BEAUTY CARE

Hot Concepts: Sephora Goes Big in Digital

BY Antoinette Alexander

Striving to be a digital leader in beauty retail, Sephora is feverishly developing new technologies. Among the most recent developments are:

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  • Beacons: Sephora will be using Beacons in stores to deliver timely, personalized alerts to clients who opt-in. Shoppers can receive birthday alerts, loyalty program updates and be notified when new trainings are happening in-store.
  • Pocket Contour: Sephora will be releasing a new digital experience in partnership with Map My Beauty, the first-of-its-kind cross-platform personal virtual makeup artist application, that takes the mystery out of contouring, a growing consumer trend in beauty. By analyzing a user’s photo on mobile, the app helps identify face-shape, and provides personalized step-by-step guidance on how to apply makeup for the perfect contoured look.
  • Augmented Reality: The beauty retailer has created its first augmented reality experience via the Sephora-To-Go mobile app for iPhone. Launching in April, customers can engage with custom content by hovering over nine brand founder faces — such as Josie Maran, Laura Mercier, Kat Von D — featured in the Sephora windows and display cases. Scanning each image will show such content options as brand founder interviews, product videos, animated GIFs, YouTube playlists and product pages on Sephora.com, all without leaving the app.
  • Sephora Flash: Sephora Flash allows customers free two-day shipping on all products. Flash is free for Rouge Beauty Insider members, and $10 a year for all non-Rouge members.

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BEAUTY CARE

Seasonality trends shaping future of personal care market

BY Antoinette Alexander

‘Tis the season to be — beautiful.

It is no secret that the change of seasons gives manufacturers reason to introduce colors or scents but, according to Mintel Beauty & Personal Care, there’s a much larger beauty trend at play. Enter seasonality.

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Seasonal products — innovative products that offer defense against the cosmetic and emotional effects of specific weather conditions — accounted for as many as 11.1% of all beauty and personal care launches in 2014, up from 9.8% in 2011, according to Mintel. What’s more, seasonal facial skin care launches rose from 0.5% of global launches in 2009 to 1.2% in 2014.

“Our research shows that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of — and concerned about — how changes in the environment are affecting the condition of their skin and hair. Already, beauty manufacturers have started to go beyond taking simple seasonal approaches geared to public holidays or gifting occasions and instead are taking on the elements within their product innovation,” stated Jane Henderson, global president of Mintel’s Beauty and Personal Care Division at Mintel.

As noted by researchers, the seasonality trend is looking to shape the future of the personal care market. For example, nearly half of U.S. sun care users expressed interest in gradual tanning body washes. And of the soap, bath and shower product users in the United States, some 79% of women and 60% of men would be interested in intensive moisturizing products that can be used once or twice a week.

Researchers also noted that fragrance, in particular, is well positioned to develop products that appeal to the altered emotional needs of consumers as the seasons change (think seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues). According to the data, two-thirds of U.S. fragrance users would be interested in scents that influence their mood or relieve stress, and nearly one-quarter would pay more for them. In fact, 36% of French fragrance users change their fragrance according to the season.

Going forward, Mintel believes that the seasonal approach will impact global launch programs and will extend to ingredients harvested at the most opportune time, while seasonal boosters and complementary teas and tonics will join the mainstream.

In addition, beauty companies will need to work harder than ever to show consumers that they can provide products that will be relevant throughout the year, stated Mintel, as the trend promotes a willingness to change products to suit the season, fraying ties of loyalty between the consumer and the brand.

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Consumer preference for natural, organic boosts sales growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

Move over nature-inspired products. Consumer demand for products with truly natural ingredients is heating up — fast.

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While products formulated with a high proportion of synthetic ingredients dominate the global natural personal care market — accounting for nearly 75% of the total market share in 2014 — truly natural positioning is gaining importance with consumers, manufacturers and retailers, according to global consulting and research firm Kline & Co.

Sales of the global natural personal care market increased by nearly 10% in 2014, Kline & Co. noted.

Responding to the trend, suppliers have increasingly been reformulating with a higher proportion of truly natural ingredients in their products. They also are becoming more transparent in their communication about the quality level of ingredients, certification and the company’s values.

“These reformulations are the next natural step for companies aiming to establish strong natural concepts with high importance given to the trust between the brand and the consumers. Moving upward in the natural ratings is a great way for natural brands to gain acceptance from a larger consumer base in the mid-to long-term,” said Agnieszka Saintemarie, project manager, consumer products at Kline & Co., when announcing the findings.

Meanwhile, James Russo, Nielsen’s SVP global consumer insights, stated during the recent “The Beauty of Creativity” webinar that natural and organic beauty products have experienced a four-year compound average growth rate of 24%. That’s pretty impressive when you compare it with total U.S. beauty, which posted a four-year compound average growth rate of just 2.7%.

And that this isn’t just a beauty dynamic — it’s a consumer dynamic that is playing out across all categories.

Further underscoring the point, Target executives stated during the company’s fourth-quarter conference call in February that nearly every household that shops at Target buys natural and organic products, and more than half of them indicate that they’d prefer to purchase natural and organic products when available. While overall sales in the natural and organic space are rapidly growing, Target executives said that in-store sales of such products are growing even faster — outpacing the industry by 50% in 2014.

Executives said that its “Made to Matter — Handpicked by Target” collection of natural, organic and sustainable brands remains one of the greatest examples of Target’s focus on wellness. In 2014, sales of the brands within the Made to Matter collection grew twice as fast at Target compared with elsewhere in the market, according to executives. Looking to 2015, Target will unveil a refreshed “Made to Matter — Handpicked by Target” collection, which will double in size compared with last year to offer more than 200 new and exclusive products from 31 brands.

While natural and organic products are often pricier, consumers are proving they are willing to invest, according to Kline & Co. — if the products deliver effective results.

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