Gone forever are the days when women had no choice but to settle for whatever cosmetics were available in their local drug or department stores. Nor must they be content with purchasing products from mail-order catalogs. Today, thanks to the internet, social media and online sites such as YouTube, the sky is the limit. Consumers do not just have a virtually boundless choice of products; they can also be active participants in shaping the future of the industry.
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Who Buys The Most
It should come as no surprise that there is a particularly symbiotic relationship between the young consumers who purchase cosmetics more than any other group and online sites such as YouTube. In the modern world of selfies and a constant connection to an ever-widening circle of online friends, it becomes even more important for people to look their best at all times. It is no wonder that they devote so much energy to exploring the myriad of products designed to improve and enhance their appearance as well as learning cutting-edge techniques for making the most of their makeup.
Before They Buy
While these youthful consumers will spend an average of $15,000 on cosmetics over their lifetime, they do not part with their money without thought. Many exhibit some or all of the following behaviors before making cosmetics purchases:
- Using the power of the internet, they watch how-to videos that highlight how to apply the makeup they are thinking about obtaining. In many cases, consumers already have connected with YouTube personalities who embody the lifestyle and look they are seeking for themselves. Due to the two-way nature of sites such as YouTube, women can interact with these online celebrities, thereby becoming influencers in their own right.
- Since the internet is a dynamic repository of opinions and ideas, what better place than this to look for customers’ opinions about products? To that end, consumers search the internet to find product reviews before making a purchase.
- Why pay more when you can quickly find the best deals for the cosmetics you want? In an industry where a high-end makeup brush can run into the hundreds of dollars, it makes sense to find the best possible prices on comparable products. As long as consumers remain watchful to avoid counterfeit goods, this strategy helps the dollar stretch much further.
- In addition to low prices, incentives and other promotions can also lower the cost. Savvy consumers take advantage of coupons, specials and other loyalty programs to painlessly expand their makeup budget.
These days, the relationship between customers and companies is ongoing. Sellers actively work to attract and keep their business.
- Because consumers know that companies want to cultivate and keep them as customers, their loyalty can be obtained – but at a price. Promotions and discount programs can go a long way toward ensuring a consumer’s ongoing patronage.
- Many women buy on a seasonal basis. The appearance they want to sport during the warmer, more relaxed months of summer often differs greatly from their winter look. As a result, many buyers purchase entirely different products depending on the season.
- Brand loyalty. Although consumers are frugal, they tend to value quality even more than economy. If they are a happy with how a particular brand makes them look, they are usually willing to spend a little more to get it.
- When it comes to beauty products, women will often throw caution to the winds and open their wallets to make an impulse purchase. This is particularly true if a friend, acquaintance or online celebrity has raved about a product.
- Free samples can also make a difference. For companies, offering these can mean spending extra money initially; however, doing so can help to create a buzz and allow consumers to try products risk-free.
- Today’s consumers are juggling multiple work and family responsibilities, making the internet the ideal venue for purchasing cosmetics. In an era when orders can be delivered in a matter of days or even hours and when returns are easy, electronic purchasing is proving to be the modality of choice.
What Sets Today’s Consumer Apart?
Although using cosmetics is as old as recorded history, there are certain traits that distinguish the modern consumer from those in the past.
- Today’s beauty connoisseurs truly enjoy the process of makeup application. No longer is it a means to an end; it is an end in itself. YouTube is bursting with both amateur and professional videos showing women of all ages, races and ability levels applying and commenting on their favorite cosmetics.
- Consumers are smarter. Being connected with websites and social media, particularly via their smartphones, has helped today’s buyers to be much more aware of what goes into the products they buy and how to get the best deals. They are also very cognizant that cosmetics companies look closely at social media to gauge consumer opinions and criticisms.
- The power of celebrity influencers cannot be overstated. Young consumers are highly motivated to engage with these luminaries, commenting frequently and extensively on their video blogs and often following their recommendations on new products to try. As a result, customers and influencers benefit each other while simultaneously providing invaluable feedback to the beauty industry.
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