60% of magnificence buyers go for shops relatively than social to purchase, however flip to on-line for inspiration
Beauty shoppers prefer to go to the store (Image: AdobeStock)
In-store beats social when it comes to beauty and personal care. Six in ten (59%) UK consumers cite it as their favorite way to shop for makeup, and experiences like talking to consultants on the store floor also influence nearly four in ten (39%).
The results come despite shoppable features and AR try-ons introduced by platforms like Pinterest, and show that only 15% prefer a brand’s social media page for makeup. Fewer than two in ten (16%) also think brand updates on social media help discover beauty products, while four in ten (38%) think in-store displays are useful for this.
The study carried out by the retail innovation agency Outform includes a representative distribution of more than 2,000 global respondents in the UK, the US and Germany. It examines how consumer habits when shopping for beauty and personal care products continue to change in a post-lockdown world.
Despite the preference in the store, social media does its part to influence the willingness to buy. Four in ten (42%) 35-44 year olds say brands’ social platforms are key to making purchasing decisions. The same percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds) also take inspiration from social media influencers when it comes to makeup, and men are 7% (32%) more likely to feel this way overall.
Simon Hathaway, Group MD EMEA at Outform, says: “Online shopping features and AR testers are not yet a patch for in-store shopping. However, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are fundamental to engaging consumers with the values and ethos of beauty brands.
“And while they’re not yet the primary checkout tool, social platforms influence behavior, especially when it comes to user-generated content that customers can trust. Collecting online and offline data helps identify where different cohorts are interacting with products – whatever is not always the place to make a purchase – and that knowledge can be used to guide browsing and buying across different channels to design seamlessly. “
Although beauty consumers are happy to return to the stores, some virtual innovations have stayed on the way. More than a third (34%) of 18-24 year olds say online skin advice is valuable in making purchasing decisions, and 33% say the same for virtual makeup tutorials. Men are also 2% higher (28%) overall in the opinion that the latter is important in all age groups.
The comparison is also an important lever when making a purchase. Over half (53%) of shoppers say being able to compare products in-store is important, but online at 48% it’s a little less important. 45% also rely on price comparison sites.
Hathaway adds, “Different channels can be linked while making the most of each one. Virtual counseling and online tools have had a positive impact on consumer shopping behavior, especially men who are less likely to feel comfortable trying and buying makeup in a public setting. But this should also be a lesson for stationary retail. Buyers are eager to experiment with beauty and are less put off by “male” and “female” labels. It is time that store layouts complement the brands and influencers that make beauty more gender neutral and a safe place for everyone. ”