When COVID-19 first hit in March 2020, the world as we knew it changed. All of us had to relearn how to go about our daily lives under these new, strange, scary circumstances. If you’re a business owner like I am, this meant embracing flexibility as the coronavirus outbreak wreaked havoc on the economy and learning how to adapt in an ever-changing, unpredictable market.
Now, over a year and a half later, I couldn’t be more grateful that the worst of COVID-19 is over and we are beginning a slow but sure return to healthy, everyday life. However, that doesn’t mean the work is over! As a CEO, it is your job to remain on top of how the virus has impacted the market and what that means for your business strategy. You should be asking yourself: How has COVID-19 changed the way your target audience might perceive and/or purchase your product/offer? Will it still be something they find accessible, essential, and worth investing in?
Since I primarily work with beauty entrepreneurs, I wanted to share with you a few ways COVID-19 has changed the beauty industry and what to look out for as you guide your business through the return to normalcy:
- Before COVID-19, in-store shopping accounted for up to 85% of beauty-product purchases. Consumers love to test out beauty products in person to make sure it’s a good fit. When beauty retailers shut down, this no longer became possible. Now, even with stores open again, customers are hesitant to resume testing and shopping for beauty products in-store due to health and safety concerns. This means that eCommerce sales have nearly doubled since the rise of COVID-19, and they continue to remain the most popular way beauty products are being sold today. How it affects your business: If you sell beauty products online, you may want to increase the incentive for your customer to purchase without the added benefit of being able to “try before they buy” (like at a brick-and-mortar retailer). You can do this by offering samples, seamless returns, or even discounts.
Even when essential retailers were open, beauty-product sales were down.
While brick-and-mortar pharmacies and supermarkets remained open even during the peak of the pandemic, consumers simply weren’t buying beauty products as much as before. Given the realities of working from home, physical distancing, and mask-wearing, many individuals are finding that makeup and perfume are no longer as much of a priority.
How it affects your business: Now that COVID-19 has settled down, many individuals are eager to return to normalcy when it comes to their beauty routine. However, this doesn’t mean that practices like mask-wearing and social distancing will cease completely. If you sell beauty products, focus on promoting items that either aren’t impacted by COVID-19 measures (like eye makeup) OR make those measures less of a nuisance (like skincare and foundation that doesn’t rub off on a mask).
Self-care products are more popular than pre-COVID days.
In contrast to the decline in cosmetic-related purchases, self-care items like skincare, haircare, and bath-and-body products saw a major increase throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps because many consumers used social distancing as an opportunity to pamper themselves and relax during such a stressful time. This trend has continued even as COVID-19 has calmed down. How it affects your business: If you don’t sell any self-care related products, think about how you can put your foot in the door of the industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean launching or creating something entirely new. Get creative — is there a brand you can partner with that does focus on self-care products? Can you market your beauty products through a self-care lens?
COVID-19 may have brought with it permanent changes to the beauty industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be one step ahead — stay on top of trends, embrace flexibility, and accept that your approach may be different than before.
If you need more personalised support figuring out what would give you an edge as a beauty entrepreneur in a post-COVID world, that’s what I’m here for. Book a strategy call today to receive support from an exec-level business and marketing consultant who specialises in the beauty world.