Holiday shoppers looking to buy more cosmetics, value environmental impact: Survey

By Ravyn Cullor

- Last updated on GMT

Family holiday shopping © Getty Images -  Martin Dimitrov
Family holiday shopping © Getty Images - Martin Dimitrov

Related tags Holiday season consumer behavior Consumer trends Sustainability

As social events and family gatherings ramp back up this holiday season, consumers expect to buy more personal care products, and the sustainability impact of those products will be top of mind.

Accenture released has their 15th​ Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, covering more than 1,500 US consumers split by gender and age, between 18 and 70 or above, and forecasted consumer spending habits for cosmetic and personal care products over the holiday shopping season.

The survey was conducted in August 2021.

Consumers plan to hit the town, purchase more products

The survey showed that a quarter of consumers plan to purchase cosmetics and personal care products because they intent to attend social or family events over the holidays, that number jumping to 42% for Gen Z consumers, between 18 and 24 years old.

According to Accenture, this anticipated purchasing is driven by a return to face-to-face socialization. More than half of respondents said they expect to go to parties or meals out, 44% plan to go to festive events with others and 59% plan to visit family and friends at home.

For consumers under 32, the number of those attending parties or meals out jumps 8%.

Beyond holiday spending, a third of consumers, and 48% for young millennial consumers between 25-31 years old specifically, plan to continue buying those products over the next six months.

“Given that consumer demand in beauty is closely linked to being out and about with other people, our findings are especially encouraging,”​ said Oliver Wright, head of consumer goods and services industry group globally at Accenture, in a press release.

Wright said beauty brands can use this change in consumer activity, after low levels of social gathering last year due to pandemic restrictions, to recalibrate operations and be prepared for consumer demand through the holidays and into 2022.

Sustainability among greatest buying motivators

While attending social events was a motivator for increasing purchases of cosmetics and personal care products, environmental impact also ranked high among factors consumers are weighing against products.

Cruelty free products were preferred by 39% or respondents, followed by 35% saying their choices would be more greatly impacted by price and 35% saying the same of attractive packaging. A quarter of consumers said they were worried about climate change and would choose sustainable products, increasing to 33% for those 18-24.

Young people shop in store, baby boomers shop online

The survey found that while half of all respondents intended to do their personal care product shopping in-store, 70% of consumers between 18-24 would do most of their shopping at a brick-and-mortar establishment. Additionally, 54% of consumers 56-69 said they’d do most of their shopping online.

While a quarter of all consumers said they’d be entices to shop in-store by services like beauty treatments, those 25-31 were more attracted to those incentives, at 41%.

“Younger generations, more than anyone, appear to be craving the more social, physically interactive, and fun kind of shopping they can get in store,”​ said Jill Standish, head of Accenture’s retail industry group globally, in the release. “The opportunity for retailers and beauty brands is to tap into these behavioral shifts, to get creative and to experiment with new ways of engaging consumers such as beauty tutorials meet-the-expert sessions.”

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