The next two decades will see consumers living longer, healthier lives. They will be more likely to live in a city and work until later in life, and will have almost instant access to the internet. We examine the consumer trends of the future and what they will mean for beauty.
Aging and catering to the over 60s
Globally, the United Nations estimates the number of people over the age of 60 will more than double from 841 million in 2013 to 2 billion in 2050. The global share of people over the age of 60 is expected to climb from 14% in 2013 to 19% in 2050.
The older population is predominantly female, which is good news for the beauty industry. Experts add that the aging population will reinforce the desire to stay younger longer, leading to increased demand for products with anti-aging and skin health benefits. “The market will require increasingly targeted and customized products,” says ltalian brand Collistar international director Paolo Bevegni. “ln addition, we predict that the aging of the population may generate a new category of specific treatments to meet the needs of older skin, for men and women over 70 and 80 years 0f age.”
‘Although there will be global trends, it may also be necessary to assess requirements in specific geographical areas given that many emerging countries are concentrated in new zones in terms of distribution, ” adds Bevegni.
US-based beauty consumer research firm The Benchmarking Company co-founder Denise Herich predicts that in 20 years, more women in both developed and emerging markets will be working well into their 60s and beyond. She says tools such as Skype and social media will make working women feel they are always “0n”, which will drive demand for beauty products.
A survey by The Benchmarking Company of 1,200 US beauty buyers, of whom more than a quarter were over the age of 50, found that 87% expected to be purchasing beauty products in 20 years’ time to maintain skin health and to feel good, Furthermore, 80% of women expect to see a significant increase in their beauty spending in 20 years.
“The feeling is that as they get older they are going to look more towards anti-aging, skin health and maintaining their skin, so they expect to spend more on a monthly basis,” says The Benchmarking Company’s Herich. “We see a demand for cross-functional, all-in-one solution-based products aimed at perfecting and maintaining beautiful skin and making women feel good.”
Attracting the millennials
Consumers will start thinking more about preventing aging much earlier than they have in the past, as opposed to simply treating the signs of aging as.
Swiss prestige skincare brand La Prairie global brand president Lynne Florio says there are signs the millennials-the generation born between the 1980s and 2000s-are already looking for products that will prevent skin aging. “They’re much more interested in spending money earlier to fight aging,” says Florio.
“People in their early 30s or even in their late 20s especially in Asia start thinking about aging. This generation definitely cares more about prevention than my generation did at the time.”
But whether the millennials will have a lot of disposable income to spend on beauty when they reach middle age is up for debate.
US-based Unity Marketing founder Pam Danziger notes that affluence is tied to education, and says the millennials are saddled with higher levels of educational debt than previous generations.
“There is going to be a constraint in their ability to spend compared to patterns of previous generations,” she says. “l don’t know necessarily that luxury is going to be something that they aspire to either. They are very skeptical about the label of luxury so that’s something that brands have to be very cautious about.”
Purchasing power ups and downs
As developed countries in Europe move to extend retirement ages La Prairie’s Florio predicts people in their 60s and 70s will be keen to be productive for as long as possible. The Benchmarking Company co-founder Jennifer Stansbury notes that economic forecasts for both developed and emerging countries “in a 20-year span are on an upswing, s0 there is more money in the economy and more disposable income.”
However; seniors may have less money to spend on cosmetics but for different reasons than the millennials. France-based lpsos Public Affairs department director trends and insights Remy Oudghiri says financial pressures increase for older people as many find themselves widowed and living alone on reduced incomes. And although he agrees with Florio that in 20 years people are likely to be more active and in better health when they reach 60-75, he questions how interested they will be in spending money on cosmetics. “The real competition for beauty will be experiences because at that age, people will have less of a need to be seductive,” Oudghiri says. “When it comes to spending money, they will want to spend it on things that they did not have time to do during their life. They’ll prefer to spend on travel and experiences than on beauty.”
Urban middle class
Expansion of the middle classes will have a significant impact on the beauty industry. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (0ECD) predicts the global middle class will more than double from 1.8 billion people in 2009 to 4.9 billion by 2030, led by Asia, which will account for 66% of the global middle class population in 2030, up from 28% in 2009.
Collista’s Bevegnr says this new middle class will have increased purchasing power and will also drive innovation given their high level of education. Oudghiri agrees, explaining that better educated consumers will be more demanding of products, more critical, and more sensitive to marketing. “You won’t be able to just tell them anything,” he says.
These middle classes are also going to be living in cities-the UN predicts half of the total population of Asia will live in urban areas by 2020, while Africa will reach a 50% urbanization rate by 2035.
By 2050, some two thirds of the predicted global population of 9.3 billion will be living in cities, according to the UN.
This trend ensures an expanding global beauty market over the coming two decades according to Oudghiri, who says that city living imposes social and business pressures that push people to increased beauty spending. “Urbanization is an accelerator for consumption of beauty products,” he says.
Women will feel the need to “stand out in the crowd”, agrees The Benchmarking Company’s Herich, but warns that personalization of products will be key to reaching individual consumers among larger populations living in overcrowded cities. “We also think that products that speak to issues like the pollution in cities like Beijing, as it relates to skin, hair and climate, or high humidity of Singapore are going to be really important,” comments Herich.
La Prairie’s Florio says consumers in highly polluted markets in Asia are already looking for products that fight the effects of smog and that there will be increased opportunities in product categories such as cleansers, toners and exfoliators.
“We talk about it at La Prairie as our solutions for city skin, which are products that are more for taking care of free radicals, smoke and fog,” she says.
The need for naturals
All of these shifts-the aging population, urbanization, and a growing middle class-will lead to increased demand for natural products say experts.
Herich says that women living in cities today are especially attuned to wanting natural and organic products, and 87% of women surveyed said that in 20 years they will want to buy products with fewer chemical and more natural ingredients.
For Oudghiri, the desire for naturals will grow according to the aging of the population, Research shows, he says, that the older people get, the more they need the reassurance that natural ingredients and green companies offer
The traveling shopper
More affluent people from more countries, who are in better health when they retire at whatever age will feed a desire for travel, To take advantage of the beauty brands will need more in-depth knowledge of emerging markets and areas that are strategic for the future, says Collistar’s Bevegni.
“There will be greater demand for increasingly specific products that meet cultural and ethnic requirement” Bevegni remarks. “0n one hand, globalization will make some categories more attractive in new market while on the other it will necessitate ad hoc developments to meet local needs.”
Oudghiri says increased mobility of consumers will benefit global luxury brands in particular because “they will be everywhere and that fascinates people”, but also niche brands that play on a local heritage claim like French brand Occitane. “The two are not contradictory” he says. However, Oudghiri cautions that a “truly global after-sales service, which is not always the case today” will be a competitive advantage and key differentiator between international brands for the traveling consumer.
Doing everything digitally
With the internet and its associated technological devices, smart phone tablets, headsets, wrist pieces and even television sets to become more integrated in our daily lives, reaching the right consumer with the right message will be key.
Oudghiri says older consumers will be hooked into social media in the future. However, although they will accept brands communicating with them via these platforms, seniors are more likely to push back against advertising saturation.
But La Prairie’s Florio notes consumers have choices as to how much e-advertising they receive, and can opt out of receiving alerts and emails. “There are challenges about how you communicate your message and what it should be so that we haven’t attracted someone who really wouldn’t be interested in La Prairie,” comments Florio. She says brands will have to make moving between online and in-store experiences as seamless as possible for the consumer as she becomes more net-savvy in accessing blogs and product information online.
As technological developments make customized marketing messages the norm over the next two decades, the Benchmark Company’s Stansbury says the use of advertising coupons and promotions pushed to mobile devices will help brands regain control of their messages in the face of a consumer who is researching a product online while looking at it in the store for example.” lf the company is able to understand what the consumer is viewing at that exact moment and customize a message, they have the opportunity to impact the consumer’s choice at the point of decision,” Stansbury says noting that 90% of women say consumer claims will affect their purchasing decisions.
“The more brands are able to push those messages out with substantiated claims, the better they will be” she concludes.