AR, content creators & social media boosting beauty and fashion purchases in India: Meta x GWI study

AR, content creators & social media boosting beauty and fashion purchases in India: Meta x GWI study

Instagram Reels plays a leading role in aiding discovery for beauty and fashion brands.

Meta x GWI

Mumbai: Meta has today unveiled key consumer behavior findings from two studies focused on the beauty and the fashion segments in India. The two studies reveal the impactful role of Meta platforms, especially Instagram Reels, in brand and product discovery within the beauty and fashion industry. Moreover, the studies also highlight the increasing role of creators and augmented reality (AR) in influencing purchase decisions.

The findings are from a Meta-commissioned online study by consumer insights platform GWI across internet users in India. The two reports shed light on the evolving consumer behaviour amongst beauty and fashion shoppers, and provide key insights to marketers and brands from the industry.

Meta India e-commerce and retail director Meghna Apparao shared, “The insights reveal the extent to which immersive technologies such as AR, and content creators are disrupting the expanding beauty and fashion industries in India. Both beauty and fashion verticals are growing strongly on Meta platforms and an increasing number of advertisers from these verticals are turning to Instagram Reels for engagement and business growth.”

The beauty report finds that there has been a significant shift in consumer preferences post pandemic with 68 per cent of beauty buyers now favoring online purchases—a remarkable 15 per cent increase from pre-Covid levels. Notably, 80 per cent of surveyed shoppers discover beauty brands on social media with 92 per cent finding them on Meta platforms, including 47 per cent via Instagram Reels. The study also shows a rising awareness of augmented reality (AR) with 80 per cent of beauty consumers acknowledging its presence. Specifically, 75 per cent claim that virtual try-ons, especially for lipsticks, increase their likelihood of purchasing beauty products online.

The fashion study showed that 76 per cent of consumers discover fashion brands on social media, with a significant 97 per cent discovering through Meta platforms, of which 52 per cent credit it to Instagram Reels. Notably, 39 per cent proceeded to purchase after finding them on Reels. AR is gaining popularity in the fashion industry as well with 80 per cent of the participants being already aware of it. 78 per cent agree that virtual try-ons encourage them to buy online.

The studies also highlight how Indian consumers largely rely on Indian creators for authentic information and reviews, particularly as the interest in content made by influencers has grown dramatically. The study revealed that two out of three viewers of fashion content and seven out of ten viewers of beauty content follow Indian influencers, which significantly influences their purchasing decisions.

Key Insights:

1   Online shopping trends: Both reports revealed that consumers are increasingly shopping online for their beauty and fashion purchases. Beauty consumers are more likely to be buying online than in-store across makeup, skincare and haircare categories. For instance, 41 per cent of beauty buyers prefer to shop online due to deals/discounts and 40 per cent due to convenience. When it comes to fashion  consumers, 38 per cent shop online due to good ratings/reviews and 37 per cent for deals/discounts. Nearly a third of surveyed respondents - 34 per cent for cosmetics/fragrances, 32 per cent for skincare and 29 per cent for haircare - buy beauty products weekly online.

2   AR Appeal: The most interesting trend revealed in these reports is the role of AR and virtual try-ons in consumers' purchasing journeys. Consumers are increasingly aware of AR technology, with 75 per cent of beauty and 78 per cent of fashion consumers stating that virtual product try-ons encourage them to make online purchases.

 Content and Influencer: Consumer interest in content created by influencers has grown dramatically. Despite the rise in content and creators worldwide, Indian consumers rely on Indian creators for authentic information and reviews. The data showed that 7 out of 10 beauty content viewers and 2 out of 3 fashion content viewers watch Indian influencers, which has a big impact on their buying decisions. The study showed that lack of reviews are just as bad as negative ones, which underscores the importance of influencers.

 Meta’s Role in Beauty and Fashion Discovery: The research reaffirms Meta's role in assisting our users in discovering new beauty and fashion brands and products. The research shows that 80 per cent and 76 per cent of the people surveyed discover beauty and fashion brands respectively on social media platforms. Out of these, 92 per cent find beauty and 97 per cent find fashion brands through Meta channels. Instagram Reels plays a leading role in their discovery with 33.3 per cent (1 in 3) beauty consumers and 39 per cent of fashion consumers purchase products via Instagram Reels.

5   Purchase Drivers: Positive product reviews and authenticity are two of the biggest factors influencing beauty and fashion consumers' decisions to buy. Good reviews influence 45 per cent of beauty and 39 per cent of fashion shoppers, while product authenticity is important to 45 per cent and 41 per cent of beauty and fashion shoppers, respectively.