Fast beauty misses mark with festive shoppers in 2021

By Becky Bargh 6-Dec-2021

Beauty consumers have vowed to be more sustainable with their cosmetics purchases this year – ditching ‘wasted’ online orders in favour of in-store purchases

Shoppers want to buy more cosmetics in-store to save on ‘wasted’ online orders

Beauty shoppers have vowed to be more conscious with their purchases in the name of sustainability this festive period.

For the 2021 Yuletide season, Brits have committed to buying cosmetics in-store rather than online in a bid to tackle ‘wasted’ beauty products.

According to findings by British beauty retail destination Bobby & Co, 58% of respondents that purchased cosmetics online during lockdown bought make-up they never used; while of the £3.3bn spent on online beauty orders over the period, around £860m – a quarter of the total spend – was laid out on products that were ‘unsuitable’.

But with sustainability at the front of people’s minds, customers want to do better.

Almost a quarter of Brits who previously ordered cosmetics online said they would only buy products for their Christmas make-up looks in person.

A further 30% committed to buying cosmetic products online if they know the product well, while another 27% said they would consider purchasing cosmetics online but only if they could take part in an online matching consultation.

Almost 80% (78%) also agreed that they would spend less money buying make-up online in the future, even if there was another lockdown.

“As consumers realise that there’s truth to the old adage to ‘try before you buy’, high street businesses like Bobby & Co, which opened in Bournemouth in September, are being brought back to life,” the brand wrote in a statement.

Experimental shopping features have been on the rise in beauty retail in recent months.

When Flannels opened its debut beauty-only destination in the UK this year, the brand introduced its own ‘try-on’ space, as usually seen in fashion stores, to give beauty shoppers privacy when they try on products.

Meanwhile, Chief Creative Officer of retail design agency UXUS, George Gottl, told Cosmetics Business that despite the rise in digitally-native DTC brands launching during the pandemic, the pendulum is swinging back to in-store retail.

“People are returning to brick-and-mortar stores and many – especially younger consumers – are actively seeking out physical retail experiences,” he noted.

“At the same time, the overall efficacy of digital marketing is reducing as people become increasingly sceptical of advertising, platforms become overly saturated, and costs of digital marketing skyrocket.

“It’s now critical for digitally-native beauty brands to enter the physical realm in order to accelerate their growth. This means existing brick-and-mortar retailers might need to adapt and respond accordingly.”

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