UK beauty and grooming e-commerce has grown during COVID and will reach € 2.45 billion by 2025, says GlobalData


According to market research firm GlobalData, the UK e-commerce market for cosmetics and toiletries increased in value by 42% in 2020 to EUR 1.98 billion (£ 1.7 billion), compared to EUR 1.4 billion (£ 1.2 billion) Billion) in 2019. And that growth meant that e-commerce now represented 14% of the UK cosmetics and toiletries market, making it the second largest channel after hypermarkets and supermarkets with a 30% value share.

“E-tailers have overtaken pharmacies and drugstores and taken second top position.”Said Nina Nowak, Senior Innovation Researcher at GlobalData.

In an interview with CosmeticsDesign-Europe Nowak said it had “Electrical growth”In beauty and personal care e-commerce between 2019 and 2020, while hypermarket and supermarket market share declined 5.6% due to COVID-19 store closures and restrictions.

Beauty and personal care in e-commerce is set to reach 2.45 billion euros in 2025

And GlobalData had forecast that cosmetics and toiletries e-commerce growth would continue between 2021 and 2025 at an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% to 2.45 billion euros (2.1 billion pounds sterling) will.

While Nowak said this means e-commerce growth “stabilize” Over the next five years, the perceived consumer benefits that sparked the 2019-2020 surge would remain important to future growth and opportunity.

“Several factors contribute to consumer interest in online shopping“,she said. GlobalData’s global consumer survey results for the first quarter showed that 66% of consumers viewed convenience as the primary benefit of shopping online; 64% said it was the time-saving aspect; 42% said it was about lower prices; and 41% said minimal social contact was the main benefit.

Another 41% stated that variety and choice are the decisive plus for e-commerce; a factor that became more important when looking specifically at beauty and personal care, where e-commerce tools that enabled customized shopping experiences were rapidly advancing, Nowak said.

“… The advanced digital tools and apps that enable personalized product selection based on a ‘selfie’ image provided by a consumer are efficiently replacing a shopping experience.”she said.

Beauty Boost – D2C or Multibrand Online Platforms?

When asked which area of ​​UK e-commerce would be most numerous for the future of beauty and personal care brands – direct-to-consumer sites or multi-brand platforms – Nowak said: “As the e-commerce landscape evolves, it’s important for beauty brands not to rely solely on multi-brand platforms or D2C sites as these channels serve different consumer groups and preferences.”

Presence on a multi-brand platform, she said “Important to expand the brand’s reach”This is because these websites are aimed at consumers who are looking for a wide selection and at those who enjoy browsing and trying out new products. At the same time she said D2C “Could prove critical to maintaining a loyal consumer base”Because these websites enabled customized offers, promotions and a high level of personalization with existing or returning customers.

For example, Gen Z and Millennials are the most likely to admit that they typically buy beauty and grooming products online, with 22% saying they buy direct from brands, she said.

Omnichannel focus on the future for beauty and personal care

Nowak said what is critical for beauty and personal care brands and future growth in e-commerce is balance and a multichannel strategy. And emerging partnerships between people like Sephora and Zalando and The Hut Group and Cult Beauty have proven this, she said. “Deals like this show the growing importance of omnichannel beauty shopping, which should be the focus of attention from brands looking to expand their online reach.”

While hypermarkets and supermarkets would likely remain the main beauty and personal care shopping channel in the UK for some time – still about twice the size of e-commerce in terms of value and important for accessibility and convenience -, Nowak said there was good leeway for e-tailers to compete and advance beauty expertise and personalization.

“E-commerce players can strengthen their place in beauty by positioning themselves as ‘industry experts’ with additional services such as advice or ‘beauty plan finders’ that offer a touch of personalization and a premium experience.”she said.

“… Extended bans and social distancing restrictions have sparked a permanent shift towards e-commerce across a variety of categories including beauty and personal care. This change should stimulate personal care brands to focus their strategy on enhancing their online presence with branded and retailer offerings as the focus, as well as delivering a tailored shopping experience for consumers. “


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