The beauty industry, once dominated by offline channels, is undergoing a period of disruption regarding the manner in which consumers discover new trends, compare brands and buy products.
Whereas shoppers previously found and tried new items in-person in stores, they are now discovering and evaluating products online. With the rise of mobile, people today are never offline.
As a result, among people between ages 18-34, many are condensing the entire path to purchase into an online experience on their mobile and tablet devices.
Creating new channels for discovery
Not too long ago, consumers discovered new beauty products mostly by sampling the latest products and getting in-store advice from consultants trained to assess skin type and match make-up products.
According to a survey recently developed by Facebook IQ and Accenture on the purchase journey of beauty consumers, 65 percent of make-up consumers still discover new products in-store.
That said, today shoppers are also heading online to find new products and they are armed with another tool that makes a major difference in their path to purchase: their mobile devices.
Brands are creating new ways for consumers to engage with products online and eliminating the need to go in-store, with some offering innovative mobile-friendly virtual application apps and how-to videos.
Younger consumers are leading the shift to mobile to discover new products.
We found that 46 percent of make-up consumers and 37 percent of skincare consumers ages 18–34 have discovered new products on mobile.
And not only can shoppers conduct their research at home, but they can also evaluate and compare products on the go.
Our study found that 26 percent of make-up shoppers say that their mobile device plays a role in their decision to buy, and 38 percent of make-up buyers who purchase on mobile consider it to be the most important avenue for evaluating beauty products.
Social recommendations to drive sales
Online videos are increasingly offering an alternative to in-store demos – especially with AR – as shoppers can see the look and feel of a product from the comfort of their couch.
Among the same ages 18-34 audience, social platforms and influencers play an important role in product research and evaluation.
We found that 49 percent of skincare shoppers and 53 percent of make-up shoppers say they are likely to make a purchase based on a social media post. And with that we found that 36 percent of make-up shoppers and 30 percent of skincare shoppers use online channels to evaluate products.
The study revealed that younger beauty consumers often use social media platforms throughout their path to purchase.
Among make-up shoppers ages 18–34, we found that 85 percent use Instagram and 84 percent use Facebook for beauty-related activities, and among skincare shoppers ages 18–34 we found 76 percent use Facebook.
ALTHOUGH IN-STORE is currently the most common channel to buy new beauty products, younger generations are leaning more towards an online journey, from discovery to purchase.
Brands and marketers that understand what drives discovery and how to remove barriers to point of purchase will see success across generations.
Source: Country specific findings derived from “Global Beauty Consumer Journey Study” by Accenture
Morin Oluwole is Paris-based global head of luxury at Facebook and Instagram.