While no one actually knows what the future will hold, there are many good indicators to watch. One is the video / ecommerce platform Qurate Retail Group; the company that owns both QVC and HSN as well as apparel and home décor businesses including Zulily, Garnet Hill, Ballard Designs, and Grandin Road is known for adapting swiftly to meet consumer needs of the moment.
During the current Coronavirus crisis, Qurate has adjusted operations across the board to keep employees safe, consumers satisfied, and brands in business. This has, among other things, meant a change in the product mix and programming on QVC.
The company’s 4 QVC-branded video and ecommerce channels (QVC, QVC 2, QVC 3, and Beauty iQ) have been showing more prerecorded programming as well as lots of loungewear and household products that makes sense given the mandatory lifestyle changes that have come about during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Beauty and personal care needs during the virus crisis
It’s no surprise that beauty consumers aren’t going out to salons and spas just now and are therefore looking for products, especially hair and nail products, that they wouldn’t commonly buy for themselves. Truly effective hand creams as well as hand and nail treatment products are increasingly in demand as the virus crisis wears on.
On March 27, the indie beauty brand Adesse New York made its QVC debut. It wasn’t the usual sort of new product spot where a category expert stands side-by-side with a familiar QVC show host and describes and demos the product.
By mid-March, the retailer’s operations had shifted to accommodate social distancing precautions and stay-at-home edicts. So, Suzanne Roberta, CEO and Co-Founder of Adesse New York, called in to speak live on-air with Sandra Bennett and introduce her brand’s latest launch to QVC viewers watching that evening’s airing of The Find.
Adesse New York began as a nail brand and has since expanded into the lip category, now with a portfolio of color and treatment products for both nails and lips. The brand’s most recent launch—and what Roberta was sharing on QVC last month—is the Intensive Nail Defense trio, a collection of treatment products meant to be used almost like a skin care routine for the nails. The trio comprises a Nail Defense Serum, a Nail & Cuticle Energizer, and a Marine Algae Hydration Serum.
“As you can see in the before-and-after photos, after two weeks, nails are getting healthier, stronger and more moisturized,” remarked QVC Host Sandra Bennett, during the broadcast. “This,” she added, "makes so much sense as we are all washing our hands much more frequently and our nails and cuticles are getting so dry.”
Sales are up for the nail category and for Adesse New York
“We greatly appreciated the opportunity to bring the Adesse brand to the QVC audience and to give them an easy DIY way to care for their nails at home,” Roberta tells Cosmetics Design.
“QVC’s leadership team did an amazing job of pivoting from the traditional in-person live show format to a live call-in to ensure the health, well-being and safety of staff and guests, while still delivering a deeply personal and entertaining experience to their viewers.”
Roberta called in again for a second live show, this time Dare to Share Beauty with Amy Stand, on April 21. “Since that first show,” says Roberta, “we’ve tripled our online sales.”
Adesse nail care product sales accounted for 70% of the brand’s business before QVC and now make up 85% of the brand’s sales. And “we are seeing robust nail color sales too,” Roberta tells Cosmetics Design.
“We’re seeing people responding to do-it-yourself nail care and taking care of their nails at home and having that little spot of beauty,” she says. And her experience isn’t unique; new data from NPD shows that nail color ecommerce sales were up 57% in March.
And online seems to be the channel of choice: “In the last week of March, online sales grew by 47% and captured close to 90% of total [beauty] industry spend,” reports NPD. “Based on their online purchase behaviors alone, consumers are clearly partaking in self-care and creating a spa-like environment during quarantine.”
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders. Click here to find out what else is changing in the world of beauty because of COVID-19.