Online beauty brand Glamazle has recorded a 40% growth in 2020 over last year, on a month-on-month basis. The brand delivered 250-300 orders per day, twice a week during the lockdown period in the UAE. Post-lockdown, the average orders hover around 120 per day, delivered thrice a week. The average value of the orders is decent, as people are seen to be shopping for high-value skincare products on Glamazle. Every order is packed abiding by strict guidelines and delivered with a pocket hand sanitiser in order to ensure utmost safety.
“We had to increase the number of the courier companies we work with, going from three to four in April and one more to be added soon. The demand has, indeed, been very high,” says co-founder, Neelam Keswani. “Despite the huge surge in orders, our logistics partners have been doing a fantastic job, although the average delivery timeline had increased from 2-3 to 5-7 days. We receive a lot of orders from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah, where we are still facing a slight delay in deliveries.”
Another pleasant surprise for Glamazle has been a spike in the number of orders from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman, along with the UAE. “Our weekly orders to Kuwait would be around 20 before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, we are shipping almost 20 orders per day, thrice a week, to Kuwait,” Keswani shares.
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Glamazle began noticing a spike in orders since February 2020. From March, the orders began increasing significantly, with skincare being the hero product category. “We have seen a massive rise in demand in our skincare and fragrance categories over the past few months,” Keswani confirms. “The skincare category was up 90% during the January-March period. Even during the lockdown, maximum orders that went out was skincare followed by perfumes. This trend has been consistent until now.”
“In March we added hand sanitisers as a new product category, which has grown considerably as consumers are ordering in bulk. For instance, one customer bought 150 units of hand sanitisers for his entire office. Make-up has also done decently, while categories like lenses, sunglasses and jewellery have suffered,” she adds.
In terms of online buying behaviour, what’s interesting is the swift shift on the part of consumers from cash on delivery to card-based payments, in order to make the whole process contactless. “From March 25 onwards, 100% of our shipments were paid for online. The government agencies and banks have supported this change in consumer behaviour,” Keswani observes.
In a region where cash on delivery used to a popular payment method, the shift to contactless payment has been a positive outcome accelerated by the pandemic. But Keswani begs to differ. “On Glamazle, we have always had more credit card payments over cash on delivery. Hence, the shift wasn’t sudden or difficult. In fact, even before the crisis, in order to encourage customers to use online payments methods, we have been educating and incentivising them.”
Looking ahead, Glamazle will launch a revamped e-commerce platform in July to offer a more customised shopping experience. “Our artificial intelligence (AI) driven revamped platform will help us to curate a more appealing shopping experience for our customers. For example, those looking for skincare products will find more options from the category, as opposed to being flooded with cross-selling suggestions. We will also add health and supplements as a new category,” Keswani reveals.
“Importantly, our focus will be on ensuring health, safety and wellbeing of our people. Having empathy towards our people and ensuring their wellbeing is as critical as registering business growth. One isn’t possible in the absence of another,” she concludes.