Is it time to capitalise on the post-pandemic beauty boom?
There hasn’t been a sector, industry or business in the world that hasn’t been affected by the pandemic to one degree or another, but few industries were hit as hard as the beauty and cosmetics industry.
For many decades the beauty and cosmetics industry have been seen as a remarkably resilient sector, capable of maintaining or even growing during the worst social and economic crises the world had to throw at it.
However, like most of us, the beauty industry just did not see the Covid pandemic coming.
The pandemic managed to upend industry expectations that beauty products, (often seen as an affordable indulgence that consumers were happy to purchase in place of larger, more expensive items), would continue to be purchased regardless of the economic situation.
This is known as the famous “lipstick index”, first coined by Leonard Lauder (of Estée Lauder fame) is normally taken by the cosmetics sector (and the beauty industry as a whole) as a barometer of consumer confidence and the industry’s incredible resilience.
However this resilience was not to last, with the closure of beauty salons, hairdressers and spas, whole swathes of the industry were left without the ability to ply their trade and sell beauty products.
To compound the problem further, with guidance to stay home, wear masks and the closure of supermarkets , the demand for and opportunity to purchase cosmetic products continues to fall, with some retailers reporting that demand for lipstick and foundation fell by as much as 70%.
Inevitably the lack of trade and customer demand has led to the closure of some pretty big players in the industry (Debenhams being one of the stand out names), and this has put enormous pressure on those within the beauty industry that have managed to survive.
However, all is not lost and there appears to be at least a few reasons to hope that the beauty industry is ready to bounce back and start beautifying all of us once again.
The first reason to be optimistic is that with society starting to get back to normal, restrictions easing and businesses opening up again demand for beauty products is rising once more.
There also appears to be real consumer enthusiasm for not only starting to shop as we used to, but also in saving their local high street from more closures.
The second reason to be hopeful is that despite consumers’ hesitancy throughout the pandemic for buying most cosmetic products there was a specific beauty niche that actually grew during lockdown, namely; perfume.
It would appear that whilst most consumers didn’t feel the need to purchase lipstick, foundation or mascara during the pandemic, there was still a desire to remain smelling great and as such perfume sales actually grew during the pandemic and continue to increase as restrictions are eased.
As the high street gets back to normal people’s desire to indulge in extravagant gifts for themselves and their friends and family has increased and a go to gift appears to be fragrances.
Emma Fishwick, industry expert and Account Manager for NPD UK Beauty recently stated;
“The popularity of fragrance (during lockdown) can be attributed to a number of factors. Fragrance doesn’t require touch when applying or appreciating it.”
More positively still with a growth of 32% post-lockdown, unsold stock from the last eighteen months, specifically fragrance gift sets are performing particularly well.
Emma explains; “Retailers are also utilising unsold gift sets to encourage consumers back into store using price promotion,” and these discounted gift sets are exactly the sort of deals that consumers are looking for.
Lockdown and online retail in general has made a lot more individuals aware of the discounts and they have come to expect these as standard.
Additionally, consumers are more sensitive than ever to keeping a tight hold of their purse strings and as such are becoming much more savvy and discerning when parting with their cash.
As Emma put it “Consumers are now increasingly price conscious and opting for products that are perceived as value for money”
Such is the desire amongst consumers to get value for money, they have even begun purchasing perfumes from new and emerging fragrance companies, that whilst lacking the brand recognition of some of the major fragrances, make up for it with their high quality and low prices.
Some of these new fragrance companies are becoming more and more popular around the world and are implementing exciting marketing strategies to capture public attention.
FM World, for instance, is a new and emerging fragrance company that offers a collection of fragrances, that utilise the same ingredients as the major perfume houses, but are able to sell their fragrances at extraordinary prices due to an innovative marketing structure.
FM Fragrances offer a 33% discount to customers for life – perfect for customers who are looking for value for money.
With companies like FM Fragrances capitalising on consumer desire for affordable fragrances, there has never been a better time to invest in the perfume industry as a whole and take advantage of the cosmetics and beauty industry making a comeback.