Bricks-and-mortar wins over online with French beauty consumers


According to the French Federation of Selective Perfumery 92% of customers cited stores as their preferred place to shop

French beauty consumers still prefer to buy their cosmetics in bricks-and-mortar stores, according to the latest survey conducted by IFOP for the French Federation of Selective Perfumery (FFPS). 

More than 90% (92%) of respondents cited stores as their favourite place to make a purchase, with 44% noting the sensory experience of in-store purchasing.

IFOP conducted the same study in 2016 and one change noted this year is the use of click-and-collect services, which are now used by 31% of French consumers.

Compared to the 2016 study, the desire to actually see products in the flesh has increased by 9% (from 62% to 71%), pointed out William Koeberlé, President of the FFPS.

“With the internet, customers who enter the store have, in many cases, a precise knowledge of the products, so they are looking for something else,” he said. 

“Reassurance, the presentation of the product, advice about complementary products: the personalisation of the experience that beauty advisors can bring to bear in-store becomes essential.”

Far from showrooming (looking at products in-store but buying online), French beauty consumers appear to do things in reverse, with 56% saying they like to look online and then buy in-store. 

Reasons given for online shopping included ‘interesting’ prices (cited by 60% of respondents), being able to shop at any time (47%), the ability to make price comparisons (49%) and looking for sales and promotional bargains (40%).

Meanwhile, reasons for shopping in-store included being able to actually see the products (cited by 63%), being able to test the products (44%), the ability to easily compare products (41%) and advice from beauty consultants and in-store events (43%).

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