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Global Beauty Industry Trends 2011

By: Carrie Lennard
Posted: August 1, 2011, from the August 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Although department stores performed marginally better during the previous year, Internet retail managed to achieve stronger absolute value growth to reach total beauty sales of just more than $11 billion in 2010. With e-tailers expanding their product ranges, including beauty, through acquisitions and product-specific landing pages, pressure on store- and spa-based retailers will only intensify.

As consumers continue to rely on the ease of online shopping, skin care facilities and suppliers alike are looking to hone their Internet strategies to create a highly competitive non-store beauty market. The key draw of online beauty shopping for consumers remains price. Typical consumers who buy online already know which products they would like because they are satisfied with the quality from previous usage or have tried the product “off-line” and are purchasing it online due to better prices.

As technology and Internet penetration advance, the beauty industry continues to adapt new strategies to interact with consumers in a more experiential way, both virtually and in-spa. This is happening through social media interaction sites such as Facebook and blog websites, online makeup tutorials and smartphone applications. Competition with both online retailers and mass market venues is nothing new to the professional skin care industry; however, this trend indicates the competition is not dying down or going away. Make sure that you work to have competitive pricing and offer other VIP incentives to ensure your clients are spending their money at your facility and not elsewhere. Also, make shopping with your skin care facility as easy as possible by considering expanding your website to offer online shopping if you feel your business would benefit. Approach retail with an open mind and work to always meet the needs of clients and consumers.

4. Conscientious beauty

Naturally positioned, organic and fair-trade beauty products are rapidly moving from niche to mainstream status. This trend is evident both from the transition of such products being sold at specialty outlets to more mainstream stores, such as supermarkets and drugstores, and also from the many beauty companies addressing the demand for beauty innovations that have both a minimal effect on the environment and offer results comparable to standard brands. Changes are also taking place in the regulation of organic beauty in order to help consumers distinguish between the wealth of products available. The European-wide Cosmos standard was introduced in February 2011 and is expected to see a move toward a more harmonized standard in organic cosmetics.

5. High-tech developments

Beauty is continuing its quest for scientifically and technologically advanced formulations, with high-tech innovations being seen throughout the entire beauty spectrum. This has been particularly the case in skin care, where innovations based on genomics, involving the study of a particular string of genes responsible for aging and how those express themselves throughout time, have been prevalent. There is an increasing focus on providing similar scientifically advanced innovations in ingredients, both at the upper and lower end of the price spectrum. Color cosmetics have seen a number of innovations that increasingly offer high-tech skin care benefits or a professional-looking finish. Also, the 2009 launch of a prescription treatment to grow eyelashes has created a completely new category for nonprescription eyelash growth products. As a result, many major beauty companies have recently come up with innovations in this area.

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