Today's Beauty Category: Natural, Colorful, Social  3/4/2018

Walgreens just announced that it’s collaborating with beauty enthusiast and YouTube influencer Judy Travis to create a signature cosmetic bag line. Known for her popular YouTube channel, “ItsJudyTime,” Travis is extending her personal brand to a new line of six cosmetic bags available at Walgreens, that will retail from $12.99 to $29.99 and feature spring colors such as navy and pink, and classic floral and marble patterns.

This is just the latest example of retailers tapping into the expertise and following of social media influencers when it comes to cosmetics and other beauty products, as they carry a lot of weight when it comes to purchasing decisions of heavy beauty buyers, as Kurt Jetta, CEO of TABS Analytics pointed out during his presentation on cosmetics trends during ECRM’s recent Cosmetics, Fragrance & bath EPPS.

“Heavy buyers are more influenced by the information they can find about products prior to purchase, said Jetta. “This buyer group indicated that, now more than ever, they use reviews, do research before trying products, search for online demos and to learn techniques. Social media, particularly YouTube, is becoming a much more important factor in influencing purchasing decisions. Just less than half of all buyers rely on social media, while 60 percent of heavy buyers look to these platforms.”

During the TABS presentation, Jetta highlighted some key trends around the shopping behavior of cosmetics consumers, including who is buying the category, where they are buying, and what they are purchasing within the category.

Among the findings of the study:

  • Regular Purchasing Grows: There was an increase in the number of items regularly purchased (3+ times a year), which was driven by gains in foundation/face powder, lipstick, lip gloss and artificial nails.
  • Heaviest Buyers are Young, Hispanic and Upper Middle Income: Younger consumers (ages 18-24) are the heaviest buyers. There also were notable increases in the percentage of Hispanic and upper middle income ($75,000 to $99,000) women who also purchased 10 or more cosmetic types.
  • Shift in Outlets: Cosmetics is a highly fragmented market with consumers shifting away from mass market, drug stores and grocery. Department stores – specifically Macy’s and Kohl’s – have grown in share, as have ecommerce and specialty beauty retailers. Mass market and drug stores experienced a marked loss in share, according to TABS.
Product Trends from the Session
Based on interviews with buyers and sellers conducted by ECRM staff at the session, there were several key product trends of note within the category:

The Evolution of Natural: Natural ingredients are almost a cost of entry these days when it comes to beauty products, but now many suppliers are taking this trend a step further with ingredients aimed at delivering specific results, particularly dead sea salts and minerals, charcoal, infused oxygen, turmeric and banana powder. In addition, they are seeking ingredients that are vegan, sustainably-made, and cruelty-free.

The ECRM/Drug Store News Buyers Choice Award for the session, Victoria, Australia-based CROP Natural, is a great example of a such a supplier. Its line of products use dermatologically tested and approved formulations, and certified organic and naturally-derived ingredients that are not tested on animals or harmful in any way, along with sustainable packaging and manufacturing processes.

Bright Colors Get Brighter: The Unicorn and Mermaid effect is still going strong, with color cosmetics becoming even more colorful, shiny, metallic, with a hint of glitter thrown in. This trend was also reflected in the voting of buyer attendees for the Buyers Choice awards.

Finalist Creative Research Labs, Oxford, N.C., won for its Jesse's Girl line of GlowStix holographic lip glosses that employ liquid crystal technology combined with holographic effects to create a product that not only looks unique in the package, but also its developed to be stunning when worn alone or in combination with other lip colors as a base. Its focus on social media through platforms like Facebook and Instagram has boosted the brand's appeal with millennial shoppers, according to the company.

Bath Bombs Explode: Speaking of social media, bath bombs have exploded in popularity, and are not only appealing for their moisturizing benefits to the skin (as well as for providing an excuse to take a long hot soak in the tub), but the colorful swirls and bubbles of these products – some of which change as the bath bomb dissolves – make them truly Instagram-worthy. Indeed, the hashtags #bathbomb and #bathbombs bring up approximately 2.3 million results on the social media platform. Lots of opportunities for social media engagement here.

Masks – Metallic, Men's, Hands & Feet: While retailers and suppliers have cited facial masks as a popular trend over the past couple of years, these products continue to evolve and now are available in many options, including those with natural ingredients like activated charcoal, and metallic facial masks, which are among the newer trends. Now, men want in on the action, too, and growing demand has led many suppliers to develop masks for them.

Additionally, the effectiveness of facial masks has driven demand for applications that can be used on other parts of the body, such as the feet or hands.

ECRM’s upcoming Beauty Week sessions in June, which cover the categories of skin, batyh, cosmetics, fragrance, hair care and multicultural beauty, will also feature two great panel discussions: one retailer panel on beauty product trends, and another on multicultural beauty. Click the links below for more information and to register!

Skin, Bath, Cosmetics & Natural Beauty EPPS
6/3/2018 - 6/7/2018 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa (Las Vegas , NV)
Hair Care & Multicultural Hair EPPS
6/4/2018 - 6/7/2018 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa (Las Vegas , NV)
Multicultural Hair Care EPPS
6/5/2018 - 6/7/2018 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa (Las Vegas , NV)

YouTube influencer Judy Travis unveils her line of Walgreens cosmetic bags

Tony Giovanini

SVP of General Merchandise

Tony can be reached at (440) 528-0416

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