5 Learnings from D2C Beauty Startup Pilgrim

What are the 5 things a startup can learn from the newly launched D2C beauty startup Pilgrim ?

The pandemic has put several startups at a precarious stage except for the D2C startups in the personal care and beauty industry which are displaying resilience. The concept of clean beauty or vegan ingredients and cruelty-free products is piquing interest in consumers as they are aware of the harmful effects of chemicals on hair and skin and the painful consequences of beauty product testing on animals. One such D2C vegan beauty brand is Pilgrim. 

The Growth Trajectory

Within a short period of its product launch in May 2020, Pilgrim has witnessed an annual revenue rate of Rs 18 Crore. Moreover, the vegan beauty brand gets over 30000 users every month and aspires to grow by 8x in the next 12 months. Pilgrim currently has 28 products spanning from hair, face, and body. 

Here are a few learnings for the small-medium D2C businesses as to what they can learn from Pilgrim. 


Pilgrim launched in May during the peak month of covid's first wave witnessed an annual revenue rate of Rs 18 Crore.

What Pilgrim did Right?

Your Problems Our Solutions 

The digital store of Pilgrim is an example of how every business should focus on selling the solutions to the problems and not the products. 

The website breadcrumb says ‘Shop by Concern’ listing all the problems of hair and skin. This enables new visitors to click on the problems and in response, it will display Pilgrim’s products directly. 

This is a great way to increase conversions. This tool is helpful for the new customers who are not aware of the product name but will know it through the concerns enlisted. 

Innovative products – Bottling the global beauty regimes

Every business must ask this question to themselves: How will their products create a point of differentiation in the market, especially in the beauty vertical where several brands are offering the USP of having environment-friendly ingredients. 

Pilgrim has two best-selling ranges:

  • Secrets of Jeju Island, Korea: Inspired by the secrets of the pristine island of Jeju
  • Secrets of Vinotherapie: Inspired by the tradition of Vinotherapy in France, which uses red wine as a key ingredient. 

Indian customers favour products that offer a global experience without costing a bomb. Pilgrim products are within the range of Rs 300- 800. 

Bringing out the USP – The Toxic 20 Chemicals

As digital-first brands do not have any dedicated salespersons available physically, their online store becomes the sole salesperson for the visitors. 

Pilgrim’s website has a dedicated section mentioning the harmful effects of the top toxic 20 chemicals which are found in regular beauty. This establishes transparency and brings out the highlights of Pilgrim’s products that are 100 percent vegan, cruelty-free with no toxic chemicals in their offerings. 

Influencer Marketing 

Pilgrim being a new brand has effectively marketed its products through fashion and beauty Instagram influencers that have a fanbase within the range of 110k -213k. 

It has also collaborated with actors of Indian daily soaps and reality show participants for marketing. Pilgrim’s target audience is largely millennial. Though they are currently inclined to OTT platforms, the actors of Indian soaps, before the emergence of Netflix and Amazon Prime, were popular idols among millennials. Therefore, it is a relevant medium to advertise their products. 

Going the D2C way in Pandemic

Pilgrim unveiled its products in May 2020 when lockdown restrictions were in full swing. In such times even the e-commerce aggregators were troubled with disruptions in the supply chain. Pilgrim chose the D2C channel to enable modern millennials to get the best global beauty rituals at the click of a button. 

Besides offering convenience, the D2C approach helped Pilgrim gather consumer insights, buying behaviour and create a direct linkage with its consumer base. Unlocking consumers is essential and beneficial for startups that are newly launched. 


Shalmoli Sarkar
Shalmoli Sarkar
An MBA in marketing and a BTech in chemical engineering, Shalmoli writes on marketing strategies and business technology for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.



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