To wrap-up our month looking at the beauty and grooming market, we’d like to share our latest research (see infographic below) into this dynamic sector.

This market has been characterised by consolidation of established players alongside proliferation of new challenger brands, so it is essential that beauty and grooming businesses stay in touch with consumers to understand what is most important to them – where they find inspiration and how they shop for products.

We have found that consumers draw inspiration from multiple sources and the smartest brands are working to capitalise on the 3 most prevalent:

Driving advocacy
A third of consumers rely on friends and family for their beauty inspiration, and the challenge is to find ways to encourage consumers to share their positive brand experience; No. 7 promotes real women in its campaigns, encourages reviews of its products, and uses in-store sampling, vouchers and discounts to encourage trials of its products and spread word of mouth

Delivering service
Nearly one in five say that they seek the advice of store staff. The team are in direct contact with shoppers; if they fully embody the brand image, they are well placed to win the hearts and minds of consumers. MAC hires make-up artists who reflect its brand values and image. The staff training academy fine tunes product knowledge and service skills to create a differentiated on-brand experience

Creating engaging content
Relevant and stimulating coverage in press and social media helps to ensure top of mind awareness; using targeted advertising in appropriate channels will reach the correct demographic for your brand. With so much content available to help consumers decide on what to buy, brands are responding by unleashing newness at a rapid pace, solidifying relationships with social media stars, and quickening the pace of their marketing efforts.

When it comes to purchase, it is a close-run contest in the battle of on vs offline, with consumers claiming to buy approximately 60% in each channel. The motivations and missions are however quite different; online is favoured for convenience, whereas a ‘bricks’ store experience is chosen for advice and interaction. Our industry benchmarks in the premium beauty segment suggest that over 85% of products purchased online are repeat purchases versus 60% in-store.

The trick is to secure engagement across channels by replicating key features such as in-store sampling online to catch incremental sales and to encourage uptake on new products. Developing features that we know matter to consumers, such as offering online chat portals for advice, bringing the benefits of the store experience and human touch to the convenience of online.

Avril Breen