Speaking at the Natural Cosmetics Conference in Berlin, Dr Kirsten Hüttner, who operates the Russian natural cosmetics information portal ekokosmetika.ru, stated that in Moscow alone, the number of online shops for natural cosmetics has quadrupled from 20 to 80 in a single year.
E-commerce and digital strategies are used increasingly more in the cosmetics industry, with cosmetics giants L’Oréal, P&G, and Estée Lauder, all investing heavily in these platforms.
In Russia, which is an emerging market with a lot of growth potential, internet shopping has become increasingly popular particularly in the naturals arena.
With this in mind, Hüttner believes that the conditions are in place for rapid growth of the natural cosmetics market in Russia, where consumers spend roughly twice the European average on cosmetics.
She says that Russian women are very interested in natural cosmetics but the crucial factor influencing what they buy and their loyalty to a particular brand is the effectiveness of the products.
Dr Hüttner considers it realistic for the market share of natural cosmetics to expand in five years from the current 0.5 per cent to 3 per cent, which is the European average.
Not all plain sailing
However, Hüttner warns that the boom experienced by the e-commerce sales channel has presented manufacturers of natural cosmetics with some real challenges.
According to the business consultant the main challenge is that not all online shops meet the high standards of the natural cosmetics product range.
“The online business is at the expense of pharmacies that were until now the most important sales channel, which shows that the market is currently undergoing significant change,” she said at the Berlin conference.