Momentive study: beauty and personal care go digital

TECHNOLOGY

Momentive study: beauty and personal care go digital

Online purchases of beauty and personal care products see an increase throughout the pandemic.

Sam Gutierrez

June 10, 2022 | 3 min read

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Key findings:

  • Online purchases of beauty and personal care products see an increase throughout the pandemic
  • Social media become a leading channel for beauty and personal care brands, especially among women and younger consumers
  • Demand for high-quality ingredients and ethical practices when purchasing beauty or personal care products is driven by women

Online purchases of beauty and personal care products increase throughout the pandemic

Evolving consumer behavior throughout COVID-19 has impacted the beauty and personal care industry, as online purchases grow at the expense of in-store channels. Currently, 14% of U.S. adults say they do most of their shopping in these categories online, twice as much as before the pandemic (7%). In-store shopping, however, remains the dominant mode, despite declining from 60% to 51% over the last couple of years.

Online shopping is largely driven by women and Millennials: 40% of women say they usually shop for beauty and personal care products online, on par with drug stores or pharmacies, and ahead of beauty stores (34%) and department stores (32%). Gen Zers show no clear preference, shopping at beauty stores (37%) and drugstores or pharmacies (37%) at similar levels as online (33%). Millennials, however, vastly prefer online (43%) over all other locations.

Beauty or personal care subscription boxes, where consumers can pay for a recurring shipment of various products, see growing popularity, with nearly 1 in 10 Gen Zers (10%) and Millennials (12%) saying they currently pay for such a service.

Social media becomes a leading channel for beauty and personal care brands, especially among women and younger consumers

Nearly half (46%) of women look to social media to learn about new beauty and personal care products, ahead of friends (40%) and tv/streaming advertisements (30%). Younger generations also see a similar trend, with 55% of Gen Zers and 50% of Millennials looking to social media platforms to keep up with such trends.

  • Facebook is the leading platform across all demographics, with the exception of Gen Zers, who are more than twice as likely to turn to Instagram or TikTok, rather than Facebook, to learn about beauty and personal care products. 
  • Instagram and TikTok see greater popularity among younger generations, while Facebook is more popular among older generations.

Purchases made directly from social media platforms also see traction, once again driven by women and Gen Zers:

  • One in four women (24%) have ever purchased a beauty or personal care product directly from social media content, such as an Instagram post or a YouTube video. Comparatively, one in three (33%) Gen Zers and one in four (26%) Millennials also report having ever done so.

Women drive demand for high-quality ingredients and ethical practices in the beauty and personal care industry

Price is the most important factor impacting beauty and personal care purchasing decisions (59%), followed by ingredients (37%) and brand (31%). While sustainability and ethics are a lower priority overall, scrutiny for brands to maintain ingredient integrity, have allergen- or cruelty-free products, and sustainable packaging is especially high among women.

Read more about our polling methodology here

Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below:

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