New types of shopping experiences and enhancements have altered the way consumers purchase beauty products. Both men and women are enthusiastic about trying different ways to buy their personal care products, giving way to an even greater number of new formats for retailing. This heightened interest has been responsible for the growth of beauty purchases electronically and in specialty stores.
Firmly established bricks-and-mortar venues continue to offer new layouts, incentives, and tools to make themselves more relevant and stronger contenders in the face of heavy competition.
Innovative beauty departments such as the Duane Reade’s Look Boutique are expanded to select Walgreens locations and include higher-end brands, as well as services such as manicures in some cases. Walgreens also brings their Drugstore.com division to bricks-and-mortar with the launch of a Drugstore.com collection sold only in Walgreens. Target tests concierge service in beauty departments in the Chicago area and continues to offer computer kiosks that help consumers determine products best for them.
Further compounding the changing retail landscape is the more cautious and continually evolving consumer who has undergone a metamorphosis since the recession of 2008. The more savvy consumer does his or her homework and seeks out venues that offer the best prices. While consumers are once again purchasing more high-end beauty products, their approach to spending has changed and more research is done by consumers as they employ different shopping strategies, such as showrooming, where a consumer visits a store to check out a product, but then purchases it electronically.
Over the past few years, the retailing arena has continued to change due to tools that help consumers determine the products best for their needs, product reviews and in-depth videos, and the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Online curated collections of products chosen by celebrities and staffed by beauty veterans is a new sales model from Open Sky, while Bloom.com is a beauty site where consumers can purchase products from recommendations of people similar to them based on a self-classified personal profile.
These exciting developments are among the topics addressed in Kline’s upcoming Beauty Retailing USA: Channel Analysis and Opportunities.