Retail psychology: What do shoppers want?


Today’s beauty customers want brands to relate to them on a deeper level than ever before so it is essential that brands take time to understand their shoppers, explains Chris Cooper, Head of Planning at marketing agency smp

Times have changed for beauty and personal care brands. Social media, body positivity, influencers, e-commerce, ethical ingredients and product innovation have all transformed the industry. Where once beauty was a simple concept to grasp, it is no longer skin-deep.

Take a moment to admire the new face of CoverGirl, James Charles – the make-up brand’s first ever male model. Or what about the furore following Protein World’s ‘Beach Body Ready’ campaign, which people felt was damaging to women’s self-esteem?

Just as shoppers can be more informed about what they put on their skin, they are increasingly conscientious about the values their favourite brands represent. Are they being inclusive? Is their message positive?

Personal care and beauty brands are now faced with the responsibility of championing a new aesthetic. How can they understand – and deliver – what their shoppers really want today?

One of the greatest shifts is that traditional demographics don’t cut it anymore. Just as perceptions of stereotypical beauty are changing, the demographic segmentation methods marketers have used to understand their customers need to change. They no longer tell us enough about shoppers, and what really motivates them to choose – and then return to – a particular product or brand.

We recently conducted a study called...

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