The COVID-19 crisis has shaken the global beauty industry, consisting of skincare, colour cosmetics, hair, fragrances, and personal care. Store closures across the world have been widespread, and as a result, sales have been weak.
However, with cosmetic manufacturers converting their business to produce hand sanitisers and cleaning agents and providing free beauty services for frontline response staff, the industry has reacted positively to the crisis.
The beauty industry leaders must do their utmost to ensure that the business survives during these trying times.
Before the pandemic struck, the beauty industry has been one that depended mostly on in-store sales. Because of COVID-19, the closure of stores selling beauty products led to the loss of about 30% of the market. Even the increase in 20% to 30% of online sales will not compensate for a shortfall from in-store sales.
Besides, the types of beauty products that are being marketed are evolving across several brands. Since social distancing has become the new standard, fragrances and cosmetics sales are seeing a steep decline. Conversely, products that can be used for self-care and pampering at homes such as skincare, haircare, nail care and bath products, see increased sales.
The expectation of people wearing masks even when the lockdowns are lifted has seen the rise in mask makeup. Asian beauty trends that are more accustomed to routinely wearing face masks, such as point makeup, are predicted to grow in popularity.
Mintel predicts that as wearing masks becomes a routine, macro-categories of colour cosmetics, such as concealer or eye makeup (eyeshadow, eyeliner & mascara), will increase. Mintel advises that base makeup formulators ensure that their products can withstand the wearing of masks.
Even more encouraging, the hair cosmetics and beauty experts have developed innovative ways to serve their clients during the pandemic. It shows the industry’s willingness to adapt, from selling custom DIY hair and nail colour kits and telephone consultations to running interactive tutorials, taking a traditionally “non-digital” product and leveraging technology to establish communication with consumers.
Although these may not work in the long term, they have made it possible for customers to achieve a reasonable finish at home, escape potential damage, and find ways to continue serving their clients.
Salons may consider making cosmetic OEM products, which could be distributed nationwide and expand their company outside their local community, for a more permanent revenue stream.
The future of the beauty industry may appear unpredictable for the time being. Still, it has proven to be a rather durable industry in the past, with the industry recovering faster than others.
There is no doubt that this creative industry will find its footing again, but it will take time as business strategies and procedures performed well before will have to adapt to the new normal, possibly forever.
The age of the walk-in consultation, for instance, is likely to be a thing of the past, which would especially entail a massive adjustment from cosmeticians. Pricing would also need to be monitored carefully, as with additional cleaning supplies and PPE needed, the cost of business may likely increase.
There are opportunities to be explored since the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a fundamental impact on the global cosmetics industry. It is a chance to show the industry’s creativity by responding rapidly to emerging demands and trends. Along with the popularity of Asian beauty trends, eCommerce’s growth for beauty products is projected to continue to grow.
With beauty already considered an important part of women’s well-being (and some men), despite the previous year shaping up as one of the toughest years ever experienced, the beauty industry is projected to stay lucrative in the long run.