‘A personal touch’: New Singapore beauty retailer identifies curation and personalisation as key trends in e-commerce
SKNEDIT was launched in October last year by co-founders Emily Yiu and Natassia Siu whose backgrounds are in accountancy and public relations respectively.
The retailer offers skin care products from over 20 brands such as REN, Purito and Cerave.
The duo saw an opportunity to launch its website last year as more people began to migrate onto e-commerce because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People are moving away from the brick-and-mortar stores and it’s the same for our industry. More people are open to purchasing skin care based on just the description and reviews,” said Yiu.
At the same time, the sheer volume of choices available to consumers can leave them overwhelmed. This may be exacerbated by more choices available online coupled with the inability to try before buying.
“The beauty industry is just crazy now. It's fast-moving and so saturated that consumers get lost. That's why I felt having a personal touch is something that is missing in the industry,” said Siu.
They believe this is what is driving consumers towards smaller online retailers that offer a more curated selection. Currently, SKNEDIT only carries around 40 to 50 SKUs and is not in a rush to expand its portfolio.
“It’s not just in beauty, in every single market you’re seeing the trend of smaller, niche retailers. For example, you have smaller supermarkets that cater to organic products. I think in the age of consumerism, people are more drawn to retailers that carefully curate their SKUs,” said Siu.
Siu elaborated that by doing so, these smaller retailers offered their consumers a more personal touch.
This is becoming increasingly important in the age of social distancing where people are craving more human connections, she added.
Connection of trust
Additionally, the retailer endeavours to be completely transparent about its product selection process, which is published on their website step-by-step to instil trust between them and the consumer.
According to the owners, they try the products for over two months on themselves as well as family and friends in order to determine if it will stock the brand.
“We want our customers to know that when we say we love a product; we are not exaggerating. We are open to our customers; they know who owns the store and who is choosing these products for them. I believe this is important as people want to put a face to a name, to the brand,” said Siu.
Fostering a strong sense of trust with their consumers opens the retailer to launch a subscription model, which would allow them to recommend products directly to the consumer.
In the meantime, the company is focusing on initiatives that will help to strengthen the bond with their consumers, such as more personalised features.
Currently, consumers with questions about products or need product recommendations can contact the retailer via WhatsApp and Instagram messaging.
“Moving forward we want to give our customers a more interactive experience on the website. For instance, we are looking at creating a quiz to get to know them and giving them the option of speaking to a skin care advisor. What we envision is having a skin concierge. We believe this is important and give us a point of difference,” said Siu.