Skincare retail needs balance between online and offline, says Mintel

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused severe changes in the consumption of beauty products in 2020, with effects still being felt today in 2022. had soared and is expected to reach 152 billion euros in sales worldwide from by 2025, according to Euromonitor International.

But this growing commitment to skincare has also been accompanied by an increasingly competitive online retail space not entirely suited to skincare shopping – traditionally associated with sampling and testing in store.

Online and in-store strategies should be executed “in tandem”

“Although skincare is easier to sell online than other beauty product categories, such as makeup and fragrance, most skincare consumers still shop in-store, which emphasizes the importance of continuing to develop the in-store shopping experience – in addition to existing products or new online channels,”​ said Samantha Dover, beauty and personal care category director at Mintel.

Writing in a recent blog post, Dover said it was therefore essential for skincare brands to develop online and offline experiences. “tandem”.

“Online activations can erode the need and/or desire to buy in-store, with continued investment and innovation aimed at removing key barriers to buying online. As a result, the online skincare shopping experience can feel superior. However, there are opportunities to ensure that the in-store experience matches the online one when purchasing facial skin care,” she says.

There were opportunities, for example, to develop in-store facial skincare discoveries with enhanced consultations, sampling opportunities and technology to provide additional information to consumers in-store, he said. she declared. Similarly, retailers could better organize in-store products by skin type, sub-categories, or even ecological and ethical preferences, better reflecting how consumers shop for skincare.

Overcoming Online Challenges – Emotional Language and “Novelty”

In working to improve online engagement in skincare, Dover said it’s critical for beauty brands to consider the consumer experience at all stages of NPD and marketing.

“Consumers are often overwhelmed with limitless choice when shopping for skincare online. online shopping all influence what consumers buy and where they buy,”she says.

Above all, brands have had to redouble their efforts to overcome a major obstacle to buying online – the “inability to feel the sensation of the products on the skin”, she said. And there were many new ways brands could convey texture online, such as through emotive language or by spotlighting “newness” like next-gen textures, according to Dover.

“Although somewhat at odds with sustainability requirements, consumers are looking for retailers that excite them with new products. This shows the direct impact that NPD has on the purchase journey, as consumers will inevitably be drawn to innovation-based retailers.

Most online beauty and personal care retailers had sections dedicated to new and trending products that worked well for this purpose, making it easier for consumers to navigate newness, she said. And it was a strategy that could and should be applied to physical retailers as well, she added.

Boosting the credibility and functionality of online reviews could also help engage online skincare consumers, as many increasingly relied on reviews to verify purchasing decisions – a trend validated by Bazaarvoice’s latest retail report, noting that peer-to-peer insights were now most important. most powerful influencer in global retail shopping.

“Fit for purpose” skincare purchases

Either way, whether you’re working online or offline, Dover said it’s about adapting to each channel and making them “fit for purpose”.

“…Brands must differentiate and improve the in-store and online retail experience by playing to the strengths of each channel and using technology at every touchpoint, while continuing to remove key barriers at the entrance that deter facial skincare consumers from buying online,”she says.

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