Due to increases in internet access and the growth rate of smartphones and tablets sales volumes, internet user numbers have greatly increased around the globe. In personal care appliances, the internet has become a significant selling channel for manufacturers as well as a marketing channel where products have been widely advertised and promoted. Owners of global personal care appliance brands such as Panasonic, Braun and Philips increasingly advertise their products via social media such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to introduce new products, launch beauty tutorials or share promotional campaigns and marketing activities. Since smartphones and tablets are expected to post higher volumes over the next five years, social media will therefore be continuously utilised as an impactful marketing platform by personal care appliance manufacturers.
Personal care appliances drive the highest internet retailing volume in 2014
Internet retailing was one of the significant channels driving the global selling volume of more than 75 million units in personal care appliances in 2014. Also, volume sales of personal care appliances via internet retailing dramatically increased by more than 270% in 2009-2014, led by China, the US, the UK and Russia. What helps boost the selling volume of personal care appliances in this channel is the lower unit prices of such products, making the risk of purchasing via the internet quite low. Moreover, the light weight of personal care appliances, such as hair dryers, hair stylers and body shavers, also makes the delivery costs for these products affordable.
Internet Retailing Volume Driven by Small Appliances in 2014
Source: Euromonitor International
Personal care appliance brands turn to social media
As in other industries, manufacturers of personal care appliances not only advertise their products via mass media, such as on television, on the radio and in printed matter, but they also advertise on the internet. However, recently, there has been a shift in the advertising on the internet from banner adverts to social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, due to the decline in popularity of banner adverts. The advertising via social media is unavoidable for manufacturers since social media is becoming more popular among consumers (see Emergence of S-Commerce and Impact on Consumer Goods Industries). Leading personal care appliance brands such as Philips, Braun and Panasonic have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, specifically set up for personal care appliances, such as Philips Beauty, Panasonic Beauty and Braun Appliances, to communicate product-related information directly to consumers as well as for timely promotion and marketing campaigns aimed at consumers. In the countries that Facebook is not available in, such as China, manufacturers use other social media instead, such as Weibo, where leading personal care appliance manufacturers have already set up accounts such as Braun and Panasonic.
Marketing activities launched on social media
Personal care appliance brands not only have a presence on Facebook and Twitter accounts, but are also launching a great number of campaigns that seek consumers’ participation on social media. For example, Panasonic Beauty Malaysia has been running the campaign "I love myself beauty search 2014". The contest encourages female consumers to post before and after photos of themselves on Instagram or Facebook after using Panasonic's personal care appliances. Panasonic Beauty Malaysia Facebook has more than 30,000 fans and more than 200 people participated in this contest. Similarly, Philips sponsored the beauty tutorial talk show launched on YouTube, demonstrated by a Thai celebrity, to showcase Philips’ latest hair dryers and straighteners, launched in November 2014, which has attracted more than 7,000 followers. Braun also sponsored the beauty blog, written by the British blogger Katie Snooks, to review Braun’s electric facial cleanser products, written in September 2014.This blog has more than 17,000 followers from the UK and other countries around the globe.
Unique features of social media for personal care appliances
Social media used to advertise personal care appliances will be related more with celebrities and attractive bloggers, since consumers tend to purchase personal care appliances that are related to the look or appearance they would like to have. Therefore, the influence of celebrities and famous bloggers on social media is very impactful for personal care appliance users, especially for product reviews and beauty tutorial videos. Social media can therefore allow an audience to connect with inspirational celebrities and bloggers. On the other hand, consumers who want to purchase other appliances, such as air conditioners or vacuum cleaners, will only care about products’ technical functions, rather than who uses the products.
Moreover, consumers relate personal care appliances with visual fashions and trends, and it requires more frequent updates to keep up with the latest fashion trends, especially for hair care appliances. Social media allows marketers to update products much faster than other marketing platforms.
Social media will boost sales of personal care appliances
Personal care appliances are like other beauty care products in so much as consumers like to test and try something before purchasing it. Or they like to hear from influential celebrities and bloggers before making a decision. Social media is therefore considered as one of the most powerful marketing platforms for manufacturers of personal care appliances and other personal care products, allowing them to introduce new products to young women. In addition, as sales of smartphones and tablets as well as internet access continue growing dramatically over the next five years. the internet is expected to be an impactful selling and marketing channel for manufacturers of personal care appliances in the future.