The Beauty Retail List


The world of health and beauty retailing is thriving. The global beauty industry is said to be worth over $500 billion and, in the UK, the sales of make-up products are nudging £1 billion for the first time ever.

In our Health & Beauty Retail Trends, we explore the future of retail, the latest ways that beauty brands are using experience to add value and drive footfall and how innovative technology is changing the way we shop. 

Image source: Retail Gazette

Has the Boots transformation done enough to attract shoppers?

Over recent years health and beauty retailer, Boots, has been increasingly at risk of losing out to more innovative brands who are better at responding to changes in consumer shopping behaviour and offer their customers more engaging physical experiences. Yet Boots’ promise to completely reinvent their retail experiences has already taken place in stores across the country; replacing their traditional beauty counters with trending zones, discovery areas and live demonstration spaces. The transformation coincides with Boots’ launch of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty range as well as the digitisation of its incredibly successful advantage card. Shoppers can find the digital version on the Boots app that will allow them to collect and redeem points directly from their smartphones. This initiative makes the advantage card flexible and available while driving personalisation with tailored offers shoppers can look out for. However, while Boots are pursuing innovative strides in their stores, it has been revealed that the beauty retailer could potentially close up to 200 of its UK stores- bringing to question whether this much-needed transformation is just a little too late?  


Image source: Ad Age

L'Oréal's personalised approach 

Personalisation in beauty is high on the agenda for consumers in 2019. 46% of shoppers are interested in tailored products because they are unique to their needs and helps them feel like more than just a demographic. Today consumers want a personalised approach with personalised products and the launch of L’Oréal’s subscription hair service fulfils this demand. L’Oréal's subscription hair model, under the name Color&Co, allows shoppers to receive a personalised hair treatment formula specifically created for them. The product is developed after a live video consultation with a hair colourist and is shipped a few days later. Products can then be purchased individually or through a subscription service, allowing L'Oréal to invest in direct-to-consumer branding. Studies have suggested that companies that invest in all types of personalisation will outsell their competitors by at least 30%. This means it is essential for brands to understand what personalisation really means for their consumers. 


Image source: HYPEBAE

Why Glossier is a powerful beauty brand

Glossier has opened a number of pop-up shops across the world with success in cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, London and now in Seattle this spring. Glossier’s temporary shops are famous for their dreamy and Instagram-worthy aesthetic; an ideal environment created for their millennial demographic. Furthermore, with increasing concerns about sustainability among shoppers, Glossier has created reusable tote bags as well as “plantable” postcards that are embedded with wildflower seeds. The beauty disruptor has become a key player in the beauty industry, managing to win over millions of young shoppers through its award-winning products, pop-up shops, and exceptional social media communication. Forbes found that 62% of Millennials stated that if a brand engages with them on a personal level through social media, they’re more likely to show loyalty to that brand. Since its launch 4 years ago, the brand's popularity has rocketed and continued to foster and gain a devoted following - many even go as far to describe it as cult-like. 


Image source: Fashionunited

Klarna understands the importance of a physical retail space

Klarna is opening an experiential retail pop-up in Covent Garden this week which will show retailers how building a positive “play-area” for shoppers that can “inject new life” into bricks and mortar stores. Klarna is a payment solution company, so it is interesting to see them moving into the physical retail space in partnership with the brands they work closely to. According to Klarna's recent survey, 78% of beauty shoppers are more likely to buy if they can opt to see the items in real-life before parting with their cash. As the beauty market continues to grow, offering different payment solutions for customers is one-way retailers can encourage shoppers to make purchasing decisions without immediately breaking the bank. Klarna is showing retailers that creating positive consumer experiences is the real secret to success and building loyalty. 


Image source: Marketing Week

Beauty and veganism cannot be ignored by retailers 

The vegan trend is going beyond what people are putting inside their bodies; but what people are using on their skin. Sales of vegan beauty products in the UK grew 38% in 2018, with research finding more than half (56%) of UK shoppers now adopt vegan buying behaviours. Globally, there has been a 175% increase in vegan cosmetics launches over the past five years. For a modern-day consumer excellent cosmetic products and a healthy planet goes hand-in-hand, therefore retailers must take ethical consumerism into consideration when creating new products. After all, if supermarket brands can produce a vegan burger which looks, tastes and even ‘bleeds‘ like real meat, then there is no reason why beauty brands can’t make products without using animal-derived ingredients.


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