To say the beauty industry has been impacted by COVID-19 would be an understatement. Over the last 15 months, we’ve seen every facet of the business we love transform in unrecognisable ways. And, while its ever-evolving nature has allowed it to remain resilient in the face of adversity. The big question is - what comes next?
As shops reopen and we enter a new new normal, brands are wondering what that might mean for their sales – both in the online space and their bricks-and-mortar stores. Week one of reopening saw online sales drop, as shoppers rushed back to beauty counters. And yet, digital activations are far from over, with disruptors like Origins and Jo Malone now selling products on UberEats.
This, combined with the success of Ulta’s innovative curbside pick-ups, points to an online-meets-offline future. One where the territories intertwine like never before. While brands may be tempted to focus largely on their newly-reopened stores, the pandemic has shaped new shopping habits that make etail an increased priority. Even if they purchase in stores, 36% of makeup and 30% of skincare shoppers are turning to their phones to research products, proving the importance of brands’ product page content.
However, when looking at skincare brands in Germany, mmi data found that the number of product pages with videos increased by just 5% over the course of the pandemic. Videos are a crucial trust cue for shoppers, said to boost conversions by up to 80%. Adding these – alongside detailed copy and visuals – will be key to fuelling both online and offline sales in the post-lockdown phase.
Moving with media trends
In line with etail, media is getting a makeover of its own, with Instagram expected to keep stepping up its frictionless ecommerce offering. At a recent Instagram Presents: Fashion & Beauty Edition event, they revealed the platform is expected to make up 4.3% of total US ecommerce sales in 2021. Instagram executives also encouraged brands to take advantage of the many features available to them, including Guides, live streaming and curating Collections on Shop accounts.
But Instagram Shopping is just one of the ways media and etail are working closer together. Now, etailers have become publishers in their own right, with their content generating £17.4m of earned media value in the first quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, mmi data discovered that, in the same period, 12% of beauty product mentions featured at least one retailer. This is up from 3% in the first quarter of 2020.
In addition, 73% of brands have increased their influencer marketing spend this year – in part due to TikTok’s 325% year-on-year growth. More and more beauty powerhouses are tapping into the platform’s success, having seen the likes of Deciem’s The Ordinary, Glow Recipe and e.l.f cosmetics go viral on the site. If they haven’t already, this is the year for makeup, skincare, hair care and fragrance brands to launch a TikTok account, and work with the network’s up-and-coming talent base.
So, how do you plan for the future?
We’ve only just scratched the surface of the ways COVID-19 has transformed the beauty industry. In our upcoming webinar – Bouncing Back From COVID: Maximising the Opportunity for Beauty Brands – we’ll be exploring the changing landscape deeper. Tune in for a data overview of the evolving media and etail disciplines, as we reveal what’s changed since the pandemic began, and what the first few weeks of an open economy have unveiled.
Our CEO, Christian Eckley, will also be hosting a panel comprising Saverio Bianchi Founder of Atelier & Avenue, a boutique strategy firm that coaches, advises and consults VCs, brands and retailers. Owen Hughes who is General Manager at StoreDAQ - experts in Luxury eCommerce - and has 20 years in ecommerce with eBay and Puig and Sophia Rendora, Data Insights and Analytics Manager at mmi. They’ll be discussing:
- How brands are adjusting to the new environment.
- What changes have been adopted in online retail.
- Whether media strategies and retail strategies are becoming more aligned.
And much more.
Save the date now and register: June 15th at 2pm. If you work in beauty, you don’t want to miss out.