CosmeticsDesign-USA (CDU): What does Orveon expect beauty holiday shopping will look like this year?
Brinn Garner (BG): Historically, when people face tough financial times, they are even more compelled to want to look and feel their best - one of the many reasons we often see the beauty industry as being “recession resilient.” That said, it is inevitable that ongoing economic and supply chain challenges will have an impact on beauty and personal care sales to some extent, causing shifts in typical holiday purchases.
We see ‘affordable luxuries’ and trial sizes or gift samplers being particularly popular with consumers this holiday season, balancing looking and feeling good with a budget.
CDU: Will consumers be focused on in-store or e-commerce shopping?
Salima Popatia (SP): We expect e-commerce to drive the lion’s share of holiday sales this year, due to the convenience of the channel and the digital deals that arise around big sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That said, we also are seeing the rebound to in-store shopping remaining strong. The likes of Ulta and Target that offer a wide variety for consumers will likely do well this year as shoppers flock back to stores, leading to more last minute and impulse purchases than we saw in the last couple years.
Across the board, whether online or in-store, self-care and festive looks (as many return to traditional office events, parties and more) are dominating trends this holiday season and beauty purchases will be key to bringing these to life for consumers.
CDU: How will inflation affect expected consumer shopping behavior for the holidays?
SP: Recent data shows 84% of consumers say they will try to reduce spending for this holiday season, but we have seen in the past that shoppers will still turn to beauty and self-care products to pamper themselves or their loved ones. This is why masstige beauty – products that are seen as “affordable luxuries” – will be a very important category this holiday season. Consumers will be looking for a little indulgence, in a way that won’t break the bank long-term.
BG: The beauty industry in particular also has seen a lot of success with trial size products and samplers, and we are already seeing indications of strong performance in our holiday kits this year, offering consumers smaller sizes in hero items. These are also extremely popular as gifts, giving a taste of luxury and variety, and we anticipate they will perform better than ever over the upcoming holidays.
CDU: How will advanced e-commerce technologies play into the shopping season (live shopping, virtual try on, etc)?
SP: E-commerce technologies are becoming increasingly important to the buying journey, especially in beauty. Formats like live shopping are bringing TV sales into the modern era and helping those who have become social media shoppers connect with brands in new ways and engage in a store-like model, right from their phone. The real-time nature of live shopping also helps drive the classic retail counter impulse purchase.
Meanwhile, features like AI “try on” technology, color matching and more will continue to do well to engage and influence consumer purchases – helping them make educated purchases at home with more confidence. The better the tech gets virtually, the more the makeup counter experience can be replicated at home. And even as we see the rebound of in-store, this predicates a potential fundamental shift in how people buy makeup that will unfold over the next few years.
CDU: How will holiday shopping look different from the past few years of COVID-19 holiday shopping?
SP: With consumers more conscious of their spending this holiday season, forming emotional connections with consumers in meaningful ways will be more important than ever to encourage purchases from one specific brand over another, which is why selling through social media and live shopping will be increasingly popular.
Additionally, shoppers will be more focused on pampering themselves and loved ones with products that feel expensive, but may be more moderately priced, compared to the past two years where splurge purchases were more popular.
CDU: What else is important for beauty professionals to know about the holiday shopping season?
SP: Ahead of the holidays the biggest influence to consumers will be ratings and reviews on platforms like TikTok that are converging influencer content, creative formats in media with commerce. Finding products that fit the latest social trends, whether it’s holiday party makeup, new year skincare or other fan favorites, will be critical to locking in purchases from a younger demographic. Meanwhile, the major return of in-store shopping means older generations will be back at the beauty counter looking for advice, and connecting with them and their changing skincare needs will go a long way.