Mass retailers still rank as the No. 1 destination for shoppers to buy beauty products, according to an ongoing shopper behavior study by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research. In total, 42.5 percent of beauty shoppers go to a mass retailer for a purchase, a slight decrease from 43.7 percent in 2014, but still the top destination.
"The popularity of this channel is most likely due to the variety of product assortment as well as price points provided by mass beauty," said Craig Elston, exec-VP of insight and strategy at The Integer Group. "Beauty is a category that is personal and fun and comes with an expectation from shoppers that there is an experience that goes along with it."
However, shoppers still continue to hit department stores to seek out upscale beauty experiences. Chains such as Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) and Macy's (NYSE:M) saw the largest increase in shoppers looking for their beauty needs. Why a department store? The products are still perceived to be higher quality than at mass retailers and consumers get to try the items on before making a purchase.
While not a lot of shoppers conduct online research to find the best beauty products, those who do look to search engines. Women, who conduct most online research, also look at retailer websites, brand websites and beauty blogs. Men that conduct research turn to brand websites or magazines. Social media remains the least used source for research in beauty products.
The percentage of consumers who bought beauty products on Amazon nearly doubled in 2014. Online is becoming an increasingly popular channel for beauty products, and many newcomers have joined the segment in the past few years. For instance, Style.com recently become the new home to Condé Nast's new e-commerce business, which sells beauty, apparel and other fashion. And the growth in e-commerce also includes the rise of subscription-based beauty shopping with brands such as Birchbox.
-See this The Integer Group press release
Target, CVS partnership signals strategic shift
Birchbox members boost sales of other beauty retailers
Target to go mad for plaid come fall
Bluemercury growing and rejuvenating Macy's cosmetics
Sally Beauty confirms data breach