Such trends within the industry have been accelerated thanks to the pandemic, according to Simeon Siegel, senior e-commerce analyst at BMO Capital Markets.
“Obviously, the pandemic has accelerated the reach of e-commerce towards beauty, given that there were no other options in the absence of stores,” he said.
“With everyone on Zoom, cosmetics continued to be important, [just] the means of obtaining them have changed quite dramatically. ”
Before the coronavirus, in-store purchases accounted for up to 85% of beauty product purchases.
But with major retailers grappling with closed physical stores as well as shipping delays, consumers have flocked to buy makeup online.
Amazon has seen its beauty product sales increase by 7% in the United States and according to retail analytics firm Mintel, 22% of UK adults have purchased beauty products through the company in the past year.
Meanwhile, McKinsey reported that Boots saw its overall sales drop by two-thirds during the first foreclosure of 2020, with beauty revenue contributing to the drop.
But will retail stores rebound once the closures are lifted? The question of whether beauty is “Amazon-proof” is the “burning question for our industry,” says Elizabeth Kopelman, founder of consultancy firm Frisson Beauty.
Buying products, like makeup, has long been a sensory experience that consumers can only achieve in-store, where they can see how colors and textures land on their skin, in natural light.