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Three key digital trends for beauty brands

The pandemic forced beauty brands to adapt their business models in response to changing consumer behavior and expectations, updating the ways in which they interact with customers across digital platforms. Here are our top three digital marketing trends we think beauty brands need to consider. 

September 5, 2022

5 mins read

Alexandra Smith

The COVID-19 pandemic shaped every aspect of our lives from working and shopping, to socializing and communication. Beauty brands have adapted their business models in response to these changes in consumer behavior and expectations. A sector which once heavily relied on brick-and-mortar retail has had to evolve and update the ways it interacts with customers to offer major exposure and create connections across digital platforms. 
 
So, which digital marketing trends should beauty brands consider to help them thrive in a fast-changing and complex landscape? Here are our top three picks:  

  1. Social commerce 

Social commerce is a growing force, expected to become a $1.2 trillion market globally by 2025 (Accenture). The growth of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have transformed the digital environment, causing it to become more and more social, changing not only how billions of people connect with one another across the world but also the ways in which they interact with brands and shop for products. With 3.5 billion people now using social media it is no surprise that there are expected to be 96.1 million social commerce buyers in the US by the end of 2022, up from 80.1 million in 2020 (eMarketer).  
 
TikTok recently announced their shopping evolution with an 'Infinite Loop’ which will replace the traditional ecommerce funnel with a cycle where users participate in both purchasing and marketing products. Their new Shopping Ads will attempt to target scrollers at all stages of the purchase journey via videos, listings and live ads (Insider Intelligence).  
 
Beauty has become the most shopped product category within this digital channel – with three-quarters of beauty consumers now actively shopping on social media platforms (InternetRetailing). Across social platforms brands are able to sell their products directly, mid-scroll on a feed, making the process from discovery to purchase seamless by removing the potential friction of having to change online channel environments. Recent data shows that 91% of consumers worldwide now prefer to buy beauty and personal care products via social media platforms (Influenster), whether it be directly from a brands social media page, an in-feed ad or an influencer promoting a beauty product. With hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trending, it is clear that social commerce is the next big thing for beauty brands. 
 
Beauty buyers are turning towards social commerce in their search for recommendations and inspiration from people they trust and relate to, whether that be family, friends, communities or influencers. They want to feel inspired, informed and confident in what they buy. Social commerce serves these needs, providing an enhanced shopping experience that builds trust, sparks discovery and is convenient.  


2. Social media influencers 

86% of consumers look for advice and recommendations from social media influencers to help them with their purchasing decisions (Digital Marketing Institute). With social media platforms progressively evolving into real shopping hubs, brands are recognizing the power of influencer marketing and are incorporating it into their digital strategies to reach and connect with new audiences and obtain valuable insights and information around their products and brands.  
 
According to the British Beauty Council, for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, brands secure a return of investment of around $11.45, so it is no surprise that more and more brands are incorporating influencer marketing into their digital marketing strategy. When this type of strategy is implemented effectively a brand can improve its brand awareness and exposure, reach targeted audiences, build brand authenticity and trust and boost sales.  
 
However, it’s no longer just about the number of followers someone has. Beauty consumers expect to see realistic and relatable influencers they can trust to give a genuine perspective on brands and products, so beauty brands that partner with influencers who show authenticity, diversity and provide full disclosure of paid posts are winning the competition. Some beauty brands have taken it a step further in working with skincare professionals over Instagram stars to meet consumer desires for an authentic and trustworthy voice behind the products. 


3. Beauty subscription model  

Consumers are increasingly looking for more convenient ways to shop for essentials such as hygiene products and beauty products. As a result, many search for shortcuts to remove the hassle of having to think about what they need, which has given rise to the subscription model. 
 
The global subscription ecommerce market is expected to increase from $73 billion in 2021 to $120 billion by the end of 2022, with beauty being the third fastest growing category (GlobeNewswire). A recent survey found that 62% of subscribers said value for money was the top reason people sign up for subscription boxes (McKinsey). 

Within the beauty industry there are many formats the subscription model can take such as:  
 
  1. Refills - consumers can sign up to receive regular orders of their favorite products to arrive before they run out.  
  2. Exploration boxes – subscription boxes to explore new products on a regular basis, such as those offered by GLOSSYBOX. 
  3. Membership model - Beauty Pie has been amongst the first brands to employ such a model, calling itself a “buyers club” where customers can pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to become a member and receive their high-end beauty products at a reduced cost. Whilst non-members can still purchase all Beauty Pie products, members can secure products at a lower price than regular retail prices, ensuring flexibility and convenience.  
 
By using subscription models, beauty brands can build a closer, stronger relationship with customers by utilizing shared data to offer personalized recommendations, to boost customer retention. Not only can this approach drive greater average spend, collect primary data, and inspire loyalty, but it also provides value to consumers who appreciate the convenience, innovation, and curated experiences. 

Beauty

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