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How COVID-19 is Changing the World of Beauty


Rapid response is essential in this day and age of fast-moving beauty. The COVID-19 global pandemic crisis is testament that consumers are now investing their money on beauty essentials that feature safety benefits, too. Retailers that were able to stock up on consumer COVID-19 essentials have gained a huge following in the last few months while suppliers of these essential goods created solid partnerships with retailers who were able to gain the trust of their local target audience. 

With all the changes happening during this global health crisis, one fact rings true- that the beauty industry now has a dramatic influence on the purchasing habits of consumers worldwide. Consumers are now looking at a fresh insight on how they should be spending their money. People are now seeking beauty and wellness products that enhance health, try out beauty essentials that can be sampled using a contactless approach, and innovative products that tackle new issues brought about by COVID0-19. 

After being on lockdown for many weeks, consumers realise that they can perform most beauty regimens and wellness services at home. It is now commonplace for female consumers to purchase products that enable them to perform routines that were once provided at salons and beauty hubs. D.I.Y, facials, manicures, and pedicures are all the rage and consumers seem to be satisfied with the results. 

Online purchase of beauty products has dramatically increased since stay-at-home orders have been issued by governments all over the world. Even major beauty companies have migrated their marketing efforts online, as the majority of consumers are now keener to stay home and do their beauty routines within the comfort of their own homes. 

After the COVID-19 dust settles, retailers will be forced to prepare for the damage it leaves behind. Marketing efforts will need to be changed in order for retailers to retain the trust of their target audience. Customer service isn’t all about being there for your customers during hard and trying times. As the world slowly re-opens, there will be a huge demand for traditional beauty products and consumers yet again. Beauty companies will be required to be innovative more than ever, so that they can regain consumer trust, loyalty, and of course, their hard-earned dollars. 

During this period of transition, how can beauty brands maintain their popularity while ensuring they are attuned to the needs of their customers who have helped them keep afloat during the COVID-19 crisis? More importantly, how can retailers be updated with the needs of their customers? 

We have enumerated some changes in the world of beauty. Experts suggest that these changes will be remain commonplace once lockdown and stay-at-home orders start easing up in various parts of the world:

  • The increase in online sales does not make up for the steady decline of sales in bricks and mortar shops. Although major beauty brands such as Sephora and Amazon report an increase in online sales up to 30% more against 2019 online sales, it is not to compensate for the losses from a dramatic decline in in-store sales of beauty products. This means that consumers are still holding out on buying beauty essentials, as most are allocating their usual beauty budgets on essential goods instead. 
  • The sale of beauty products from essential retails are on a fast decline. Although pharmacies and grocery stores remain open, the flow of consumers and revenues suffered a decline as well. There are major retailers that reported sales decline up to two thirds their usual revenue for beauty products. Surveys reveal that consumers are less likely to spend their money on beauty products, as most are focused on saving up their money on essentials or due to furloughs and increase in unemployment rate. 
  • Although most economies are reopening and easing up on quarantine protocols, in-store sales are yet to witness a significant increase in the next coming months. People are not yet motivated to spend their money on beauty products even when most are already back to work. Revenge spending is yet to happen, especially in this time when most people are still dedicating their money on essential products such as food, disinfecting products, masks, and other personal protective equipment. Depending on the use or importance of beauty products, in-store sales might remain slow and differentiated for the rest of 2020. 
  • Beauty brands and retailers have resorted to launching promotions to exhaust their inventory. Even premiere beauty brands are shockingly bringing in consumers through online discounts of up to 40 percent. This enables them to compete with specialty products and department stores that typically acquire sales through traditional promotion strategies. Promotions are also helping beauty companies in moving unsold seasonal inventory, but not enough to recoup their losses during the first quarter of 2020. We can expect more in-store promotions once all malls and department stores reopen in the next coming weeks.
  • Our product buying habits will dramatically change, so is our beauty routine. Glamourous OOTDs will seem a bit too much during these trying times. Since the COVID-19 crisis, almost 82% of female beauty consumers are wearing less makeup, whilst 52% have altered their beauty routine since the beginning of lockdown. 

So which beauty products are being purchased?

Since most of us are now working from home, practicing social distancing, wearing masks and personal protective equipment, wearing makeup and fragrance is now of least priority among consumers. Prestige brands have seen up to 75% decline in cosmetics and fragrance purchasing versus sales from last year. When the time comes that consumers are required to go back to work, they will wear masks which can result in the further decline of makeup and fragrance sales. An exception is the sales of beauty products and treatments that are applied above the mask. For instance, eye cosmetic sales in China has increased up to 150% since lockdown started in the second week of February. 

Skincare, hair care, bath and body products are enjoying steady and increased sales as self-care is now becoming a trend all over the globe. The sale of luxury soaps dramatically increased up to 800% in France in the second week of March, despite the country being put into lockdown. Self-care, pampering kits that include skin, nail, and hair-care products were up 300% and are expected to grow more significantly for the rest of the year. 

These trends in the world of beauty have its ups and downs. The decline in the demand for some goods may be short-lived once countries successfully flatten the curve or ultimately when a vaccine becomes available for mass distribution. Until then, beauty companies will be forced to look for ways to adjust to these trends to remain profitable in the long term. 

Beauty Warehouse offers a wide range of beauty products. You may visit our offerings here, or you may also call us on our direct line 1300 929 033 for additional enquiries.