What Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Beauty E-commerce Trends

02/26/2021 changsong zhou


1.Inclusiveness is priceless

In a survey conducted by market research company Nielsen, the results showed that in the United States, beautiful walkways are finally beginning to reflect diversity. The number of unique color ranges has grown seven times faster than the entire product line, and the number of unique colors sold for foundations has grown three times faster than the development of new foundation products.

“It is becoming more and more common for everyone to’discover’ their inclusive range.”

Jordan Rost, Vice President of Consumer Insights, Nielsen
The need to find oneself is increasingly reflected in the process of consumers seeking value-driven products, which can be related to personal personality and lifestyle. Data from the global cosmetics industry shows that sales of multicultural beauty products are growing at twice the rate of traditional markets, and companies that adopt inclusive styles and product lines have seen their efforts paid off in annual revenue.

Size of the global color cosmetic makeup market
(Source: Common Thread)

Too Faced is a brand that prides itself on innovative makeup products. It has a wide range of product lines. In 2019, its annual turnover reached 350 million U.S. dollars. The slogan of the beauty brand Illamasqua encourages consumers to “express their own personality” and they see the profit. It rose to the largest sum of US$50 million in history.

At the same time, Black Opal Beauty, a newcomer in the industry, created $15 million in sales by discovering a huge gap in the inclusive market-lack of tone. Derek Wanner, vice president of sales and marketing at Black Opal, explained: “Ethnic consumers not only have beauty aspirations, but the purchasing power that the beauty industry cannot use can’t satisfy the diversity of skin tones and undertones.”

Black and minority women agree that although the introduction of a range of different colors is a positive start, the expanded line of shadows raises new problems to be solved: quantity exceeds quality, and more specifically, the background color is not obtained. Solve the problem even under the influence of brands like Fenty.

“As a person of color, you can still see that a brand has about 50 shades without taking into account the different undertones and all the different things,” Kimberly Smith, co-founder of Brown Beauty Co-Op (Kimberly Smith) ) Told “Retail Diving” magazine. “This is not just a problem of the shade itself or skin tone, but it’s much more than that. I think if brands don’t take the time to understand what our makeup products need, it will cause them damage.”

2.VR, AR and technology partnership

In October 2019, Perfect Corp, the world’s leading AR company, partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group to integrate its YouCam Makeup AR virtual try-on technology into Taobao and Tmall Alibaba’s online shopping experience. This brings a new virtual trial for Chinese consumers. After using Perfect Corp’s AR technology for only six months, Alibaba revealed that their conversion rate has increased by 4 times.

按地区分列的零售人工智能软件支出
(Source: AI Business)

Since then, new technologies in the beauty industry have advanced by leaps and bounds, integrating AI, AR and VR into household brands such as MAC, NARS and L’Oreal.

Amit Jain, the managing director of L’Oréal India, recently stated that this is the impact on L’Oréal. As the recent global pandemic has intensified market impact and changing consumer habits, the company’s CEO set The mission of the brand is “to develop from beauty to beauty technology company”.

And he is not alone. In Malaysia, the skin care brand Nutox and Ministry XR have developed a “skin analysis tool” based on deep learning and computer vision. The purpose is to provide customers with a hyper-personalized experience when shopping for skin care products-if you don’t try samples, this is The ones that are hard to buy are in stock.

AI beauty assistant - Nutox

This tool is available to “anyone using a smartphone to analyze their skin and determine major skin problems such as wrinkles, pigmentation, texture and dullness”.

“From virtually trying on make-up looks to evidence-based skin analysis, AR and other disruptive technologies are changing the way consumers discover, experience and connect with health and beauty brands.”

Kimberley Yap, Ministry XR’s VP of Experience Design

Facebook’s Spark AR studio also adopted the rise of the interactive experience. Popular social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube incorporate its technology into banner advertisements that allow consumers to click and virtually try on makeup products without ever leaving their app. Brands like Chanel, YSL, Charlotte Tilbury, and Maybelline now too offer VR try on services across their website and mobile apps. 

Virtual makeup try on - Benefit Cosmetics
Virtual makeup try on - Sephora

3. Beauty subscription services

A report from Royal Mail forecasts the value of the subscription box market to grow 72% by 2022, and data from across the globe appears to agree. 

First Insight’s recent survey on subscription boxes reported that 25% of American consumers (both men and women) are currently receiving a subscription box, and another 32% of respondents plan to subscribe in the next six months. 

Meanwhile, in China, Shingetsu Research revealed that women were more likely to dominate the market by 2027 due to the surge in the working population, the changing female shopping preference toward convenience, and the popularity of subscription boxes available for apparel, beauty, and hosiery. 

In the beauty eCommerce industry, examples such as Birchbox and Glossybox have displayed just how successful the subscription box business model can be. In a research study of 5,000 US consumers conducted by McKinsey, the study found that curation services – subscriptions which aim to seek and surprise by providing new items or highly personalized experiences – received 55% of total subscriptions, and were by far the most popular, suggesting a strong desire for personalized services. 

Beauty subscription box popularity by gender

Beauty subscription boxes and men’s grooming services have been identified as offering the largest growth opportunities in the market, so it’s no surprise it’s attracted the attention of brands and retailers such as P&G (Gillette on Demand), Sephora (Play!), and Walmart (Beauty Box). 

Beauty boxes cater to the replenishment needs of their subscribers, but additionally offer the excitement of getting to try out new products. As the McKinsey study concluded, subscribers surveyed wanted something new and innovative in order to continue subscribing, and consumers (particularly curation subscribers) expected personalized subscriptions to become more tailored over time.

FabFitFun is one example of a subscription service ticking these boxes. The subscription box is curated around product recommendations in the field of beauty, health, and interior design. The brand has been growing 300% a year and as of 2018, generated $200 million in annual revenue

Beauty subscription box trend - FabFitFun

To minimize its “churn” (the percentage of customers that opt not to renew), FabFitFun has integrated value – more specifically, content value, as a driving force in its business model. A magazine accompanies the products in the box and explains how to use them. 

To keep subscribers engaged between deliveries, there’s an active FabFitFun message board on the brand’s website where members can discuss recipes, weight loss, and decorating tips. The company hosts a members-only TV station and has just launched a daily Facebook Live show where viewers can learn about products and get other lifestyle content.

For FabFitFun, they’re conquering the art of personalization and new experiences by heavily investing in the brand outside of the box.