A lot has changed in retail since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and beauty is no exception. Beauty and personal care is one of the top categories consumers purchase online. Most beauty shoppers rely more on product Q&A content than pre-COVID—and Gen Z is the generation most dependent on this type of information.
When buying beauty products online, shoppers seek value from the experience. They are willing to buy at specialty beauty retailers’ stores or websites (22%), mass retailer websites (20%) and brand websites (12%). Finding the best prices overtook free shipping and site security as the top attributes consumers look for when purchasing beauty products online. Many consumers have used Amazon promo codes, especially those prioritizing their budgets before purchasing. The next most desired feature is the ability to find reviews and testimonials, an opportunity for brands offering this content to stand out.
In addition to reviews, online buyers want to access more information about the brand’s commitment to sustainability. For example, 28% of beauty shoppers consider sustainability when making purchases, and 19% are already putting their money where their mouth is by buying sustainable products. Consumers also value customer service, chatting with a beauty expert topping the preferred methods for answering questions. In-store pickups and returns are also important to online beauty shoppers.
Online shoppers often find a wider selection of beauty products than they can buy in stores. It makes it easier to find the right product for their needs. In addition, online retailers may offer special promotions or discounts unavailable in stores. It can save shoppers money and make purchasing beauty products more affordable. In contrast, some consumers prefer the tactile experience of shopping in stores. They like to try out different products and see how they work in person. They also want to get advice from in-store experts. They also like to take advantage of in-store sales and coupons. The good news is that many beauty brands respond to this consumer demand by creating omnichannel experiences. For example, some offer in-store pickups of online orders and free shipping to customers who use loyalty programs. They may also provide virtual try-on technology so consumers can see how a particular shade looks on them before buying it. These types of services can help increase beauty brand sales. In addition, they can reduce the time consumers spend shopping in stores.
While some consumers still prefer to buy beauty products in-store, most agree that purchasing them online is convenient. A few benefits of buying beauty items online include the simplicity of access to a larger selection of cosmetics and the ability to compare pricing. It also helps many consumers find the information they need online. For example, a shopper can look up reviews and ratings of a particular product and read tips from other users. It is a far more useful source of information than what they would get from a salesperson.
Additionally, the internet makes it possible for consumers to shop around the world and get access to unique or rare cosmetics that they might not be able to find in their local stores. Lastly, using digital tools allows brands to personalize their customers’ experiences.
The beauty market is one of the most popular categories for consumers to shop online. It’s also a category where consumers are often concerned about the trustworthiness of online purchases. Consumers want to know they’re getting the best product for their money and not being sold fake or low-quality products. Influencers are a big part of online beauty sales, with many makeup influencers developing cult-like followings for their brands that have been largely built on their Instagram and YouTube videos. Many young consumers also feel comfortable buying products from a brand they have already seen promoted by an influencer on social media. A recent study from Influenster found that almost nine out of ten consumers find themselves “very influenced” to purchase beauty products when they see them on social media. Additionally, many cosmetics companies have started to use their social channels for product promotion and in-person experiences, such as live shopping events and virtual try-on technology.
Online reviews and client feedback are important to beauty shoppers. They can help reassure consumers that they’re making the right choice when consumers buy products they haven’t tried before.
For this reason, beauty brands should ensure their online content is high quality and easy to find. They should also use social media to share relevant photos and videos of the products they sell.
In the future, beauty brands may also need to focus on ensuring their products are authentic and not sold by untrustworthy retailers or individuals. It will include enlisting third-party companies to screen reviews and verify the legitimacy of sellers’ accounts. One way that beauty brands can boost consumer confidence in their product is to work with influencers who are willing to test out and share their creations. A community of experts spans the entire beauty gamut and is well-equipped to answer questions via live video sessions, master classes with brands, deep dive editorials and more. They’re also better able to offer one-on-one engagement with consumers and are often more likely to be sought out by beauty enthusiasts.