With beauty products as one of the booming sectors of the retail industry it is no surprise that in 2013 there has been significant growth in the area. What is more interesting is that consumers are now purchasing these products online in increasing numbers compared to in-store.
The same story can be found in all other retail sectors but according to L2 Think Tank who surveyed 85 beauty brands in November 2013 found that ecommerce sales were expected to grow by almost 30% compared with only 6% for total sales.
In order to cash in on the growing online consumption of products competing brands are pouring money into digital channels aware of the potential revenue now found in online retail. The money is being spent on upgrading websites which in these times is the first introduction of the company to consumers.
L2 Think Tank also found in their survey that a whopping 83% of sites are incorporating user reviews into their websites. User reviews have become the most widely adopted feature in the upgrade of websites. In order to generate more revenue, three quarters of sites offer free products samples with purchase in 2013. This has increased rapidly since 2012 with only six in ten companies using the benefits of free samples. Companies has also removed the live chat feature and replaced them with frequently asked questions pages.
2013 has shown the introduction of tablets into the market with 43% of consumers shopping for beauty products on these devices. Unfortunately some companies have been slow to incorporate tablet-specific response design. Six in 10 brands now optimize dropdown menus for tablets but only three in ten have swipable content. With this as the one of the main features of the device, we may find retail companies investing more into these in 2014. Shockingly only one in ten brands incorporate swipable product galleries.
With ecommerce as the current and future revenue generator for brands, it is important for the companies to develop websites that can keep up with changing technology. The introduction of user reviews and incentives such as free samples are a step in the right direction for websites selling beauty products. It is not implausible to believe that all brands will have to develop a large online base in order to cash in on the growth of both the industry and technology.