Wednesday, July 6, 2016Consumers

How cosmetics are purchased on the Internet

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

How does the web modify women consumers’ search and purchase practices in the beauty sector? What are the best-selling cosmetics online? How do bloggers and YouTubers influence purchasing behaviours? CCM Benchmark has conducted a survey on the relationships between beauty and digital technologies.

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CCM Benchmark Institut is a survey and training hub specialized in the Internet and new consumer behaviours. The results of their latest study, ‘Beauty and Digital Technologies: the new purchasing behaviours’, were unveiled at the E-beauty conference organized on June 23, 2016 in Paris.

For this study, two online surveys were conducted from April 19 to 27, 2016: one among 1,000 women, the other among 732 men. The samples studied are representative of the feminine and masculine web user populations aged 18 and over.

Cosmetics purchases online

 58% of women web users have already bought cosmetics online. 8% of them do it several times a month, 28% several times a year.

Here are a few of the products they mostly buy online:
• Facial care: 70%
• Makeup: 65%
• Body care: 60%
• Hair care: 54%
• Perfumes: 50%

 98% of online women shoppers buy their products from their computers, but 39% of them do it from their tablets, and 28% from their smartphones.

The influence of blogs and social networks

 43% of women follow at least one beauty brand on social networks, and 20% at least one beauty blogger.

They follow brands to:
• Get information on products: 50%
• Receive advantages and benefit from special offers: 48%
• Keep updated on new launches and trends: 48%
• Get some tips and find tutorials: 31%

Motives are generally the same for those that follow bloggers, even if the relationships are a little different:
• Get some tips and find tutorials: 58%
• Get information on products: 50%
• Keep updated on new launches and trends: 48%
• Take part in competitions: 44%

The shopping experience online

 97% of women declare they are satisfied, or even very satisfied, of their shopping experience online.

What they like most:
• The ease of navigation on the various websites
• The ease to place an order
• The ease to find the products they look for

On the contrary, they consider much less positively:
• The instructions for use
• The advantages of loyalty programmes
• The delivery charges

The main determining criteria to make a purchase online:
• The ease to find the products they look for
• The different possibilities to get delivered
• The details given on the product characteristics

In addition, web users like finding:
• Reviews from the customers that have bought the products
• Information on the state of stocks in-store
• A questionnaire to determine which products correspond to their needs
• Video product tutorials made by professionals
• Pictures of the products tested on people to assess their results

The shopping experience in-store

 89% of women declare they are satisfied, or even very satisfied, of their shopping experience in-store.

What they like most:
• The availability of the products
• The presence of new products
• The range of the product offering

On the contrary, they consider much less positively:
• The possibility to test products
• The availability of sales advisors
• The samples offered

The main determining criteria to make a purchase in-store:
• The advice given by the sales advisors
• The availability of sales advisors
• The possibility to test products in-store

In addition, shoppers like finding:
• A touch terminal to select samples
• A screen fitted with a camera to analyze the skin and recommend products
• A screen to provide their own tastes and obtain a selection of adapted products
• A screen to virtually test varnish shades
• A tactile terminal to order products and receive them at home the next day

Virtual makeup applications

 7% of mobile users have already downloaded a virtual makeup application.

Among mobile users:
• 53% declare it is entertaining and they use them mostly to have fun
• 40% think it is useful and it helps them prepare their purchases or test looks
• 7% assert it is useless and the outcome does not correspond to reality

All in all, 37% of web users consider these mobile applications can make them buy products online.

Learn more
• The complete survey, ‘ Beauty and Digital Technologies: the new purchasing behaviours ’ is available in French for €990 on CCM Benchmark’s website.

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