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11/19/2021

How to attract online health and beauty shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Health and beauty shoppers are going online in large numbers.

A new survey reveals high levels of online shopping among health and personal care and beauty shoppers, and reveals what drives their purchases.

According to a survey of beauty and health and personal care shoppers from e-commerce optimization platform Ideoclick 67% of surveyed beauty consumers and 80% of surveyed health and personal care consumers shopped online for these products in the past year. Ideoclick research also found that over half of surveyed consumers (56%) plan on spending more on beauty in preparation for upcoming holiday gatherings, while four in 10 surveyed consumers working fully in-person expect to shop for beauty products more frequently over the next three months due to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey also identified that social advertising is positively influencing purchasing habits for these products, and consumers are seeking advice primarily from online reviews, influencers, and product pages. Still, data shows that few consumers are making direct purchases of beauty, health & personal care products online:

  • 41% of beauty consumers and 33% of health & personal care consumers said they were more likely to make a purchase because of ads seen on social media platforms.
  • Beauty product consumers primarily get advice from online reviews (39%) and social media/online influencers (23%). Only 19% said they primarily get advice from in-store associates (19%).
  • Health & personal care product consumers primarily get advice from online reviews (42%) and online retail product pages (22%). Only 20% cited in-store associates.
  • Only 7% of beauty consumers and 5% of health & personal care consumers said social media is their preferred e-commerce platform for buying these products.

[Read more: Survey reveals how customers make online product decisions]

Ideoclick’s survey also found that over half of surveyed consumers are concerned about lookalike/counterfeit beauty, health and personal care products when shopping online. As a result, nearly half of respondents turn to and trust online reviews of these products, with 54% of surveyed online health & personal care consumers saying they are either concerned (35%) or very concerned (19%) about lookalike/counterfeit items.

Similarly, 52% of online beauty product consumers are either concerned (32%) or very concerned (20%) about lookalike/counterfeit items. Almost half (49%) of beauty product consumers and 42% of health & personal care product consumers say they have a somewhat high or very high level of trust online reviews for these products.

“Consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online for items traditionally purchased in-store, such as makeup, medicines, and hair care,” said Ben Winters, COO, Ideoclick. “However, with increased opportunities offered by e-commerce comes increased competition from other brands. Beauty, health and personal care brands need to know who their true competitors are and understand how consumers search for products online as opposed to in-store. For example, Amazon is search-based, meaning brands must focus on keywords relevant to their target audience to make products stand out.”

Ideoclick collected responses via a third-party provider from over 2,000 U.S.-based consumers who have shopped online for beauty products (e.g., makeup, nail polish, etc.) and health and personal care products (e.g., cold and flu medicine, supplements, etc.) in the past year to determine the findings of the research. The survey was conducted between Sep. 20-22, 2021.