TABS color cosmetics report suggests social media role is waning

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

TABS color cosmetics report suggests social media role is waning
The latest annual TABS US color cosmetics report highlights some interesting shifts in the category, with lower intended purchasing and a demise in how social media influences consumers.

In the second of a three-part article, here we are looking at how consumers appear to have grown tired of social media influencers, while the first part looked at why consumers are buying fewer products and the third part will analyze data about changing retail patterns that includes the continued shift towards e-commerce.

 In the first part we highlighted how the TABS data indicated a drop in purchasing across all 20 color cosmetics categories and significant declines in the number of consumers classified as heavy users.

Fewer consulting social media for advice

Indeed, the fall in the number of heavy users appears to have also had an impact on the influence of social with the overall data, which questioned 1,000 US women aged 18 – 75, suggesting that fewer were resorting to social media sources like Facebook for advice.

Though the TABS data indicates that social media still pays a significant influence in color cosmetic buying decision, with almost 60% of buyers saying they considered it a “very important” platform, the overall level of use slipped from 39% in 2017 to 37 % in 2018.

The TABS research team says that the main reason for this fall is directly linked to the decline down to having a higher percentage of light buyers in the mix, as heavy buyers showed a corresponding decline.

Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook decline

The TABS data suggests that You Tube beauty bloggers are still important sources of information for a select population of cosmetics fans, it also suggests that consumers are less likely to seek out multiple social media platforms.

Indeed, the data shows that the average number of platforms visited dropped over the last two years, with Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat showing the fastest declines.

For all groups of buyers, the data showed that You Tube saw a decline in the percentage of those saying You Tube was “very important” for their buying decisions, down from 27% in 2017 to 23% in 2018, while the same metrics for Facebook saw a decline in influence from 22% in 2017 to 17% in 2018.

After You Tube and Facebook, the order of preference for individuals seeking advice for color cosmetic purchases was beauty blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat, with Twitter and Snapchat showing the biggest declines in the number of users who referred to the platforms as being “very important”.


Look out for the third part of this series, which will look at how patterns in retail are fast changing for color cosmetics purchases in the US, to be published soon.

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