A lady may never reveal her age, but the beauty market can likely brag about its appeal with younger generations.
More and more, the beauty industry has become ruled by millennials, women between the ages of 18 and 34 being the main buyers, according to a survey by TABS Analytics. Spending nearly $13 billion in the cosmetics industry, these shoppers do their research predominantly online and then take that knowledge to the stores to make their purchases.
More research from The Harris Poll recently identified how and where (locations and retail sites) cosmetics buyers are purchasing cosmetics. Millennials were found to be most likely to buy items in person from big-box retail stores. It makes sense then that Sephora in particular has been sitting pretty on social media and showing face as the third-most popular way to purchase beauty items.
Experts say the big business with the millennial females is indeed due to social media, digital influencers and certain brands that have come into the market and focused on the demographic.
On top of that, other retail-focused research this holiday season shows the brightest spot on health and beauty stores, like CVS and Ulta, slated to have year-over-year of growth of nearly 7.5 percent. Groupon has even focused its holiday marketing on health, spa and beauty deals with its Holiday Spa*Tacular, as it knows that’s one product area that distinctly overlaps in its target demographic.
The in-store purchasing, according to research, tends to be due to the “try before buying” concept that online can give insight to but truly cannot offer due to its medium.
But even though they are more likely to buy in-store, it’s important to also highlight that they are also the most likely to buy online as well, according to the Harris Poll survey. The group is also most likely to participate in direct-to-consumer trends, such as popular sample boxes, like Birchbox, as well as individual lines, like Bevel, Glossier and Stowaway. Some of this, experts say, is in part because this consumer segment is highly attuned to finding a “great deal” after much research and individual information gathering.
Millennials’ tendencies to shop across a range of brick-and-mortar locations and online sites for cosmetics may be due to the emphasis that millennials — and cosmetics buyers, in general — put on finding the best deal. According to Harris’ study, 85 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds agreed: “Once I find a product I like, I’ll buy it wherever I can get the best price.” Of cosmetics buyers overall, 87 percent agreed with this statement.