The beauty and personal care industry is ever evolving, with new and innovative trends saturating the market each year. K-Beauty, for example, continues to see immense growth; its youthful aesthetic and unique ingredients fascinates consumers. Retail collaborations and an expanding omnichannel presence maintain prominence with direct-to-consumer alternatives. Partnerships like Ulta Beauty at Target and Sephora at Kohl’s work to meet consumers where they are and are changing the beauty purchasing landscape.
Social selling is also a way beauty brands approach consumers, with platforms like TikTok acting as a catalyst for direct sales. And, above all, consumers are still seeking sustainability and transparency from beauty brands. From recycled packaging to eco-friendly ingredients, there is a heightened desire amongst consumers for environmental commitments by brands. While several of these beauty and personal trends are not new, they have evolved, and we expect them to continue to do so in the coming year.
K-Beauty continues to expand into the West
The K-Beauty movement continues to expand westward, projected to reach a market value of $13.9 billion by 2027. Consumers display a constant fascination with K-Beauty due to the movement’s innovative and unique approaches toward the beauty industry. K-Beauty provides consumers with a natural, minimal, and youthful aesthetic, one that continues to take a stronger hold in the United States. The focus of K-Beauty begins with skincare. The movement promotes healthy and clear skin before you even put on makeup. In order to feed into this look, the industry divulges in thorough research and testing when creating its products. This emphasis on pure and natural makeup products ensures that the main goal of clear skin is maintained.
South Korea is one of the leading cosmetic exporters in the world, which aids in its global growth and expansion. While making its way West, K-Beauty has engaged in strategic digital marketing efforts through social media platforms. These tactics work to reach influencers, bloggers, and journalists alike and create buzz surrounding its products. While its marketing efforts aid in boosting brand and product awareness, its innovative and unique ingredients, like snail slime and bee venom, aid in the general consumer fascination. K-Beauty’s one-of-a-kind approach toward the beauty industry helps set it apart from other products and brands, while enticing consumers to use its novel products.
Brands announce retail collaborations to enhance consumer experiences through an omnichannel presence
Amid the pandemic, we saw a spike in eCommerce, and now omnichannel experiences are here to stay. While online shopping and digital consumption continue to grow, retail brands are working to meet the customer where they are when they go in-store. With DTC and retail collaborations on the rise, brands work to meet consumers where they are. In meeting these evolving consumer needs, retail collaborations help highlight the evolution of the omnichannel experience.
Partnerships and collaborations work to incentivize consumers to get back into the store, as seen with Ulta Beauty at Target and Sephora at Kohl’s. Ulta Beauty at Target, announced on November 10, 2020, debuted at more than 100 Target stores and online in 2021. With hundreds of classic, well-known Ulta brands, this “shop” was set up right next to the Target beauty section. Similarly, Sephora at Kohl’s was announced on December 1, 2020. This collaboration features more than 100 Sephora-sold brands. It launched at 200 locations and online by fall 2021, with a goal of 850+ locations by 2023. This “store-in-a-store” concept boosts brand awareness while enhancing convenience. Not only is it more accessible and less expensive, but consumers are provided with a greater sense of connectedness while having control over their own experience.
Social selling and increased personalization capitalize on new consumers
As digitalization continues to take hold of the beauty industry, so does the desire for personalization. With more consumers embracing their own identity and uniqueness, they expect brands to cater to their individuality. Beauty brands must alter their consumer experiences, create variety in products, and heighten personalization to meet their consumers’ changing needs.
One example of this seen by beauty brands is social selling. Brands like The Ordinary, E.l.f., and Fenty Beauty leverage social media platforms to infiltrate new consumers in growing markets. TikTok, in particular, has sparked substantial growth amongst beauty brands. Now, 52% of users say they discover new products on TikTok.
With the help of influencers, products that go viral can sell out in minutes. Consumers increasingly trust influencers who are honest and relatable for their beauty product needs. So, creating effective and beneficial products is only half of the equation. Social media platforms can also be used to promote new products by brands directly, while providing consumers with a convenient and seamless way to shop. Social selling, along with personalization, provides consumers with a new way to meeting their beauty wants and needs.
Consumers continue to gravitate toward sustainable & transparent Brands
In recent years, consumers have increasingly desired sustainable practices in nearly all aspects of their lives. In the beauty and personal care industry in particular, consumers are gravitating toward sustainable and transparent brands. The beauty and personal care industry generates 120 billion packaging units per year, 91% of which are never recycled. The consumer expectation for sustainability and transparency goes further than packaging, and includes product ingredients, production practices, and overall brand commitment to the environment.
A new movement, known as condensed beauty, is an example of the evolution of beauty sustainability. This movement pushes brands to find new, innovative methods to improve their products while reducing waste. Beauty brands show their commitment through pledging carbon neutrality, using biosynthetic materials, and creating recycled or reusable packaging.
Estée Lauder, for example, is one brand making strides toward a sustainable future. The brand upholds various commitments to bettering their environmental footprint, like aiming to have 75-100% of packaging be recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled, or recoverable by 2025. By November of 2021, the beauty giant announced its partnership with Pulpex, a renewable packaging company. Pulpex uses FSC-certified renewable pulp to create recyclable bottles, and Estée Lauder hopes to utilize this packaging across its portfolio in the coming years.
The beauty and personal care industry will see the evolution of various trends in 2022. K-Beauty will continue its growth in the West, with its skincare-first aesthetic and innovative ingredients. Retail partnerships and omnichannel alternatives will work to meet consumers where they are, with store-in-a-store models like Ulta Beauty at Target. Social selling will also provide new DTC options, with influencers and platforms like TikTok and Instagram working to sell products directly from the app. With the changing purchasing landscape, consumers continue to pursue brands with sustainability and transparency commitments from product packaging to carbon footprint. We expect these trends to guide the beauty and personal care industry in the coming year.