The beauty industry seems to be the one that has been hit the most by the economic impact of the virus.
While before it was estimated that, according to German online portal for statistics, its market value was projected to grow by 20.1 billion U.S. dollars between 2014 and 2019, as reported by WWD, between Feb. 24 and 28, sales in Italy declined 1.3 per cent versus the former week, while, between March 2 and 6, sales were down 0.4 per cent.
Beauty retailers, salons and beauty parlours are the ones who have suffered the most, as shops all globally started shutting down starting from February and are seeing more than 50% decrease in bookings.
Not all seems to be lost though, as Statista also reported that for the four weeks ended March 14, 2020, the value of skincare products sold on Amazon rose by eight per cent compared to the four week period ended on February 15, 2020.
Undoubtedly, digitally native brands have a leg up in comparison to their salon based counterparts, as according to a survey by Statista, 62% of Chinese consumers and 44% of American consumers started shopping online more since the end of February.
A series of trends started to emerge, one of which is, of course, the monetisation of social media in order to boost sales and engage with consumers directly.
Roshida Kanom, Associate Director for Mintel Beauty & Personal Care of Mintel, predicted that beauty treatments that can be done at home would be seeing a boost, as use of intense conditioning treatments, face masks and products that boost emotional wellbeing could see a rise as consumers look to home treatments for a pick-me-up.
In point of fact, many brands are using Instagram and its Live feature in order to attract more consumers and push them to buy more products online.
American modern haircare brand Act and Acre started doing live streamings with hair care experts discussing how to take care of hair at home every day at 1 pm (EST). The brand also created an online initiative pushing its followers to repost an image as many times as possible, in order to donate $1 each time the image would be reposted to the Class Act program, as 100% of proceeds would then go to hairstylists who have been suffering the most from this crisis.
Millennial beauty brand Glossier, which shut their stores earlier in March, officially launched a pilot of Glossier Live Edit yesterday, a new video chat program where you can connect virtually with a Glossier team member (AKA a Live Editor) for your very own, 1-to-1 Top Shelf treatment. The pilot is a personal show-and-tell routine where customers can ask beauty questions (about Glossier and beyond) and share products they’re loving. The live pilot has had such positive feedback that it is currently fully booked.
Facialists are also finding ways to connect virtually with their clients. For example, celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas and her team are just one of the teams on Instagram offering various services via the web. One of the offers is, case in point, a 30 minute one to one video consultation with an esthetician from the team while they are working from home.
While virtual beauty will for sure play an important role in helping the industry pick itself up from this crisis, one of the trends that seem to be emerging from this crisis is the prioritisation of clean beauty. According to Clare Hennigan, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, “COVID-19 will be a catalyst for the clean, as consumers will be more willing to accept the natural ingredients as long as brands provide evidence of efficacy and safety, both from a health and environmental perspective.”
The brands that will be rewarded and will emerge from this crisis stronger will be able to demonstrate their dependability, transparency and willingness to take action to ensure product safety will be rewarded by consumers.