The study included U.S. online shopping behaviors, preferences and expectations. For the beauty and cosmetic industry, the study has several important findings, including an upward trend in online beauty purchases and a focus on eco-friendly packaging and environmentally conscious business practices.
The study consisted of 1,077 U.S. online shoppers and examined key factors that impact purchasing decisions, with the lens of consumers shopping less due to inflation.
“For beauty consumers, price takes a back seat to ingredients (for the first time),” the report states. It is worth noting though, that the difference between ingredients versus price is only 3% — 40% of respondents said ingredients were the top factor while 37% said price.
Other key takeaways for the beauty industry specifically include that while income does play a significant role in purchase behavior, price no longer dictates purchase decisions. Comparison shopping is popular among beauty shoppers.
Skincare is the most popular beauty category, with 77% of respondents saying they purchase skincare products. In comparison, 56% said they purchase specialty haircare and styling products and 62% purchase cosmetics/makeup.
Online beauty purchases are increasing, with an increase of 3% from 2022 to 2023; 49% to 52%, respectively.
Seventy-one percent of online shoppers are willing to wait longer to receive an online order if it means a lower environmental impact. And while beauty shoppers remain conscious of the impact of their purchases on people and the planet, there is a shift in focus from a strong preference for eco-friendly packing to one of ethical sourcing. When choosing who they purchase from, 27% of online beauty shoppers say whether a company has environmentally conscious business practices is the biggest factor. In comparison, 36% said that a company treating its workers fairly is the biggest role in deciding who they purchase from.
When it comes to online versus physical store fronts, the study found that high incomes equated to less shopping online. “Consumers with higher incomes are more inclined to do beauty shopping in physical stores,” the report states.
Finally, there are three main retention factors for beauty/cosmetic purchasers. These include coupons/discounts/credit toward future purchases, free product samples and sustainable packing — 43%, 23% and 21%, respectively.
Source: Ryder System, Inc.
September 19, 2023
“Adapting to Inflation: Consumer Outlook on E-commerce”