The beauty industry has always been at the forefront of innovation and reinvention in e-commerce, and this year was no exception.
To keep up with changing consumer shopping habits, brands in the beauty and skincare industry need to take an omnichannel approach more than ever and use all available digital touchpoints to maximize engagement and increase sales.
Beauty market key figures in the light of e-commerce
Beauty is a dynamic sector in full expansion. Almost daily, new cosmetic brands and companies are born around revolutionary and original concepts.
- According to Zion Market Research, by 2024, the global cosmetics market is expected to be worth $863 billion.
- The global cosmetics market is growing at an impressive annual rate, from $483 billion in 2020 to $511 billion in 2021! With an annual growth rate of 4.75% worldwide, the beauty industry is expected to surpass $716 billion in 2025 and reach $784.6 billion in 2027.
- According to an analysis by Edge Retail Insight, over the next five years, online sales of skincare and beauty products will grow more than three times faster than in-store sales. With the COVID-19 crisis, lockdowns, and store closures, shopping habits have drastically changed.
- In total, retail sales of health, beauty, and personal care products are expected to grow by $305 billion worldwide between 2021 and 2026 to reach $1.34 trillion. Just over 50% of the growth will come from e-commerce.
Digital trends that will revolutionize the beauty industry in 2022
VR, AR, and technology partnerships for a hyper-personalized experience
New technologies in the beauty industry are advancing by leaps and bounds, immersing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) in brands like MAC, NARS, and L’Oreal.
L’Oreal India Managing Director Amit Jain said the company’s CEO has set a global mission for the brand to “move from a beauty company to a beauty technology company”, due to the impact of the ever-changing market and consumer habits exacerbated by the recent global pandemic.
And he’s not alone. In Malaysia, skincare brand Nutox has partnered with Ministry XR to create a Machine Learning-powered “skin analysis tool”, to provide customers with a hyper-personalized experience when purchasing skincare products without having to try them out with product samples first. The tool is available to anyone with a smartphone to analyze their skin and identify key skin issues such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, texture, and dullness.
Facebook also followed the trend with Spark AR studio to create an interactive experience using augmented reality.
Brands like Chanel, YSL, Charlotte Tilbury and Maybelline are now also offering VR fitting services on their websites and mobile apps.
→ CRO and SEO, the winning combination!
Natural, pure, and transparent beauty
Consumers are now looking for brands that are as transparent in their choice of ingredients as they are natural. While beauty is a sector that has been creating a growing buzz across the industry since 2018, it is still a controversial, confusing, and ever so enigmatic topic that can trigger more questions than answers. For example, the FDA and EU vary on the list of banned ingredients – the FDA bans 11 while the EU bans 1,328. More and more brands are beginning to break through the confusion with minimalist and transparent approaches as consumers pay increasing attention to the list of ingredients on the back of the packaging.
This willingness to try something new is allowing for the rise of new niches like blue beauty, a concept referring to products that aim to protect the oceans and water supply (such as One Ocean Beauty, which partners with the Oceana charity).
Other brands like From Molly With Love, Biossance, and Beautycounter specifically list ingredients that are not in their products, before listing those that are.
Big data for new product development
In the beauty industry, more brands are embracing the use of data to develop new products that meet the exact needs of their consumers.
Beauty giant Olay has been able to improve its profits by implementing data-driven digital strategies and developing a deep understanding of what its consumers are really looking for. In partnership with Procter and Gamble, the brand launched Olay Skin Advisor, a web-based data collection tool designed to help people understand the right products for their skin. To date, Olay Skin Advisor has collected over ten million data points, which have had a significant impact on product development.
Through the data collected, the Olay team found out that a significant percentage of consumers actually wanted fragrance-free skincare products. So, the brand launched unscented versions of its Olay Whip facial moisturizers, which became as popular as the original products. Olay continued this strategy for future products, including Olay Retinol 24: the brand found that retinol was the most sought-after ingredient and decided to create a new product based on this research.
Influencer marketing has been part of beauty e-commerce strategies for a few years now and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. The British Beauty Council’s 2020 Value of Beauty report found that influencer marketing has once again given the industry a notable boost in an economic capacity and that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, brands get a return on investment of about $11.45.
Harvard Business School reported that global spending on influencer marketing has grown from an estimated $2 billion in 2017 to about $8 billion in 2019 and that spending is expected to jump to $15 billion by 2022. These observations are supported by the fact that beauty giant Estée Lauder now spends 75% of its marketing budget on influencers.
The best digital marketing strategies for your beauty business
Develop an SEO strategy
Top search engine rankings are one of the main pillars of a successful digital marketing strategy. Therefore, understanding SEO is essential to significantly increase your traffic and brand awareness.
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and every day, people use Google to perform more than 3.5 billion searches. In the U.S., 78% of people use the web to research products and services before making a purchase decision. That’s why SEO is vital to the success of your business.
75% of Internet users never get past the first page of a Google search! That means you lose hundreds, if not thousands, of potential customers if you don’t appear on the first page of search results. In addition, the top three organic search results account for 60% of total traffic.
Staying on top of SEO takes a lot of time, research, and experimentation. Google’s algorithms are constantly being updated, so it’s important to keep up with the latest changes. However, the investment is worth it because when your website starts ranking high on Google’s search results, you get more visibility. That means more traffic, more conversions, and ultimately more revenue.
Choose online virtual experiences
Websites need to answer questions that would normally be answered in-store. Do you want to know how a particular moisturizer works for your skin type or find the perfect concealer? Beauty brands are increasingly recognizing the importance of engaging with their target audience through interactive virtual experiences online.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist app is a convenient tool you can use from your laptop or mobile device to virtually try on different shades. While this experience is not the same as in-store, Sephora offers an interactive digital alternative to ease the shopping process and meet the needs of these customers.
Focus on paid ads
A digital marketing strategy for your brand should include paid ads because they offer beauty brands the opportunity to reach customers at a much faster rate than organic posts. With targeted ads, you actively reach only those people who are likely to be interested in your cosmetic product or service through your marketing efforts.
With ad targeting, you can control your geographic location and target audience to ensure that your ads are only shown to your target audience and no one else. This increases the likelihood of getting more clicks.
Take advantage of social media tools
Beauty brands have embraced social media to increase awareness of their business and ultimately generate revenue and sales.
Instagram shopping, for example, offers you a multitude of tools that allow you to promote your beauty products to your target audience.
Thanks to your clothes collections, you can customize your store by categorizing your products by theme (new products, gift ideas, seasonal trends, and more). Or, by using Instagram Lives, you can showcase your beauty products in real-time. This also helps you use features like Q&A to interact with your audience in real-time and cater to their needs.
Facebook is also a great platform to promote your beauty brand. You can create an online store to showcase your product inventory. Facebook recently introduced Reels on its platform following the success on Instagram. These formats can be interesting to improve your brand awareness and increase your reach while promoting your products.
While the beauty industry represents a highly competitive environment and a challenge to carve out a niche, by opting for effective and creative digital strategies like the ones mentioned above, you can better engage your customers and stand out from outdated business practices.
If you operate in the beauty industry and you need assistance in implementing your digital strategy, do not hesitate to contact Eminence.
Do you want to implement a high-performance digital strategy to achieve your business objectives?