Online cosmetic sales set to surge

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

A recent survey released by online marketplace Shop.com shows that
consumers gearing up for the holiday season are more likely to shop
online this year than any other year, a trend that could impact
cosmetic manufacturers that market in-store.

A panel of 2400 shoppers took the survey, which questioned consumer attitudes on how much they are willing to spend on Christmas gifts, when they would start purchasing, and whether they would stick to traditional in store buying or capitalize on the ease and convenience of online shopping.

Jupiter Research stated that 'All indicators point to holiday 2006 being the biggest season yet for online shopping'.​ A statement that could influence cosmetic manufacturers last minute marketing and retail plans for the 2006 holiday period.

The research showed that consumers will spend a massive $274 million in online purchases this holiday season, a $264 million increase from the comparable season in 2005, which only saw sales reach the $10 million mark.

With ninety per cent of the research participants being women, the main target audience of most beauty, personal care and cosmetic manufacturers, it's a trend that could benefit direct sales cosmetic retailers, who exclusively retail online.

However, these are worrying figures for brands such as Inter Parfums, who earlier this year announced its decision to combine with Gap and produce personal care and fragrance lines to feature in-store in time for the profitable Christmas period.

Cori Tuck, Director of merchant solutions at Shop.com gave her reasoning for the surge in online shopping 'as a busy working Mom myself I understand the convenience and ease of shopping online. When your responsible for your family's holiday traditions, including buying gifts for a dozen or so people, anything you can do ahead of time or at night while the kids are asleep gives you cheer'.

The survey by Shop.com, who sell a whole host of cosmetic and personal care brands online, also showed that consumers are starting to purchase gifts sooner rather than later, stating 44 per cent of Americans feels its 'never to early' to start shopping. Thus extending the profitable season for cosmetic companies, online and in-store.

The holiday period sees the highest rate of fragrance sales throughout the year, with The National Retail Federation predicting a 5 per cent increase in sales to $457.4 billion during November and December. However, this figure is down on last year's increase, which had increased 6.1 per cent from the previous year to $435.6 billion.

Many companies chose the holiday period to launch new product lines and gimmick gift items, such as Sephora's new partnership with Monopoly to produce a beauty version of the classic board game.

Market research company, Mintel, also told CosmeticsDesign that Christian Dior and Lancome are also targeting the market, with both cosmetic giants launching a charm bracelet that incorporates lip glosses and a mirror.

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