Digital and technology prove to be the key tools for engaging beauty consumers

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Jane Henderson, Global President of Mintel Beauty and Personal Care Division
Jane Henderson, Global President of Mintel Beauty and Personal Care Division

Related tags Cosmetics

Cosmetic players are diving much deeper into both the digital arena and technology as a means of capturing the imagination of consumers, latest research from Mintel shows.

It has been well documented that beauty players are crafting and focusing their presence in the digital arena, while also investing in increasingly sophisticated beauty gadgets as a means of engaging the increasingly important Generation Z and Millennial consumer groups.

Mintel’s research focuses on a number of new trends, including how the language of social media is being incorporated into beauty campaigns, the way innovations such as virtual beauty concierges are taking digital retail platforms to new heights, and examples of new technologies that are helping consumers optimize their beauty regimes.

Embracing the self-indulgence of younger consumers

“The trend towards personalization and customization is well documented, but when it comes to the younger generation, whose consumer spend marks the future of the industry, there is another level of self-indulgence that beauty players have to cater to,”​ said Jane Henderson, Global President of Mintel's​ Beauty and Personal Care Division in an exclusive interview with Cosmetics Design.

“Digital retail platforms and apps are growing increasingly sophisticated and functional as a means of engaging this generation of consumers and giving them the greater choice they desire, while technology is being used to satisfy the consumer.”

Highlighting some of Mintel’s latest findings, Henderson pointed to the fact that universally consumers have shorter attention spans, underlining the reason why enhanced technology and digital engagement are increasingly being used to fill this space.

Using the imagery and language of social media

Social media and digital communication tools are probably one of the few areas that many consumers remain focused on, although scrolling through hundreds of posts a day is also probably one of the reasons why attention spans are on the wane.

“Our research shows that apps such as Instagram and Snapchat have seen huge growth in recent years because they rely largely on imagery that is easy to take in. In line with this beauty companies are targeting these types of visual communication tools as a means of engagement,” ​Henderson said.

“Emojis have become extraordinarily popular as part of app language and beauty companies are getting involved, illustrated by the use of a series of dedicated emojis that were used for the Dove Love Your Hair campaign that depicted different types of curly hair.”

In the color cosmetics category make-up tutorials have been well documented as being hugely popular as a means of enhancing many women’s beauty regimes, and now this is giving way to a new and more sophisticate generation of beauty apps designed to help users choose the exact product for their skin and hair type or look.

Derivation Skincare's virtual beauty concierge
Derivations' Virtual Skincare Concierge

The virtual beauty concierge

Mintel researchers note that another evolutionary step in this process is the rise of the Virtual Beauty Concierge.

“These online concierges are designed to help beauty lovers recreate the looks they have seen in magazines, blogs or vlogs and match them to their own personal style, tastes, or coloring,”​ Henderson said.

Meanwhile, physical technologies are also feeding into this desire for the ultra-customized, with concepts such as the virtual mirror which is being used in stores to help women choose the right look for their hair and make-up, while a plethora of new beauty gadgets is also hitting the market.

“One such technology is the high resolution imaging system, which scans the skin then provides a 3D printed image of the face to illustrate the exact pore and wrinkle size of the individual,”​ said Henderson.

“This technology is designed so people  can track any improvements in their skin and know if the beauty products they are using really work and really underlines the lengths consumers are starting to go to optimize their beauty regimes.”

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