesses can learn from WOW Skin Sciences:

  • To excel and not just sustain in the continuously evolving & competitive market setup, it is crucial to pay heed to the customer feedback and integrate it with the products, thus providing them with an enriching experience.

  • The lure of global branding is just not enough. The brands do need to understand that the positioning, advertising strategy, personality, look, and feel do vary from one region to another, thus they have to be culturally aware to be relevant in these times.

  • Having a comprehensive marketing strategy is imperative and word-of-mouth is still the most effective form of advertisement especially in this age of social media.

  • Data mining vis-a-vis digital marketing should be used intelligently as it can help spot sales trends, develop smarter marketing campaigns, accurately predict customer loyalty and help you gain insights about unknown credible patterns those square measure vital for business success.

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