Beauty and personal care sales declined in 2020, with major losses in Western Europe and North America. Colour cosmetics and fragrances were the main casualties, while raised hygiene standards made bath and shower the clear winner. The post-COVID-19 era will centre on survival of the fittest and adapting to beauty’s “new normal”, with sustainability-focused and digitally-savvy brands likely to thrive, as well as those that offer affordable, clinically-backed and wellness-orientated solutions.
2020 was a year of sustainability milestones, with emissions levels dropping dramatically and major companies like L’Oréal and Shiseido unveiling new climate targets and commitments. Going forward, companies will need to live up to these pledges.
Global consumers want beauty brands that deliver the best value and create positive change.
Beauty brands that are purpose-driven, digitally-savvy, clinically-backed, affordable and approachable are most likely to thrive post-COVID-19. efficacy, science-backed clinical positioning and affordability will be common themes in beauty-facing categories (like skin care) but also in personal care, especially bath and shower, and oral care.
As more shoppers rely on digital for beauty purchases globally, the desire to find and use beauty products that suit individuals’ needs will grow. Personalisation will be more common in super-premium and premium segments.
Consumer priorities around physical and emotional health are creating demand for simplicity, creating opportunities for brands that adopt a no-frills approach with simple messaging and safe formulations, alongside those with science-backed credentials and proven efficacy.
Players that rode that omnichannel wave during the e-commerce acceleration benefited greatly in 2020, suggesting that the next playing field of competition will be to create “phygital” spaces that allow beauty consumers to digitally interact with each other and with brands.
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