In September 2021, Ideoclick surveyed over 2,000 consumers who have shopped online for beauty products (e.g., makeup, nail polish, etc.) and health and personal care products (e.g., cold and flu medicine, vitamin supplements, etc.) in the past year to uncover the latest trends in shopping behavior from the impact of social advertising to the influence of online reviews and more.
One thing that is clear from the survey results is that consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online for items they traditionally purchased in-store, such as makeup, medicines, and hair care. Our findings indicate that most consumers shop online for these products (67% for beauty and 80% for health and personal care).
Here are some of the key e-commerce trends we uncovered along with advice on how brands can capitalize and deliver the online experience their customer demands:
Social Advertising Positively Influences Brand Awareness But Not Purchases:
· 41% of beauty consumers and 33% of health & personal care consumers said they were more likely to make a purchase because of ads seen on social media platforms.
· However, only 7% of beauty consumers and 5% of health & personal care consumers said social media is their preferred e-commerce platform for buying these products.
The pandemic solidified customer relationships with social media. The average consumer spent 145 minutes/day on social media in 2020, according to Statista.
Today, that experience is filled with ads, which are clearly influencing consumer purchasing decisions. Brands who aren’t already advertising on social media should consider experimenting with social advertising to take advantage of its influence on customers.
Consumers Turn to Online Reviews, Influencers and Product Pages
· Beauty product consumers primarily get advice from online reviews (39%) and social media/online influencers (23%). Only 19% said in-store associates (19%).
· Health & personal care product consumers primarily get advice from online reviews (42%) and online retail product pages (22%). Only 20% said in-store associates.
· 49% of beauty product consumers trust online reviews, 38% saying it’s a somewhat high level of trust and 11% saying it’s a very high level of trust
· 42% of health and personal care product consumers trust online reviews, 34% saying it’s a somewhat high level of trust and 8% saying it’s a very high level of trust.
As consumers continue to put more trust in communities and influencers, brands should focus on innovative ways to connect these with their customers. Brands may want to consider partnering with online influencers to get their products in front of a larger audience.
Brands should also use their product pages to their fullest extent by ensuring the information on these pages is accurate, highly detailed, filled with robust written and visual content and focused on product features that will help them stand apart from their competitors.
Lookalikes and Counterfeit Products Raise Doubts
· 54% of online health and personal care consumers are either concerned (35%) or very concerned (19%) about lookalike/counterfeit items.
· 52% of online beauty product consumers are either concerned (32%) or very concerned (20%) about lookalike/counterfeit items.
· Lookalike and counterfeits are a widespread problem for beauty, health and personal care e-commerce brands and the issue hinges on customer trust.
Customers often can’t tell the difference between legitimate products and look-alike versions of well-known brands. For example, if a customer searches for an under-eye moisturizing cream, they will find a page full of results that all look strikingly similar to a well-known product, all of them with similar packaging and similar names. As a result, customers who are unfamiliar with the brand can easily buy the wrong product by mistake.
Brands can strengthen customer trust by sharing advertising content that highlights its authenticity and showcases its unique value. This can help the brand to solidify its value proposition and inspire customer trust by differentiating its product from lookalikes.
Retailer Websites are Top Choice of E-Commerce Shoppers; DTC and Social Media Purchasing Lags
· For 79% of consumers, the preferred e-commerce platform for buying beauty products online is retailer websites (e.g., Target, Amazon, Walmart, etc.) Fourteen percent said DTC websites and only 7% said social media.
· As for buying health & personal care products online, 86% of consumers prefer buying through retailer websites, compared to DTC websites (9%) and social media (5%).
Brands can capitalize on these customer preferences by optimizing their presence of retailer websites, like Amazon. Businesses should make sure their product pages are optimized with targeted keywords for maximum visibility.
Unlike brick-and-mortar stores where customers browse by aisle, online shoppers usually search for two to four keywords that describe the problem they are trying to solve. Since the marketplace is highly competitive, it’s crucial for businesses to target their keywords to stand apart from the competition.
Highly specific keywords are far less competitive and less expensive than broader short-tail keywords. Businesses can make the most of their keyword budget by using unique and targeted long-tail keywords to drive sales. For example, a vegan cosmetic brand should use terms such as “black vegan liquid liner” or “cruelty-free blush brush” as opposed to generic terms like “eyeliner” or “makeup brush.”
Brands should focus on integrating keywords into their page in an organic-sounding way. Sellers can also use hidden keywords to gain leverage against their competitors.
Consumer habits are changing and will continue to evolve. Brands that embrace innovation and adapt to their customers’ preferences will thrive in the “new normal” of the e-commerce space.
Survey Methodology: Ideoclick collected responses via a third-party provider from over 2,000 U.S.-based consumers who have shopped online for beauty products (e.g., makeup, nail polish, etc.) and health and personal care products (e.g., cold and flu medicine, supplements, etc.) in the past year to determine the findings of the research. The survey was conducted between September 20 – September 22, 2021.
Founded in 2008 by former Amazon executives and harnessing over 200 years of Amazon experience, Ideoclick provides the industry’s leading e-Commerce Optimization Platform, delivering a unique combination of cloud-based software, subject matter expertise and insight to businesses that sell on Amazon and beyond. Ideoclick works with brands to solve challenges, unlock data-driven insights, and add automation to help them reach further, move faster, and win more. Today, Ideoclick manages more than 20 million Amazon standard identification numbers and helps hundreds of brands achieve transformative results. For more information, visit: www.ideoclick.com.