Kuwait's beauty and personal care industry set for rebound

19 August 2021 Consultancy-me.com 5 min. read
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After a substantial hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, Kuwait’s beauty and personal care industry is set for a steady rebound in the next few years, with the potential of reaching 47 million KWD by 2025 according to a strategic market study by Poixel.

Similar to the retail sector, the prolonged closure of stores brought on by Covid-19 has significantly impacted the global beauty and personal care industry. Brands responded to the crisis by increasing their online presence, encouraging consumers to shop online, and where possible diversifying their production capacities, for instance towards producing hand sanitizer instead of their regular items.

Currently, the top brands for beauty and personal products in Kuwait are Bath & Body Works, M.A.C., NARS, Bayt Al Saboun, Sephora, L’Oréal, The Body Shop and Clarins, with M.A.C. having the highest share in the beauty industry, while the top online retailers in Kuwait for the same segment are Namshi, iHerb, Brandatt, Boutiqaat, Shein and Sephora, with iHerb holding the biggest market share.

Which of these proucts do you buy most frequently

Despite the already rapid shift to online channels realised by brands (an awareness which has been exacerbated by the pandemic), the market analysis by consulting and research house Poixel suggests that the beauty and personal care industry needs to further mature its e-commerce focus against the backdrop of changing consumer purchasing preferences.

In fact, based on a survey of around 500 women between the ages of 25 to 30 in Kuwait, Poixel found that approximately 50% are currently willing to rely on online applications to purchase products, with personal recommendations and influencers playing an important role in the decision-making process.

Of the online purchasers, nearly 80% of respondents have bought a product based on a social media advertisement, and 70% after a product was promoted on social media by an influencer. As ambassadors for brands, influencers can help boost business if they share the same values as the brand and have a large, engaged fan base.

How many times do you buy Cosmetics & Care Products during the year

According to Mohammad Al Marouf, founder of Poixel, half of online shoppers (in part) use the channel “due to the possibility of receiving discounted prices and offers.” Such discounts are of major significance during blockbuster events, such as Valentine’s Day or Ramadan, which are seeing continued e-commerce growth in Kuwait and the region.

Barriers to online

There are however a number of barriers to online purchasing. For starters, there remains a group of consumers that values the “shopping experience”, and another group that relies on personal advice during their orientation.

Poixel’s report for example highlights that a sizeable share of women experience skin problems due to cosmetics usage, which explains why up to 70% of respondents prefer to try out a product before purchasing it – a consumer need that is difficult to meet online.

Fraud is another concern, with 30% of Poixel’s respondents indicating that they have previously been hit by fraud when ordering online, for example because they received a different product than they ordered or because they received a product in poor condition.

“Credibility and quality are very important for consumers of the personal care and beauty industry, and in the case of e-commerce, building trust in the digital sales channel is another key factor for online success,” said Al Marouf.

Estimated Growth in the Market Value of the Offline Beauty and Care Market of Kuwait

Organic and vegan beauty

The Covid-19 crisis has not only highlighted the need to invest further in online sales and social media advertisement, but has also brought about a shift in consumer values. Poixel’s study reveals that consumers nowadays across the board tend to invest more in health and personal care products than in beauty products, with more than 80% of the respondents stating they are more focused on taking care of their wellbeing because of the pandemic.

The growing demand for DIY and organic products is a testament to this trend, and Forbes suggests that demand for vegan beauty products, which are sold through Sephora for instance, is also rising steadily across the world, painting a picture of more socially conscious consumers.

“Businesses with the goal to step into the industry must offer healthier alternatives to chemical products to attract a broader health-conscious consumer base,” Al Marouf said.

According to Poixel’s predictions, if brands continue to invest in their offline footprint as well as online marketing and credibility, the sector will grow annually by 3% to reach 47 million KWD in value by 2025.