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Exclusive Preview: How Women are Changing the Face of the Premium Beauty Industry

The Premium Beauty Industry is going through a period of immense change, much of it to do with women’s purchasing and usage habits.

Exclusive consumer research from this year’s Premium Market Report confirms 3 key trends impacting the way brands and retailers do business:

1. Competition is intense, not just from rival premium brands, but the growing number of cheaper, even budget brands.

It would be easy for premium brands to sit back and enjoy the high levels of loyalty they have for certain products. But the reality is women are as happy to use a £5 lipstick from stylish Italian make-up brand Kiko as they are to splash out £29.50 on Lancôme’s latest state-of-the-art cushion foundation.

The consumer research highlights just how big a problem this might be.

2. Opportunities to purchase beauty are greater than ever due to new beauty retailers and the countless ways consumers can buy online.

Premium beauty retailers can relax in the knowledge that many women prefer to go the shops where they can physically see and try out products.

The advent of new beauty retailers M&S Beauty and Superdrug’s concept Beauty Store in Cardiff means that there are premium beauty is becoming democratised and is available in more places than every before.

But what about online?

Our research confirms that only a very small percentage of women prefer to buy premium beauty and fragrance products online.

Women will use their smartphones to browse products and check out prices (often whilst out shopping), but nothing beats going into the store to buy the product.

3. Two important demographic groups are emerging, but are premium brands and retailers doing enough to cater to their needs?

Millennials

Young people aged 15-30, dubbed millennials, are a key demographic group that is catching the eye of marketers because of the way they consume information. These young people have never known a world without technology, social media, “selfies” and photo sharing which are an integral part of their lives.

Recent research studies show that millennials do not trust brands or advertising and are more likely to buy products recommended by their friends.

But just how likely are they to browse websites before buying premium beauty products?

How likely are they to try a product recommended online?

Are they responsible for the rise in “showrooming”?

Women over 50

At the other end of the demographic spectrum are older women whose needs are often ignored by beauty companies.

Exclusive research for IMA’s Older Women in Beauty: The Golden Opportunity, showed that although the majority of women over 45 enjoy going to the shops for beauty products, a third said there were not enough sales assistants their age and that young sales assistants don’t understand their needs.

Latest research for the Premium Market Report delves further and discovers just how likely older women are to go into shops and ask for advice.

Are they any different to millennials when it comes to browsing for information online?

The answers to the above are all revealed in this year’s Premium Market Report 2015, which publishes in April: keep reading the blogs for further details.

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