All business sectors around the world are being affected by COVID-19, with consumers and many businesses now faced with a great deal of uncertainty for a period of time that is currently unknown. The situation continues to evolve every day, which makes it hard to plan or predict what will happen next. Essential work does continue to be the number one priority, and rightly so. However, people still are searching for commercial businesses, institutions, and leaders to help them to maintain a level of normalcy during these very uncertain times.
There are three areas that we have identified that continue to evolve within today’s environment:
Self-care: During this time, care products continue to become increasingly valuable as people are putting more importance on their own wellbeing and health.
Digital acceleration: E-commerce’s role is continuing to grow as consumers must use online channels currently to get access to beauty products.
Communications: During these rapidly changing circumstances, consumers are wanting brands to demonstrate relevancy, empathy, and adaptability.
For quite some time now, wellbeing has been a leading consumer trend both within the beauty sector, and well beyond. A focus on the self and moving from a mindset of FOMO to JOMO demonstrates the increasing positivity that self-care is associated with. Even before the pandemic hit, the benefits offered by beauty has moved past only superficial appearances to more of a focus on health (as can be seen by the high demand for skin care and cosmetics products), and care is right in the middle of the beauty regime. However, it appears that the demand is accelerating due to the current situation.
As the social distancing measures continue to increase, numerous cosmetics might have become less relevant However, during these uncertain times, consumers have continued to turn towards care and cleansing products to provide their wellbeing with support. This is not only about hand care, where numerous brands are attempting to meet the high demand for lotions, sanitizers, and hand soaps. We are beginning to see less of the superficial benefits that beauty products have to offer with their emotional benefits becoming more important.
This space is already being tapped into by several brands. “Bath time beats” is being offered by Lush, a relaxing evening session that involves Lush bath bombs. Sleep is being promoted by the Body Shop through their care and bath products.
Although prior to the pandemic there were signs of growth, consumption of digital beauty has been struggling to convert consumers into buying online due to ineffective colour matching, a lack of ability for testing products, and a sub-par shopping experience along with other barriers. However, the current situation is forcing consumers to adapt their normal purchasing habits.
New audiences are looking for digital solutions. Therefore, brands are needing to speed up their e-commerce plans in order to meet the current demand. Since the crisis started there has been an increase in Google searches for the phrase “online beauty.”
A seamless experience that delivers relevant technologies and unique products can provide a reason to visit a beauty specific website instead of relying on supermarkets to access their beauty products. That is particularly relevant for luxury brands that are sold at department stores and standalone stores.
Beauty is a very-paced and innovative market. That results in shopper expectations continuing to grow. The industry is accustomed to responding quickly and being pre-emptive. However, things are being changed for consumers on a daily basis by COVID-19 and timely communications are more important than ever.
Determine the right message and tone to convey to consumers, or whether to even communicate at all is challenging for all brands these days. Will it get through? How can you make sure it is relevant as the situation continues to evolve rapidly?
The decision all comes down to whether or not you have something relevant to say to consumers at this time and whether you can execute and deliver it in a timely way. Adaptable activations, empathy, and relevancy are still the most effective ways that consumers can be supported during these uncertain times.