Historically, cosmetic retail sales have largely come from brick-and-mortar stores, with a relatively small share of dollars passing through the web.
In the midst of the pandemic, however, the 53 online merchants tracked by Digital Commerce 360 in the health / beauty category collectively increased their online sales by 37.4% in 2020 year over year. Although this is an increase from the 30.5% year-over-year growth in 2019, it is still lower than the collective sales growth of the Top 1000 at 44.5% d ‘year-over-year growth for 2020.
Still, e-commerce penetration for the category increased year-over-year in 2020 to 4.7% from 3.5% e-commerce penetration in 2019. Additionally, the median merchant conversion rate health / beauty in 2020 was 4.3%, with a median average ticket of $ 88.
However, the biggest problem facing online cosmetics retailers is that consumers still prefer to test cosmetics in person and are more reluctant to engage on the web. In fact, 46% of consumers say they want to see beauty products in person and 18% seek expert advice in-store, according to a Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights survey of 1,000 consumers in August 2020.
“While COVID-19 has driven most online shopping, it hasn’t changed the fact that shoppers seek advice and recommendations, especially when making a personal beauty purchase,” said Thomas Cottereau. , CEO of AI and AR platform provider SightCall.
In direct response to this, more and more cosmetic retailers have added web functionality to recreate the in-store experience and make shoppers feel more comfortable buying products online, especially since ‘they were forced to close their stores earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. . Some of these features include interactive product matching tools, online quizzes, virtual consultations, and augmented reality.
Buyers are starting to take advantage of these tools and customer service capabilities to help them with their beauty product selection process. According to the August survey, 22% say they use color matching tools, 15% use virtual try-on tools and 6% use augmented / virtual reality tools.
Luckily for makeup retailer Benefit Cosmetics, it upgraded its AR-powered eyebrow test tool in September 2019, ahead of the pandemic. The tool allows a client to see what the shape, width and color of the eyebrows will look like by allowing her to overlay the eyebrows live on her face via augmented reality on the Benefit mobile app and on BenefitCosmetics.com. And buyers stranded at home began to use the tool more once the pandemic struck. In fact, Benefit’s Brow Try-On tool saw a 43% increase in its daily use from April to the end of July compared to the same period a year earlier.
Benefit also married at the end of March 2020 its virtual consultations with its Brow Try-On tool, allowing a Benefit employee to virtually tip while the consumer has the augmented reality function on his screen. Benefit launched this feature because it discovered that buyers wanted both expert help and the ability to virtually sample products suggested by those experts.
“With consumers unable to try the products in store and with a lot of extra time left, this AR experience has been a great way for them to perfect their eyebrows both virtually and in real life with their online eyebrow shopping. Said Cindy Shen, vice president of e-commerce and customer relationship management at Benefit.
Benefit is not alone in adopting and upgrading these features. Of the 55 cosmetics distribution sites analyzed by Digital Commerce 360, 14.5% offer a virtual fitting tool. Some of these cosmetic retailers include The Estee Lauder Cos. Inc. (n ° 60 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000), Ulta Beauty (# 45), Urban Decay and MAC Cosmetics.
The Online Cosmetics Report 2020 includes an in-depth analysis of the leading retailers selling beauty, skin care and hair products online. The report also includes key trends cosmetic retailers are following, consumer insights, and much more.
The Digital Commerce 360 Online Cosmetics Report 2020 features:
- An overview of the online cosmetics market including total sales and growth
- Detailed Analysis of Major Online Cosmetics Retailers Including Market Share
- Discussion sections on DNVB and the influence of social media
- In-depth analysis of Amazon’s cosmetics market share
- A look at the impact of COVID-19 on cosmetic retailers so far and how consumers are changing a traditional in-store experience for online shopping
- Complete ranking of the main online cosmetics retailers
- More than 40 tables and graphs
- Exclusive interviews with cosmetic brands such as Il Makiage, Benefit and elf Cosmetics.
The Online Cosmetics Report 2020 can be downloaded now as a PDF for $ 399. Digital Commerce 360 Gold and Platinum members receive a free copy of this report as part of their membership.