A marketers look into online beauty shoppers, and why they browse and buy online The beauty industry – an industry once rooted in the ability to touch, smell, and sample has now entered the world of eCommerce. The popularity of online beauty shopping has increased as it becomes more convenient for customers to shop online from any device, with benefits of fast delivery and easy returns. For an industry, which once heavily relied on the ability to try before you buy, this increasing number of online beauty shoppers is stunning! A.T Kearney performed a recent study to measure just how many shoppers are buying beauty products online, and why? The study found four types of online beauty shoppers, each with unique values worth mentioning to beauty marketers.
1) Information seekers The first group, Accounting for 28% of the study, searches online for informational purposes only. These shoppers bring the knowledge they gain online with them into the stores, where they do most of their shopping. The knowledge they gain online can be extensive, sometimes even making them more informed than the beauty consultants in stores! These shoppers value the vast amount of information they can gather based on peer reviews and endorsements. Although they prefer to gain knowledge online, they seek the touch-and-feel aspect of in store shopping.
2) Online enthusiasts The second group accounts for 16% of online beauty shoppers. Although this group is also motivated by the ability to gain knowledge online, they prefer to make their purchase directly online. These shoppers enjoy the benefits of online shopping, such as the ability to get new products conveniently, receive a wider selection, and at get better prices. They use eCommerce to both, replenish their products and to try new products. One key characteristic of this group is their high levels of interaction online with making purchases and with posting reviews.
3) Creatures of habit This is the largest segment and the most beneficial to online beauty stores. Comprising of 56%, this is a group of shoppers who know exactly what they are looking for, and who rely on online shopping to replenish their needs. These shoppers are regular buyers, making purchase monthly. These shoppers are loyal to sites they use, and don’t experiment with many new websites as they tend to stick to sites they know and trust. They value the convenience of online shopping, and say their favorite beauty products are often offered at lower prices online, with the benefits of free shipping.
4) Traditionalists Traditionalists are those who don’t participate in online beauty shopping and are among the last group. These shoppers value the traditional in-store service they receive and rely on the touch and feel aspects. These shoppers are among the few who don’t take advantage of online shopping for beauty products. Much can be learned from the analysis of these segments. The AT Kearny study concluded that the most common beauty products online customers purchase are skin care, personal care, and hair care products. These shoppers, typically know what they want, are motivated by the larger selection of products available online, as well as the lower prices offered online. By: Heather Robinson, Social Media Content Writer