October 21, 2016 Published by Leave your thoughts

With hundreds of beauty products singing their siren’s call to beauty consumers each time they stroll their favorite beauty aisle or log-onto to their preferred online shop, how can a brand expect to stand-out? Let’s take a closer look at the beauty consumer of 2016.

She’s An Engaged Consumer

Beauty consumers are very sophisticated consumers who are engaging closely with their favorite brands and products, both socially and financially.  In comparison to 10 years ago, women today are buying a lot more beauty products and—more frequently. Forty-one percent of women shop for beauty monthly, and 18% shop weekly. What is she purchasing? Ninety-five percent of consumers spend up to $75 (per month) on bath and body products; 92% on hair care products; 88% on facial skincare; and 85% on color cosmetics. And unlike 2006, when ‘need’ was the primary motivator for these (and perhaps all) purchases (she ran out of her favorite moisturizer, for example); in 2016, ‘desire’ is driving her purchases. Simply put, she’s buying new products strictly because she wants them! Only 19% of consumers replaced products because they ran out in 2016 vs. 61% in 2006.

She’s Online…She’ Social

In 2016, she’s deciding what she wants to buy based strongly on the input of her extended product posse: friends, family…and even strangers on social media. In fact, the top interest driver in new products is liking how it looked on someone else! Other influencers driving her interest in your products and brands are also strongly weighted on input from other consumers, and on the simple fact that she wants something new:   

  • There is room in my makeup bag
  • It’s trending on social media
  • My friends told me about it
  • I read great product reviews
  • I received an email from a retailer
  • I saw a tutorial online
  • I read a blog or watched a vlog (on YouTube, etc.)

Not surprisingly, in her quest to gather this information, the internet is queen. Eight-eight percent of consumers spend 50% of their time online (not related to work) researching beauty products before making a purchase; 72% to compare prices; 69% to look up product reviews; and 26% read what beauty influencers have to say.   In fact, 87% of beauty consumers spend more time online than they did 10 years ago, and 74% of consumers are buying more beauty products based on their online activities than they did 10 years ago.

And She’s Interested…in what Other Women are Saying

Consumer Claims

Perhaps because she’s so internet savvy and dialed into social media engagement, today more than ever before, what other women are saying about your product and their personal claims of efficacy which mirror the benefits the product promises, —are among her most powerful motivators to purchase. In addition to interest being fueled by seeing your product on someone else, or a friend recommending it, proof has significant influence on her decision to purchase a beauty product in 2016—in particular, consumer claims.

One of the biggest factors driving her interest, 83% of beauty consumers say positive consumer claims such as ‘95% of consumers agree their dull skin seemed brighter after 10 days’ are highly influential in their decision to purchase—even more than clinical claims (such as:  38% of women experienced longer lashes). Because the internet makes connecting so seamless, seeking out these kinds of claims is top of mind for consumers when they are surfing, and 77% of women say the presence of online consumer claims is an important part of the websites they frequent for both browsing and purchasing.

Consumer reviews and feedback

Hand in hand with her interest in consumer claims is a keen interest in consumer reviews and feedback. Women love hearing what other women have to say about their favorite beauty products just as much as they love telling other women what they think, and this kind of girl-to-girl interaction is a key part of building synergy with her favorite brand(s). Some of the top reasons she leaves comments online (I love the product and want to share my experience; I want other women to benefit from my experience; and I want to help prevent other women making my mistake) are also the reasons why she is seeking out this kind of feedback. Sixty-nine percent of consumers agree that reviews posted on reputable sites are one of the most important factors they consider when making a purchase. And, 86% agree that high ratings and reviews (of products) are a significant influence on their decision to purchase.  Luckily for brands, social media has made getting this kind of information into the hands of consumers seamless—and they are embracing this trend: 78% of consumers agree that social media has made it easier to find information on products that is personalized to age, skin concerns, budget, etc., which is exactly the kind of reassurance she wants before making her purchase.

Then and now: How she Uses Her Time Online

2006 2016
Compare prices 49% 72%
Read reviews 26% 69%
Make a purchase 43% 61%

Last but Not Least: She’s an Active Consumer

Finally, in a reflection of how most consumers shop for just about everything these days, beauty consumers are no longer passive receivers of the information. Instead, they are active seekers of the research they need to decide for themselves if your product is a go…or a no-go. As stated above, product reviews are the primary way she garners this information (61%), but she’s also taking other routes:

  • 60% get beauty advice and tips
  • 57% stay up-to-date on new products
  • 56% get coupons and/or samples
  • 48% compare prices from one site to another

Indeed, no longer can brands expect beauty consumers to wait around and be told what products they should use and why. To truly make an impact in today’s crowded beauty marketplace, and speak her beauty language, you must anticipate (and indeed expect) that beauty consumers of all ages are now determinedly taking control of their beauty purchasing and give them the information, the proof, and the connections they demand.  The reward? Compelling proof, rock-solid loyalty and incredible visibility—all fueled by the person who matters most: your consumer.

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