Putting Shoppers First - The Health & Beauty Edition


We have discussed a lot of the prevailing shifts in shopper behaviour and motivation within the health and beauty industry recently, so we wanted to take a look at those brands best adapting to their customers’ needs, through streamlined offerings and experiential paths to purchase across social and physical marketplaces. The key trends retailers are reacting to include: the move towards inclusive beauty; the desire for technological solutions in-store and at home; the move from beauty to overall health and the increasing demand for ethically sources, sustainable ingredients.

Image source: Source: Dexigner.com

Sephora Blurs the Boundaries of Digital and Physical

Sephora is a great example of a brand who has been transforming it’s offering across digital channels for some time, partnering with L’Oréal owned AR company ModiFace to create augmented reality services in-store and online. Realising this tech potential, Sephora has also invested in ColourIQ and Skincare IQ Quiz – both products designed to match the perfect concealers and foundations with shopper’s skin tone and make recommendations for user’s specific skin care needs respectively. The company was incredibly quick to recognise the transition from ‘fixing’ to ‘prejuvination’ in the health and beauty industries and the desire for personalisation this move would bring. Moreover, Sephora is leading the way in omni-channel strategy and in offering a seamless in-store to online customer journey. For instance, when someone receives a makeover in-store, the makeup artist adds the products used to the customers personal online profile for them to browse at a later date and buy online. With this incredibly omni-channel approach Sephora has been able to combine online and offline customer profiles, gain data around behaviour and hence, provide personalised recommendations that increase its value proposition.


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Beauty Pie Continues as an Industry Disruptor

Beauty Pie has been a major industry disruptor, with founder Marcia Kilgore recognising that many products in-store were being sold 10- or 20-times above production costs. As she puts it “the system is broken when someone has to pay this much to get something decent”. This is where she came up with her transparent price model to blatantly undercut big business. With consumers already becoming used to paying monthly for services like Amazon, Netflix and Dollar Shave Club within the beauty sphere, it made sense to launch her “fairy tale club for beauty junkies” with a UK based subscription model. With prices starting from £10 a month, luxury products at drug store prices is achievable for all – it’s no wonder their popularity is soaring. The company is also fantastic at keeping up with consumer demand, with its next ventures including a range of freeze-dried vitamins due to drop in August and a PIE members database of suggested skincare routines to make it easier for members to navigate everything on offer. Here at The Shopper Agency, we have been raving about shopper desire for personalisation and health focused beauty for some time, so it’s fantastic to see a brand keeping up with these macro consumer trends.


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L’Oréal’s Beauty Tech Blueprint

L’Oréal has always been ahead of the curb with new and emerging technologies, or at least it has been since Lubomira Rochet took charge as chief digital officer six years ago. Since then they have been making waves turning the company from a traditional cosmetics purveyor to a digitally savvy beauty giant. They have acquired AR company Modiface and expanded beyond their .com offering to partner with third-party sellers like Amazon. The move towards AR has seen shoppers spend as much as seven times more on on products that feature an AR try-on, and people on averaged tried on more than 40 looks. Though they have not presented specific stats on how the Amazon partnership is going, Rochet says the brand’s collaborations with third parties are “working well” and adds “when you’re on Amazon as a consumer, you’re very close to the moment of truth, you’re in the mindset of buying. The closer you can be as a brand or product in that funnel, the better.” We could not agree more.


Image source: Source: beautyindependent.com

Habit– The SPF Newcomer Not Afraid to Make a Stand

Habit is the definition of new-wave in health and beauty, embodying the moves towards conscious consumption, inclusion and science-led products void of ‘clean’ or ‘free from’ BS. For this plain-speaking approach look no further than their philosophy page, where founder Tai Adaya is not afraid to tell it how it is. The company espouses ‘active’ ingredients, claiming that they “don’t mess about with kiddie shi*t. Only active drugs that are proven to work”. The stance on creating inclusive beauty is also very strong with Adaya stating that “we’re taking a stand against the fearmongering Anti-Aging Cosmetics Industry” and pointing out that Habit products “work on ALL skin tones. Because we know not everyone is white.” The main feature product is an SPF spray which is aimed at every-day use, unlike traditional sun care brands who have mainly focused on beach-wear appeal. Adaya felt that there was a need for a new product focused on the skin aging and everyday protective capabilities of SPF, rather than a sole focus on sunburn defence. Habit has a huge social following and has been shared in Forbes, Vogue and Coveteur. No wonder when it addresses so many pain points for the 2020 consumer.


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Huda Beauty – the Conquering Star of 2020 Ditches Drag for Smoother Skin

Huda Beauty has been named 2020’s hottest beauty brand and continues to take the industry by storm, with the largest following among the top players, beating Anastasia Beverly Hills and Mac Cosmetics. The company is departing from their usually vibrant bold company line in making the change from insta-glam to simplicity, with a new skin care brand Wishful. This brand will aim for soft, smooth skin and diminished pores, rather than on the almost drag-like vibe of the rest of their product line. Yet another example of a brand engaging in social listening and moving with the times in a bid for better quality skin, as well as good quality makeup.


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