How has the beauty industry adapted to the pandemic?

Posted on:
February 26, 2021

Beauty will bounce back

The beauty industry was one of the consumer categories hit hardest by COVID-19, but experts predict it will bounce back fastest. 

Understanding who today’s consumers are and what drives them is crucial. Wellness, self-care, and beauty products positioned as ‘treatments’ have seen sales surge, as consumers spend more time at home. And with the increase in video calls and mask usage, eye makeup and skincare categories have also seen growth during the pandemic.  

Focus on digital trends

For many brands, recovering COVID-19 losses has meant adopting digital trends. In an industry traditionally focused on in-store trial before purchase, innovative marketing initiatives have become key sales drivers.

The pandemic sent digital adoption into overdrive. Beauty brands and retailers no longer just provide the traditional ecommerce experience – websites and social media channels have become experiential platforms. Product pages have become the new beauty aisles, with channels of communication being built from every angle. 

How are brands reaching consumers right now?

  • Social media
    Engaging with consumers and providing valuable content such as live product launches, tutorials and Q&As humanises the brand.

    Many brands also use social media advertising to reach new followers and have shoppable stores directly linked to posts for a clear path to purchase.
  • Influencers
    Beauty giants now spend significant amounts of their budget on influencer marketing. As consumers rely heavily on social media to purchase products online, tutorials and product launches delivered from desirable influencers is a very persuasive marketing technique.
  • Product sampling
    A lot of beauty brands offer product samples with ecommerce orders to encourage consumers to try their other product lines. Others incorporate online sampling into their brand strategy, sending product samples to directly targeted consumers.As opportunities for sampling in-store are now non-existent, it’s never been more important for consumers to try before they buy. Consumers are more likely to buy a full-sized product if they know it’s right for them!

New technology

The beauty industry has embraced Augmented Reality (AR) over the past year. With AR, consumers can try on cosmetics virtually (lipsticks, eyeshadows, lashes, foundation shades etc.) to help them with their purchasing decisions. Brands use AR experiences to boost consumer engagement and loyalty, especially as it eliminates the trial and error of buying cosmetics online.

Many brands also provide 1 to 1 online consultation for tips and guidance, personalised skincare routines or help with finding a gift. They help people feel comfortable making their purchases online and in turn generate huge growth in online sales.

Authenticity and the consumer

Brands and retailers that were quick to react and focus on digital trends during the pandemic have started to reap the benefits. Many have reported ecommerce sales growth of 10-20% compared to pre-COVID levels, as well as stronger connections with consumers.

With the days of retailer loyalty now in the distant past, consumers switch between online stores to find the lowest price point. For brands to stand out in this increasingly crowded market, they need to build online communities and create multiple customer touchpoints.

Get in touch with us today on 020 3974 7458 to discuss how we can help with your product sampling strategy.

About the author

Elliot Dale

Elliot is the UX Manager at Sampl, also known as our knows-how-to-do-it-all buddy. From sharing his knowledge of the sampling industry to always thinking up new ways to take Sampl's platform to the next level, Elliot is always doing his best to support our clients.

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