Curation in Beauty Retail: A Strategy with a Future?

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Mar 2014

This briefing examines how beauty retailers utilise curation as a strategy in store and online in response to shifting consumer demands, the rise of self-service retail culture and the walk-away consumer. Retailers are no longer seen as experts and consumers are much more knowledgeable about the products they want, which puts more emphasis on retailers to deliver additional value through services and product selection. Curation of peer-to-peer, blogs, social media and celebrities is further exam

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Curation in Beauty Retail: A Strategy with a Future?

Beauty distribution landscape is changing

Distribution of beauty and personal care products has seen a shift to more self-service environments. Even growth in beauty specialist retailers, which generally have a strong service element has been driven by self-service environments in large chains such as Sephora.

Who curates?

Retailer-consumer relationships are changing - curators are not just retailers but consumers themselves, using social media platforms to propagate their views and to gain followings.

Social media impact on beauty

Social media impacts pre-purchase decision-making and informs post-purchase behaviour. In addition, it democratises information on beauty products allowing celebrities and consumers to form consumer expectations through social media.

Drivers for change

Changing economic environment, which has changed purchasing habits, rise of self-service formats such as supermarkets and chained beauty retailers, internet retailing and growth in social media are among the leading factors.

Curation as a retail strategy

“Curation” is a word typically associated with museums or art galleries - it suggests that the products are best in class. When celebrities or industry insiders are chosen to select products, it adds an aspirational element to the mix - not only the best of the best, but the best of the best chosen by the best of the best.

Focus and diversity

Curation helps online and offline retailers to diversify and compete more effectively in a marketplace dominated by self-service retail culture and strong emphasis on pricing.

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment


Key findings

Curation : What, Who, Why?

What is curation?
Who curates?
Why curate?
Curation versus other product mix strategies
Curation and the consumer

Curation’s Role in Beauty Retail

A changing beauty retail landscape
Key drivers of change
Value considerations come to the fore: Dialogue required
Social media: The democratisation of beauty knowledge
Creating and controlling consumer interactions
Curation offers a route through the retail maze
Curation one of a number of retail responses

The Many Faces of Curation

High-profile curators offer aspiration as well as product guidance
Curation opens the way to monetising blogs and vlogs
Who needs experts? Peer-to-peer crowd curation
Beauty boxes: Curation delivered to the doorstep

Curation : Looking Ahead

Curation and the multifunctional workforce
Future strategies: Curation concessions on the BeautyMART model
Scaling up online: eBay and Zappos show an interest