Beauty Shopping Prediction: Hair Products Will Continue Flying off (Virtual) Shelves
No celebrity hair tutorial will replace your hairstylist or colorist, but in the months without professional services to lean on, people were forced to become more well-versed in at-home beauty maintenance. This ultimately changed what people were searching for.
"While in the past, shopping for beauty online was more tailored to replenishment, it has started to become more of a discovery portal," said Beth Santos, the vice president of merchandising at Dermstore. "We will likely see that shift accelerate because of the pandemic."
"We can also, perhaps, put this demand down to the 'lipstick effect,' where in times of hardship and crisis, consumers purchase low-value luxury items to help them get through the situation."
There's no category that's seen a bigger shift of late than hair care. For many online retailers — including Dermstore, which, according to Santos, saw three times more sales this year than it did last — product demand has been through the roof. "Since COVID came rumbling down, we've all seen hair care take the forefront because hair salons have been closed," said Narva.
Arnaudo echoes that sentiment when it comes to Ulta: "Interest and experimentation in do-it-yourself categories continues to show strength with the increased popularity in products like at-home hair color, both root touch up products and temporary hair color in vivid shades."
Beauty Shopping Prediction: Online Reviews Will Be More Important Than Ever
The issue of fake beauty reviews has been a concern of online retailers for years, but the recent influx of foot traffic to websites (combined with the devastating rise in unemployment numbers) makes spreading the good word on products actually worth purchasing all the more important.
"There is no replacement for firsthand knowledge and personal recommendations," said Rob Gross, cofounder and COO of Fakespot, a platform that uses data extraction and algorithm engines to detect unauthentic reviews. "Always stick with the brands you know and trust recommendations from your friends who have actually spent their hard-earned money and used the product. This reduces the bias from paid reviewers and usually gets you something that you would like."
Where you put your authentic review is now being spread across platforms, too. "We've seen a spike in sales because of TikTokers seeing [a product] on our page, buying it and posting real reviews on their pages," said Scott. "TikTok has allowed us to tell our story to a new audience of shoppers that we haven't engaged yet and let me tell you, they are very engaged."
Putting your opinion out there on social media will be equally important for brands: "This process has shifted to be much more social media and digital-focused since the pandemic hit," said Rosenblatt. "We are still listening to our customers and their needs and wants through our customer service representatives, but we are always looking at trends we see online and how they can be adapted into our sites."
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