Cosmetics missing m-commerce opportunities in Europe

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics missing m-commerce opportunities in Europe

Related tags Europe

Although mobile shopping is on the up, a new report by research firm eMarketer suggests that beauty brands need to optimize their mobile shopping platforms in Europe if they want to profit.

With nearly 190 million e-consumers from Western Europe expected on the web in 2014, it’s well-known that online sales are booming, and according to the report, personal care is reaping an 18.1% share.

However, the new research shows that while the US is getting into gear with mobile platforms, Europe remains slow on the uptake.

M-commerce becoming key

According to the new data, mobile shopping offers particular opportunities for beauty in the region, as convenience purchases and regular buys are seeing the lion’s share of sales via this e-retail platform.

Half of European consumers are using their mobile device at least once during the purchase journey, be it for product research, purchase or reviewing, according to Ipsos figures.

Although mobile shopping is becoming a staple of consumer activity, continental Europe’s ability to cater for it is lagging.

In Germany for example, according to the latest research from, just 37% of beauty brands have a mobile version of their website, and within this, only 39% are m-commerce enabled.

Missing tricks

A fifth of European consumers feel that a lack of detailed product information is a barrier to mobile purchase, according to Ipsos, and brands are failing to respond to this.

In Germany for example, just 17% of mobile beauty sites offer the consumer product reviews.

Matt Anderson, chief digital officer at multinational internet services company hibu, told Cosmetics Design that the lack of digital functionality currently holding the industry back in Europe is easily avoidable.

“Business owners may feel daunted by mobile technology, but in reality they don’t need any technical skills to ensure that their site works well and looks great on any device, or even to optimize it specifically for smartphones or tablets,”​ he said.

Targeting sales

The eMarketer research suggests country-specific concerns within the region should also be addressed in order to maximise m-commerce potential for cosmetics.

The UK’s consumers are the most confident with e-commerce by a long way, with 70% saying they felt secure when making online payments, while the French, with only 38%, are the least trusting. 

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