2018 WILL BE THE YEAR IN­N­IS­FREE EX­PANDS AG­GRES­SIVELY IN IN­DIA

In­n­is­free’s VR pro­gram de­liv­ers a real-life ex­pe­ri­ence of clean and pure en­ergy, fea­tures a 360-de­grees view­ing an­gle and 3D tech­nol­ogy, and con­sists of a user-in­ter­ac­tive sys­tem that sup­ports re­ac­tion against users’ sight and ac­tion.

Images Retail - - CONTENTS - – By Charu Lamba

in­n­is­free aims to in­tro­duce world class tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide a highly en­hanc­ing brand ex­pe­ri­ence that over­comes the lim­its of time and space

in­n­is­free, the Korean nat­u­ral­ism brand from the pris­tine Jeju Is­land in South Ko­rea, has re­cently launched its flag­ship store in Am­bi­ence Mall, Gu­ru­gram. The open­ing of this store marks their sev­enth out­post in In­dia.

The new in­n­is­free store en­com­passes an ex­clu­sive Jeju Is­land ex­pe­ri­ence with Vir­tual Re­al­ity tech­nol­ogy. in­n­is­free’s VR pro­gram de­liv­ers a real-life ex­pe­ri­ence of clean and pure en­ergy, fea­tures a 360-de­grees view­ing an­gle and 3D tech­nol­ogy, and con­sists of a user-in­ter­ac­tive sys­tem that sup­ports re­ac­tion against users’ sight and ac­tion.

With the launch of in­n­is­free’s lat­est store at Am­bi­ence Mall, the brand aims to in­tro­duce world­class tech­nol­ogy to its In­dian con­sumers to pro­vide a highly en­hanc­ing brand ex­pe­ri­ence that over­comes the lim­its of time and space.

In an in­ter­view with IM­AGES Re­tail Bu­reau, Doy­oul Lee, CEO, in­n­is­free, talks about the brand jour­ney of the brand in In­dia, its fu­ture plans and a lot more. Ex­cerpts from the ex­clu­sive chat…

Tell us about in­n­is­free’s re­tail jour­ney in In­dia.

We launched in­n­is­free in In­dia four year ago and it has been a learn­ing curve for us in terms of un­der­stand­ing the In­dian con­sumer’s needs. I feel we have done this well since we have re­ceived a very pos­i­tive re­sponse from our cus­tomers. Since the re­sponse has been so good, we feel com­fort­able in con­tin­u­ing to launch new SKU’S and we do this keep­ing in mind the likes and re­quire­ments of our In­dian con­sumer base.

Last year, we launched the in­n­is­free store at Nykaa. com and we have ac­tu­ally per­formed bet­ter on­line than we had pre­dicted. With an over­whelm­ing re­sponse from both on­line and off­line chan­nels of sale, we are now con­sid­er­ing in­vest­ing more in and ex­pand­ing our mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties ag­gres­sively to in­crease our brand aware­ness in the coun­try.

How do you per­ceive In­dia as a mar­ket for beauty and skincare in­dus­try?

The In­dian beauty in­dus­try has sev­eral seg­ments within its fold in­clud­ing skincare, cos­met­ics, hair care, and fra­grance. All these seg­ments have wit­nessed sig­nif­i­cant growth in the re­cent years. The in­dus­try in In­dia is grow­ing rapidly at a growth rate of 15-20 per­cent which is al­most twice as that of the US or Euro­pean mar­ket. I per­son­ally be­lieve that the In­dian beauty mar­ket has great po­ten­tial and there­fore we are see­ing a num­ber of global play­ers en­ter­ing In­dia. I do not doubt the fact that the In­dian beauty mar­ket will even­tu­ally grow to one of the most sig­nif­i­cant mar­kets in the world.

Who is your tar­get au­di­ence?

In­n­is­free’s core tar­get au­di­ence in­cludes women be­tween 20 and 35 years of age, SEC A+, SEC A and B class. The con­sumer pro­file is that of young and smart in­di­vid­u­als who be­lieve in na­ture and in eco-friendly prod­ucts.

What makes in­n­is­free stand apart from other beauty and skincare brands in In­dia?

One of the main fac­tors that sets us apart from other brands is that all in­n­is­free prod­ucts are nat­u­rally sourced from the is­land of Jeju in South Ko­rea and all prod­ucts are or­ganic and chem­i­cal free. We be­lieve in giv­ing a com­plete ex­pe­ri­ence to our cus­tomers and there­fore the in­te­ri­ors of our new­est store ac­tu­ally con­sists of a ver­ti­cal gar­den,so they feel fresh even in­doors.

Since off­line stores are our brand­ing space, we try and bring in new and fresh ideas to pre­serve our brand value and to en­hance cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

Then we have launched the in­n­is­free vir­tual re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ence through which cus­tomers can ex­pe­ri­ence the pure Jeju is­land vir­tu­ally and can learn about the in­gre­di­ents we use in our prod­ucts.

We also pride our­selves on fol­low­ing, pick­ing up on and cre­at­ing new trends at a tremen­dous pace.

How many SKUS do you have?

We cur­rently have over 1,000 SKU’S in our South Korean stores. In In­dia we have 550 SKUS in our new store at Am­bi­ence Mall Gu­ru­gram, although we are work­ing on bring­ing in more SKUS to the In­dian mar­ket with the aid of the cus­tomer feed­back that we re­ceive.

Do you have any cat­e­gory ex­pan­sion plans in the In­dian mar­ket?

We have re­cently in­tro­duced per­fumes in our Am­bi­ence Mall store in Gu­ru­gram. Apart from this, the strat­egy is to study lo­cal con­sumers and their feed­back and bring in prod­ucts they want. We are also plan­ning to in­tro­duce baby care prod­ucts as well.

What is the av­er­age ticket size –both on­line and off­line?

There is a 50 per­cent gap be­tween our on­line and off­line ticket size. On an av­er­age the off­line ticket size is ₹3,000, while on­line it is ₹1,500.

Let’s talk about your Om­nichan­nel strat­egy in In­dia.

We work on the prin­ci­ple that every cus­tomer is im­por­tant to us – on­line or off­line and hence for now, we are work­ing on in­te­grat­ing our off­line and on­line chan­nels of sale to pro­vide our pa­trons with a seam­less shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. In ad­di­tion to this, we are also ex­tend­ing our on­line space to meet In­dian cus­tomers in Tier II & III cities.

Tell us about your mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tion strate­gies.

Our mar­ket­ing strat­egy is very cus­tomer-fo­cused. in­n­is­free is still not a very well-known brand across In­dia and this is some­thing we are ac­tively work­ing to change. We are reach­ing out to rel­e­vant au­di­ences and in­form­ing them about our brand as well as the ac­tiv­i­ties and cam­paigns that we con­duct. Our Green Life Cam­paigns have gained quite a bit of pop­u­lar­ity in­clud­ing the ‘Eco Hand­ker­chief Cam­paign,’ ‘Empty Bot­tle Re­cy­cle Cam­paign’ and ‘Green Christ­mas Cam­paign.’

We en­gage with our cus­tomers through our so­cial-net­work­ing plat­forms and con­tinue in­vest­ing in the brand so that we can reach out to a larger au­di­ence.

What are your In­dia ex­pan­sion plans?

By the end of 2017, we had eight off­line stores and one on­line store. We are look­ing at ex­pand­ing and open­ing up to seven new stores in the com­ing year, in­clud­ing cities like Ben­galuru and Chen­nai. By 2020, we hope to have more than 30 stores in In­dia.

Your brand is ex­pand­ing at a very slow pace in In­dia com­pared to other big-ticket for­eign brands. What is the rea­son for this?

Be­ing one of the first South Korean brands to en­ter the In­dian mar­ket, we took time to study and test our catch­ment ar­eas closely and un­der­stand the needs of con­sumers. Post this, we launched In­dia ex­clu­sive prod­ucts like ka­jal, hair oil and In­dian skin tone spe­cific shades of foun­da­tion and lip­sticks. The first year was all about study­ing the mar­ket. The sec­ond year – 2018 – will be the year we ex­pand ag­gres­sively in In­dia from.

With these changes, we hope that our same-store sales growth reach up to 50 per­cent growth and in the next five years, I hope to see In­n­is­free counted among the top three brands in the beauty and skincare in­dus­try in In­dia.

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