Pure Beauty

What was the top beauty website of 2015?

Published: 31-Dec-2015

The online marketplace is more crowded than ever, but a handful of beauty brands have emerged on top

The top UK performers – and under performers – in online beauty retail of 2015 have been revealed in new research by marketing agency Inside Online.

While the top website in terms of organic searches in December 2015 was boots.com, with 273,460 searches, it was not the top performing in terms of growth; boots.com experienced a decline of 9% in organic searches comparing December 2014 with December 2015.

The top performing domains within the beauty sector in terms of growth and visibility in 2015 were:

1. www.gorgeousshop.com
UK-based beauty etailer gorgeousshop.com shot to the top of the list after registering a difference of 83% in organic searches when comparing December 2014 with December 2015. Variance was up 92%.
 2. www.nyxcosmetics.co.uk
US colour cosmetics brand nyxcosmetics.co.uk came in second place with 77% difference between December 2014 and 2015 organic searches. Variance was 86%.
3. www.salon-services.com
Professional hairdressing and beauty website salon-services.com ranked third with a difference of 58% in organic searches comparing December 2014 with December 2015, and variance of 66%.
4. www.origins.co.uk
Estée Lauder brand Origins pipped fourth place. It registered a difference of 51% in organic searches comparing the same periods, and variance of 59%.
5. www.superdrug.com and www.fragrancedirect.co.uk showed the same level of increased growth in the market.
A.S. Watson-owned health and beauty retailer superdrug.com came joint fifth with UK fragrance retailer fragrancedirect.co.uk. Both sites showed 23% difference in organic searches, with a variance of 29%.

Superdrug’s site did however come in second place in terms of organic searches overall in December 2015, with a figure of 39671.

Meanwhile, the bottom five performers in terms of year-on-year visibility were:

1. www.muastore.co.uk
Colour cosmetics brand MUA Makeup Academy saw organic searches on its website plummet 42% when contrasting December 2014 and December 2015 figures, while variance was down 39%.
2 & 3 www.hqhair.com and www.directcosmetics.com
HQhair, an online retailer of hair, skin care, make-up and beauty tools, saw organic searches drop 37% in the same period, while variance dropped 34%. Similarly, Direct Cosmetics, which goes by the tagline of ‘beauty bargains direct to your door’, experienced the same declines.
4. www.khiels.co.uk
L’Oréal’s male grooming brand Khiel’s made a surprise entry in fourth place, down 33% in organic growth, and 30% in variance.
5. www.theperfumeshop.com
Despite being in the top five sites in terms of organic search figures, overall, The Perfume Shop experienced a sizeable drop in organic search figures in December 2015 compared with December 2014, down 26% in growth terms and 23% in variance.

Hatty Scaramanga, Sales & Marketing Manager of Inside Online, told Cosmetics Business: “It’s been a tough year for companies within the beauty sector when it comes to their digital performance. More brands are losing ground rather than gaining, reflecting the changing nature of digital marketing. Brands need to evolve as their customers do, think less about themselves and more about their customer needs. To fuel success companies need to look at how they integrate their SEO, paid media, content, social and PR campaigns to reach out to the right people at the right time. Brands need to stop working in silos and starting working across channel.”

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