Nourished Life understood that the online health and beauty industry was seriously lacking when it came to organic ingredients. We sat down with Founder and CEO of Nourished Life, Irene Falcone, to discuss the current retail landscape amid the outbreak.
Nourished Life helped revolutionise the organic skincare industry in Australian online retail. “I was thinking about how I could marry my love for the environment but also still work in beauty,” Falcone tells Power Retail. “I couldn’t really find the solution, so I started Nourished Life to become that solution.”
In the eight years since Nourished Life has begun, the retailer has developed a cult following of its own. The retailer has launched its own podcast, Talking Clean with Irene, which features celebrities such as Miranda Kerr and Elle Macpherson.
Since the outbreak across the globe, retailers have been severely impacted due to Government regulations, isolation, and store operation restrictions. According to the Power Retail Town Hall information session, the month of March saw a spike for smaller purchases (under $50) online as more Australians isolate themselves within their homes.
Within retail, fashion and beauty have been the hardest hit during the outbreak, with essential purchases and health goods experiencing a spike over the last few weeks. Nourished Life has experienced some of these impacts, predominantly induced by the stockpiling of consumers around Australia. “People are stocking up; people are shopping a lot online and in huge quantities,” says Lani Barmakov, the Head of E-Commerce and Digital at Nourished Life.
On the broader business, Nourished Life explains that it’s running on ‘skeleton staff’. “Everyone is pretty much at home,” Barmakov tells Power Retail. Taking serious precautions while maintaining a ‘business as usual’ approach is a tactic that Nourished Life is practising in full force.
“Obviously we’re taking a lot of precautions in our warehouse, so there are some things that are being slowed down a little bit,” Barmakov explains. “We’re just being super careful with our warehouse staff. We’ve had a lot fo split shifts, so they’re not around each other; lots of sanitising, lots of gloves, lots of new processes that everyone’s getting used to.”
Despite these severe conditions, Australian consumers are ‘turning to Nourished Life’ for help during the outbreak. “A lot of people are turning to us for advice – what can they do without using harmful, toxic chemicals to protect themselves. I feel like it’s our place to provide something that’s going to be, obviously, antibacterial and helping customers, but also not exposing them to harmful chemicals.,” Barmokov says.
In an effort to shed a fraction of light during such dark circumstances, Nourished Life has ‘gone into action’ to prevent further damage to, not only its customers but also its brand. “We’ve gone into really quick action on this, and we are very close to launching our hand sanitiser which we’re really proud of,” Barmakov tells Power Retail. The retailer is manufacturing the sanitiser itself, which will be marketed at a ‘low cost’.
“It goes back to the hand sanitisers for all,” Irene Falcone says. “That’s so true to our branding. We want it to be accessible to everyone.” Ultimately, Nourished Life is aiming to prevent a forthcoming recession. “If it happened five or ten years ago, there may have been a problem,” Falcone says. “But most things are done online now, anyway. If we can keep our warehouse staff safe and healthy, we’ll be fine.”
Barmakov backed up these claims. “Manufacturing are the front line for us; without them, our business really doesn’t function. So we have to be really careful. There’s only so much you can put online.”
There is considerable speculation about the future popularity of online shopping after the outbreak has subsided. Power Retail discovered that 32 percent of Australian businesses have seen a 20 percent or more increase in their sales. So, what does the future of online retail look like for Nourished Life?
“I think that we will be opening up a lot of new customers getting used to shopping online,” Barmakov suggests. “I think people will be supporting a lot of small businesses online, and I do hope that it will continue. Obviously, some will drop off that will probably prefer shopping in real life, but I do think that you will see an increase in those new customers you’ve acquired.”
Despite the suggestion of uplift of demand for online retail, Barmakov suggests that it will only happen to a selection of retailers. She believes that online retailers will continue success, if “you treat them well, you service them well, and you give them a good experience.” For online retailers, Nourished Life understands the severity of the current climate. “It’s a make or break time for a lot of brands for these customers,” Barmakov says.
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