Report Reveals Online Preferences of Beauty Shoppers

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According to a “pre-pandemic” survey by Dotcom Distribution of e-commerce consumer preferences, beauty shoppers preferred buying products in stores rather than online. But when the firm did a follow-up survey during the “mid-pandemic” period, the beauty segment jumped to one of the top five most-purchased categories online.

At this point, it’s unclear if beauty shoppers will settle back into preferring to buy products in stores as retailers begin to reopen across the U.S. But the data suggests shoppers have gained significant confidence in purchasing beauty items online.

In the pre-COVID-19 survey, Dotcom Distribution, the e-commerce fulfillment company, said the most-purchased category online was apparel, which was followed by electronics, accessories and home goods. Food and beverage was fifth. In the mid-pandemic periods, home goods topped the list and was followed by apparel, electronics, beauty and cosmetics, and accessories.

Researchers at the company said the pre-pandemic data revealed that more consumers “purchase cosmetics and beauty products in-store (56 percent) than online (49 percent)” and noted that there is “an opportunity for beauty brands to convert those product sales traditionally captured in-store by engaging customers better through online channels (e.g., virtual try-on technology).”

In regard to online shopping preferences, the survey showed that 82 percent of beauty consumers “reported adding items to their cart to qualify for free shipping” while more beauty shoppers “abandoned carts due to the lack of a free return policy than general consumers (67 percent beauty consumers versus 56 percent for general consumers).”

Authors of the report also said 37 percent of respondents “reported ‘Always’ or ‘Often’ purchasing additional items when picking up an online order in-store (BOPIS).” The poll also showed that 85 percent of beauty shoppers “reported reading online reviews before making purchasing decisions,” while 66 percent said they were “more likely to make repeat purchases upon receiving surprise giveaways.”

Authors of the report described beauty shoppers as “savvy, yet receptive to properly targeted engagement tactics. Many value gift-like packaging, giveaways, and coupons, which provide them with an upscale brand experience that garners excitement and compels them to return for similar encounters.”

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