What do Beauty Consumers Really Want from Digital?


YouTube is fast becoming the go-to channel for consumers looking for make-up advice and product information.

It’s also one of the biggest forces in changing beauty today and its influence stretches across the world, according to Aileen Dalisay, CPG Lead, Luxury, Health & Beauty, Google.

YouTube is definitely important, but not the whole story.In this year’s new Ominchannel Report, we examine the impact of social media channels, including YouTube, on women’s beauty buying behaviour.

The results were surprising.First, let’s put YouTube’s success into context with some stats from Google, which recently partnered CEW (UK) for a Beauty Breakfast event at its new London headquarters.

  • You Tube has 1.3bn beauty views annually

  • 65% of beauty views are in make-up

  • UK content is powering up the rest of the world

  • Tutorials are the biggest element of beauty views -confirming that women need help when they don’t know how to apply make-up

  • Fragrance views are much lower - but consumer engagement is the highest of any beauty category.

How important is YouTube for beauty brands?

Exclusive research for the Omnichannel report shows that YouTube is in fact only the 7th place that women go to online to find out about beauty products.

Amongst the other online destinations for beauty information are brand websites, amazon, online retailers and Google searches.

Many routes to finding beauty information are relatively new, but are rapidly expanding as more consumers increasingly turn to social media.

In Aileen’s YouTube presentation, she described the enormous impact of vloggers, such as Tanya Burr and Michelle Phan, the new breed of celebrity who have become multi million pound brands in their own right. According to Aileen, the reason for their success is that consumers are: “turning to authentic voices in the beauty world.”

In the Omnichannel Report, we dig deeper and discuss the impact of the new “micro influencers”. These are often individuals who are known to a relatively few number of beauty consumers, but their opinions on beauty products hold enormous sway. These are the influencers beauty brands should be seeking out.

Understanding Your Digital Beauty Consumer

Any beauty brand serious about developing an omnichannel strategy needs to have a strong understanding of where its customers are currently shopping and what motivates them to buy from one channel and not another.

Consider the following research findings from The Omnichannel Report:

  1. Beauty blogs do not carry as much clout as amazon - our research shows that more women go to look for beauty product information on amazon than from blogs. Yet amazon has yet to crack online beauty.

  2. Microinfluencers play a crucial role for premium beauty brands - by offering brands a more idiosyncratic consumer touchpoint. These influencers do not have masses of followers, but what they say is being listened to.

  3. Most beauty retailers focus on selling product from static websites - most have failed to keep up with fast-moving technology and the desires of the beauty consumer. Some of the most impressive digital developments are actually happening in-store.

Two Key Demographics: What is Your Strategy?

Perhaps it is no surprise that the most digitally-engaged beauty consumers are the all-important millennials, aged 18-25. They are the group most like to flit back and forth between retail and online until they are satisfied they have found the right product to purchase in the right place.

Yet Millennials can prove to be the hardest demographic to satisfy. Key to reaching them is to provide a seamless and frictionless beauty experience across each consumer touchpoint.

Women over 55 are the second biggest demographic for beauty. They have the purchasing power and are passionate about skincare and make-up.Research for The Omnichannel Report shows that older women are currently not as interested in social media or as active online as millennials, Their preferred method of purchasing beauty is from shops where they see and try out products.

This is not to say they won’t change in the future. Beauty brands should be preparing to find ways of digitally engaging the over 55s in a meaningful way.

The Ominchannel Report, written in partnership with Pegasus, is the 3rd in the Premium Market Report series of in-depth studies.

This important new report takes a deep dive into the issues affecting beauty brands and retailers operating in an omnichannel environment.

The Omnichannel Report is available now priced £549 + VAT. To get a more detailed overview of what's in it, click here.