With more time spent indoors, consumers changed their grooming routines to suit their new reality. When hard lockdown was originally introduced, South Africans thought it would only be for two weeks and life would go back to normal.
An increasing number of online retailers stocked more make-up brands, leading to a strong rise in the share of sales via e-commerce in 2020, although from a low base. In the case of repeat purchases, consumers resorted to buying online rather than buying from shops due to convenience and safety, but also due to the more aggressive price promotions offered online.
With mandatory wearing of face masks in public, lipstick was one of the hardest-hit categories in 2020, as consumers stopped using such products due to the inconvenience of having it smudge over their mask and face. However, with people avoiding salons due to cost-cutting and to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19, this led to a DIY trend, whereby consumers chose to paint their nails themselves.
Although consumers have cut back their spending in non-essential categories such as colour cosmetics, this does not mean that such products have been removed from shopping baskets entirely. Consumers are trading down to cheaper brands, and since they are not using these products as often, they are not finding themselves needing to replace them as often either.
Premium colour cosmetics is expected to be the slowest to recover, due to more cautious spending amongst key consumers, especially aspirational consumers. Whilst high-income consumers have been more resilient, and this is expected to remain the case, aspirational consumers are known to purchase such products on credit, and with the risk of job losses now a reality for many, they will choose to save as much as possible for difficult times.
Innovation, not only in terms of the customer experience, but also in terms of product formats, will drive recovery over the forecast period. A trend towards an improved online user experience has already been observed within premium categories, with online sales advice and make-up try-on options.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Colour Cosmetics industry in South Africa with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Colour Cosmetics research and analysis database.
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