Inside view of Boddess Store.Ritika Sharma, founder of Boddess Store.Nail Bar, Boddess Store.
AR-VR Tech, Boddess Store.
The rise of e-commerce has changed the face of numerous industries—but perhaps none more than beauty. With many beauty and wellness portals coming up in the recent past, the needs of women across the country are being met like never before. Boddess.com, launched by Ritika Sharma in 2020, is one such omnichannel multi-beauty platform that has made a name for itself in a crowded space. The founder joins The Daily Guardian for a chat about her business. Excerpts:
Q. Why did you decide to launch a beauty and wellness platform?
A. Boddess was my dream project—to serve beauty enthusiasts through unique offerings and by making premium brands more accessible. We worked hard to launch, create, and curate the platform, amidst a pandemic. However, the preparations to build the platform started years ago when I was at business school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was exposed to what the international beauty industry had to offer. Having extensively worked in the international beauty market of the United States and South-East Asia, my vision was to bring to the Indian consumer international standards of quality, transparency, and personalisation.
I launched Boddess.com, a premium platform that challenges the way we perceive beauty retail and personalised customer shopping experiences through technology, makeup and skincare experts, and in-house services. A few months after launching Boddess’ website, we went live with our mobile app. Our current catalogue boasts thoughtfully curated international brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Juice Beauty, Kora Organics, Estee Lauder, and The Body Shop to name a few. Boddess focuses on building a community of empowered women and men. The brand continues to reach heights with the launch of its first flagship store at Ambience Mall, Gurugram this month.
Q. What products and services are part of the Boddess umbrella?
A. At Boddess, we stand for democratisation and inclusivity in the beauty industry. Hence, we ensure our current product category is diverse, vivid, and thoughtfully curated, across a wide range of beauty, wellness, and skincare segments. We are also planning to enlarge our segment into men’s skincare. We introduced ‘Boddess Virtual Pro’, an ML-powered AR/VR tech stack, through which consumers can use a virtual skin analyser and virtual makeup tool. This helps customers to navigate solutions and seek recommendations for themselves from the safety of their homes. Backed by consumer data sets, machine learning, and augmented reality tools, Boddess Virtual Pro diagnoses skin issues and suggests tailor-made skincare regimes. Further, our flagship store features these digital tools and offers professionally manned and interactive services at elevated stations like the nail, hair, and brow bar.
Q. Has the pandemic led to increased interest in online shopping for beauty products?
A. Through the pandemic, we discovered an emerging shift to digital platforms, an increase in the number of consumers spending time online researching skincare and beauty products and making purchases online. We were able to stay ahead of the curve because of our forethought business model that brings together beauty expertise, global best practices, and unique data-centric features with personalised product curation under one platform.
Q. Who is your ideal customer?
A. The driving force behind Boddess is the inspiration of building a community that encourages empowerment, inclusivity, and diversity. An ideal Boddess customer would be someone who embraces themselves in all of their avatars.
Boddess.com is scaling exponentially. Through our efforts, we have reached an audience across 15,000 pin codes in India and are on our way to being serviceable pan-India by the end of this year. Currently, 50% of Boddess revenue is driven through Tier II and III cities. With Bhumi Pednekar as our brand ambassador, who is known for her girl-next-door persona, Boddess aims to further penetrate and strengthen its reach in these cities. After launching our first experiential beauty flagship store in the country, we are planning to scale physical retail in the coming years.
Q. Tell us about your flagship store in Ambiance Mall, Gurugram?
A. The Boddess Store is the ultimate beauty destination for curated beauty ranges, technology, smart personalisation, and elevated service stations with the best-in-class experts to deliver a truly unique customer journey.
The store boasts brands such as supermodel Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics, Korean luxury skincare brands Sulwhasoo, Laneige, and other premium brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, The Body Shop, Kevin Murphy and Olaplex to name a few. Brands like Issey Miyake, Carolina Herrera, Mont Blanc, Paco Rabanne, Burberry, and Juice Beauty make their first entry into Indian retail at the Boddess Store.
A section dedicated to men’s grooming caters to this exciting segment in the beauty industry. The store also hosts well-known homegrown brands like Minimalist, Dot & Key, and The Man Company. Equipped with augmented reality technology and virtual beauty tools, the brand invites its audience to take a glimpse into the future of digital beauty retail in India. From magic mirrors that work as skin analysers and make-up try-ons to interactive screens and experiential zones, to multiple strategically positioned touchpoints providing customers with a seamless digital and physical experience.
The interviewer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.