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Learning 2 Visions Scale Business

2024 Personal Care & Beauty Ecommerce Market Research Report

US Shoppers Consumer Research

Yates Jarvis

Key Findings

  • Gen Z Emphasizes Quick Access Over Price or Selection: Despite digital savviness, 19.44% of Gen Z values the need to get Personal Care and Beauty products quickly, ranking higher than their emphasis on price or selection.
  • High-Income Shoppers Less Motivated by Sales: Only 33.33% of shoppers with a household income above $100k are swayed by deals/promotions/sales, suggesting that this group prioritizes factors other than discounts.
  • Subscription Services Underutilized Among Affluent Shoppers: Despite having the means, high-income earners (HHI > $100k) show similar subscription/auto-shipping rates (11.11%) as the general population, indicating untapped potential in this segment.
  • Midwest Shoppers Seek Convenience but Not Subscriptions: 60.71% of Midwesterners value saving time/convenience, yet only 10.71% opt for subscription/auto-shipping, revealing a preference for traditional shopping modes despite convenience value.
  • In-Store Buyers Also Value Online Research: 23.58% of primarily in-store buyers still prioritize the ability to research/compare online, highlighting the importance of accessible product information across shopping channels.
  • High Income Shoppers Value Same-Day Availability More Than Discounts: Shoppers with HHI > $100k prioritize need it same-day (66.67%) over deals/promotions/sales, suggesting that time is more valuable than savings for this segment.
  • Online Buyers Still Value In-Person Comparison and Advice: 40.00% of primarily online buyers appreciate comparing items in-person and getting help/advice from store staff, underscoring the hybrid nature of consumer shopping preferences and the importance of maintaining high-quality in-store experiences even for digitally inclined customers.
  • Gen Z’s Loyalty Influenced More by Local Ownership Than Deals: Unlike the broader trend towards price sensitivity, 11.11% of Gen Z shoppers prioritize local ownership, emphasizing a unique loyalty driver in this demographic.

Methodology Summary

The methodology employed by 2 Visions, a renowned consulting and research firm in ecommerce and consumer behavior analysis, ensured a rigorous approach to capturing current trends in personal care and beauty shopping. Conducted nationally from February to April 2024 with 2,259 American participants, representing diverse generational cohorts and evenly distributed across U.S. regions, the study’s participant selection and wide geographical coverage enhance its credibility. This study boasts a 5.93% margin of error at a 95% confidence level, providing high-trust insights for strategic decision-making in the ecommerce sector.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction

As the retail landscape continues to undergo rapid evolution, driven by shifting consumer behaviors and technological advancements, this report delves into the intricacies of how people discover, shop, and remain loyal to brands within the personal care and beauty products sector. By dissecting data across various demographics, this document reveals emerging trends that not only define the current market but also forecast coming shifts. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for any stakeholder aiming to stay relevant and competitive in this vibrant industry.

This report serves as a comprehensive guide, illuminating the preferences and behaviors that distinguish today’s consumers. From the digital native Gen Z, who balances online savvy with a surprising preference for in-store experiences, to high-income groups who eschew traditional sales for value-added services, the insights provided here are instrumental. The findings aim to educate brands on the vital elements of customer engagement and retention, highlighting particularly influential factors such as convenience, price sensitivity, and the increasing importance of experiential retailing.

For businesses looking to harness this wealth of information, this report offers actionable intelligence. By navigating through its pages, leaders and decision-makers will gain a nuanced understanding of the forces at play in the personal care and beauty landscape. Use these insights to refine marketing strategies, optimize customer outreach, and ultimately, build a stronger, more loyal customer base in an era where consumer preferences are continually evolving.

In-Store vs Online

The landscape of personal care and beauty product shopping is undergoing a transformative shift, illuminated by our extensive analysis spanning generational hesitance, e-commerce’s broad appeal, and the nuanced preferences that define today’s consumer behavior. Our findings reveal a complex web of factors influencing purchasing decisions, from Gen Z’s notable hesitance and the universal appeal of e-commerce platforms across income brackets to the impact of homeownership and regional differences on consumer behavior. This comprehensive overview not only highlights the dynamic nature of the market but also underscores the need for brands to adopt a multifaceted approach to meet the evolving demands of their diverse customer base.

Unveiling Shopping Behaviors: From Gen Z’s Reluctance to Regional Preferences

A Deep Dive into the Dynamics Shaping Personal Care and Beauty Product Purchases

  • Gen Z shows notable hesitance in purchasing Personal Care and Beauty products. Only 80.56% of Gen Z reported making a purchase in the past two years, the lowest among generations.
  • E-commerce platforms have nearly universal appeal across income brackets. Over 93% of participants in all income brackets made purchases, indicating broad appeal.
  • Female participants lead in purchase rates, showcasing high engagement. An impressive 96.46% of female participants made purchases, slightly higher than their male counterparts at 88.46%.
  • Homeownership appears to correlate with a higher propensity to purchase. Homeowners reported a higher purchase rate at 96.61% compared to renters at 90%.
  • Regional differences suggest targeted marketing could be effective. The South showed the highest purchase rate at 97.53%, indicating regional preferences or access variations.

The Intricacies of Gift-Giving: Navigating the Personal Care and Beauty Terrain

Exploring the Impact of Income, Gender, and Region on Purchase Intentions

  • High-income earners opt for dual purposes.59% of those with HHI ≥ $100k bought Personal Care and Beauty products for both themselves and as gifts.
  • Gen Z values self-care and sharing equally. Almost half of Gen Z (44.83%) purchase these products for both personal use and gifting, indicating a balanced consumer behavior.
  • Gifting is not the primary motive for most. Across all segments, the majority purchase Personal Care and Beauty products for themselves, with 59.18% overall focusing on personal use.
  • Men more likely to buy for others and themselves.30% of male participants bought for both uses, suggesting a significant trend toward thoughtful purchasing among men.
  • Regional preferences highlight Northeast’s unique gifting culture. The Northeast stands out with 8.57% buying only as gifts, suggesting regional variations in purchasing behaviors.

 

Unveiling Consumer Openness to Personal Care Products

Generational Dynamics, Regional Preferences, and Homeownership Influence on Purchasing Intentions

  • High willingness across generations to purchase. Gen X shows the highest openness at 96.97%, indicating broad market potential.
  • Northeast shows unique caution. The Northeast region has the lowest openness at 81.58%, suggesting regional variations in purchasing enthusiasm.
  • Ownership increases purchasing openness.92% of homeowners are open to buying, pointing to stability as a factor in consumer behavior.
  • Millennials are more cautious than expected. Their openness at 86.81% challenges the stereotype of impulsive spending in younger demographics.
  • The South leads in readiness to purchase. With a 96.30% affirmation rate, the South shows a significant eagerness for upcoming purchases, indicating a key market for targeted campaigns.

The Rise of Omnichannel Shopping Preferences

Analyzing the Shift Toward Hybrid Retail Experiences Among Different Demographics

  • Hybrid shopping is the dominant trend. Over 49% of consumers prefer buying both online and in-store, emphasizing the importance of an omnichannel strategy.
  • Younger consumers lean more towards in-store. Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z has the highest percentage (52.78%) preferring in-store purchases, highlighting a need for engaging physical retail experiences.
  • High-income earners embrace both channels. Those with HHI > $100k show a significant lean towards both online and in-store (55.56%), suggesting they value convenience and experience equally.
  • Females show a greater inclination towards hybrid shopping. 21% of female shoppers buy both online and in-store, indicating a nuanced approach to purchasing personal care and beauty products.
  • Millennials are the most flexible shoppers. 24% of Millennials buy both online and in-store, the highest among all generations, pointing towards the value they place on both convenience and experience.

Dynamics of Online and In-Store Shopping Behaviors

Income, Gender, and Housing Impact on Retail Preferences

  • Higher online purchases in higher income brackets. ouseholds earning over $100k purchase 43.06% of Personal Care and Beauty products online, the highest among income segments.
  • Gen Z leads in online shopping for personal care. Gen Z shoppers make 39.31% of their Personal Care and Beauty purchases online, indicating a trend towards digital platforms.
  • Renters are more inclined towards in-store purchases. Participants who rent their residence make 68.10% of their purchases in-store, the most among housing segments.
  • Regional differences highlight varied shopping preferences. The Northeast shows a preference for online shopping with 41.08% of purchases made online, the highest among regions.
  • Male and female shopping patterns for personal care diverge slightly. Female shoppers make slightly more of their purchases online (36.07%) compared to males (38.88%), suggesting nuanced market strategies.

Consumer Preferences on Product Variety

Regional, Income, and Gender Divergences in Desired Selection

  • Midwest consumers express highest concern over too many options. 71% of Midwest participants believe a store can offer too many Personal Care and Beauty options, the highest regional concern.
  • Affluent shoppers prefer variety, not curation. A larger percentage (61.11%) of shoppers with a household income above $100k appreciate a wider selection of options, indicating a preference for variety over curation.
  • Male and female perceptions on choice vary. A slight majority of males (52.88%) think there can be too many options, compared to 46.02% of females.
  • Ownership status influences preference for variety. Homeowners are more likely (54.24%) to believe in excessive product options than renters (50.00%).
  • The West appreciates breadth in options. Only 30.95% of consumers in the West feel there are too many options, the lowest among all regions, indicating a preference for variety.

Accessibility to Personal Care Products

Demographic Disparities and Regional Access Insights

  • Baby Boomers report unparalleled access to personal care products. All surveyed Baby Boomers can access Personal Care and Beauty products within 30 minutes, showcasing potential market stability.
  • Gen Z’s uncertainty highlights a gap in market coverage. Gen Z shows the highest uncertainty (5.56%) regarding access to personal care products, pointing to potential areas for market expansion.
  • High-income earners face more purchasing barriers. Consumers with incomes over $100k report the highest rate of difficulty (11.11%) accessing products within 30 minutes, suggesting an opportunity for tailored solutions.
  • Renters express more significant access challenges. Renters demonstrate greater difficulty (10.00%) in accessing personal care products within a proximate distance, indicating a demographic with unmet needs.
  • The South boasts superior accessibility to personal care shopping. With 96.30% affirming access within 30 minutes, the South emerges as the region with the highest accessibility, highlighting a well-served market.

Consumer Satisfaction with Local Personal Care Shopping

Generational Perspectives and Regional Satisfaction Variance

  • Baby Boomers report highest satisfaction with local personal care options. An impressive 87.50% of Baby Boomers are content with their nearby Personal Care and Beauty shopping options.
  • Gen X shoppers express more dissatisfaction than other generations. Gen X has a higher percentage (3.23%) expressing dissatisfaction with their local shopping options for Personal Care and Beauty products.
  • Renters face more dissatisfaction with their nearby options. Renters are most likely to be unhappy with their local personal care shopping options, at a rate of 6.98%.
  • Millennials indicate a desire for improved local shopping experiences. A significant portion of Millennials (20.24%) feels their local options are just okay, indicating room for enhancement.
  • The South shows room for improvement in local personal care shopping. With 75.64% satisfaction, the South has the lowest percentage of consumers fully satisfied with their nearby Personal Care and Beauty product options, suggesting potential for market development.

Online Shopping Preferences: Convenience to Price Sensitivity

Navigating Through Generational and Income-Based Online Shopping Behaviors

  • Convenience is king for online shoppers. The majority, with Baby Boomers leading at 75%, prioritize saving time and convenience as their top reason for online shopping.
  • Price sensitivity varies widely across income levels. Shoppers with a household income of ≤ $50k show the highest sensitivity to price (69.44%) when purchasing online.
  • Young consumers demand quick delivery. Gen Z values the speed of receiving products (19.44%) more than other generations, underscoring the need for efficient logistics.
  • High earners seek variety in their shopping experience. Those with an HHI over $100k lead in valuing selection (50.00%), suggesting that a wide product range is crucial for attracting affluent customers.
  • Research and comparison drive Gen Z and Millennials. A significant portion of Gen Z (25.00%) and Millennials (39.56%) cite the ability to research and compare products as a key online shopping driver, indicating a desire for informed purchasing decisions.

The In-Store Shopping Experience: From Immediate Needs to Community Support

Unpacking the Multifaceted Reasons Behind Consumers’ Preference for Brick-and-Mortar Stores

  • Immediate need drives in-store purchases. A significant majority, especially among Baby Boomers (62.50%), highlight the need to have items the same day as a key reason for in-store shopping.
  • In-person comparison and advice valued across generations. Gen X shoppers place a high value (39.39%) on comparing items in-person, indicating a demand for tangible shopping experiences.
  • Local business support is important for many. Shoppers in the Midwest (16.07%) show a strong preference for supporting local businesses, underlining the value of community ties in retail strategies.
  • Price competitiveness remains a critical factor for in-store shopping. The South exhibits the highest sensitivity (40.74%) to in-store price advantages, suggesting regional variations in price perception and its impact on store choice.
  • Browsing in-store provides enjoyment and leads to purchases. Gen Z expresses the highest enjoyment (44.44%) in browsing stores, hinting at the experiential aspect of shopping that online platforms may struggle to replicate.

Online vs. In-Store: Unveiling the Spectrum of Shopping Options

From Digital Abundance to Physical Discovery: Navigating Preferences Across Demographics

  • Online offers more options across most demographics. The overall trend indicates that a majority, with a significant 77.78% in the HHI > $100k segment, perceive online shopping as providing more options for Personal Care and Beauty products.
  • Gen Z equally split between in-store and online options. Gen Z stands out as evenly divided in their perception of shopping options, with 50% finding more options in-store and 50% online, highlighting their comfort with both digital and physical retail environments.
  • High-income shoppers significantly favor online for variety. Shoppers with a household income over $100k show the strongest preference for online shopping options, suggesting that e-commerce platforms may offer higher-end or more niche products appealing to this segment.
  • Midwesterners show a higher preference for in-store shopping. The Midwest has a notably higher inclination towards in-store shopping compared to other regions, with 41.07% believing it offers more options, possibly reflecting regional retail landscapes or shopping habits.
  • Renters more inclined towards in-store shopping. Renters are more likely than homeowners to see in-store shopping as offering more options (42.00% vs. 30.51%), which may reflect mobility or access factors influencing shopping preferences.

Perceptions of Pricing in Online Shopping

Analyzing Cost Effectiveness: Online vs. In-Store Price Comparisons Across Demographics

  • Online shopping is perceived to offer better prices across demographics. A clear majority, notably 71.74% within the HHI $50k-$100k segment, believe that online shopping provides better prices for Personal Care and Beauty products.
  • High-income shoppers strongly favor online for cost savings. Shoppers with a household income higher than $100k significantly lean towards online shopping (66.67%) for better pricing, indicating a targeted opportunity for online retailers.
  • Gen Z’s price perception aligns closely with online and in-store. Gen Z shows nearly even distribution in their price perception, with a slight inclination towards online shopping, suggesting their flexibility in shopping channels based on price.
  • The Midwest slightly prefers online for better prices but remains balanced. Consumers in the Midwest are somewhat more inclined towards online shopping for price advantages but show one of the smaller margins (62.50% online vs. 37.50% in-store), reflecting a more evenly distributed perception of value across channels.
  • Millennials prioritize online shopping for competitive pricing. Among different age groups, Millennials (65.93%) particularly believe that online shopping for Personal Care and Beauty products offers better prices, highlighting the importance of e-commerce platforms in catering to this demographic’s value-driven shopping habits.

Quality Perceptions: In-Store vs. Online Shopping

Evaluating Consumer Beliefs on Product Quality Across Shopping Channels

  • Gen Z prefers in-store for quality options. Gen Z shows a strong preference (63.89%) for finding higher quality options in-store compared to online, suggesting a significant value placed on physical inspection of products.
  • High-income consumers lean towards online for quality. Shoppers with a household income greater than $100k are more inclined (61.11%) to believe that higher quality options are available online, highlighting the potential for premium online-exclusive ranges.
  • Male shoppers find better quality in-store. A notable majority of male shoppers (58.65%) perceive in-store shopping as providing higher quality options for Personal Care and Beauty products, possibly due to a preference for tactile evaluation.
  • Midwesterners show a strong preference for in-store quality. The Midwest stands out with 55.36% of respondents feeling that in-store shopping offers higher quality options, suggesting regional differences in product availability or shopping culture.
  • Online and in-store quality perceptions are closely contested. Overall, perceptions of where higher quality options can be found are almost evenly split, with a slight majority favoring in-store (54.65%). This indicates this preference as a key segment for marketing targeting.

Strategic Implications

Tailoring Strategies for an Evolving Market

The insights gathered present clear strategic implications for e-commerce leaders looking to refine their competitive edge. Given the hesitance of Gen Z consumers and the significant role of homeownership and regional preferences in purchasing decisions, brands must diversify their approach to cater to these distinct segments. For e-commerce platforms, this means enhancing online shopping experiences with personalized recommendations and virtual try-ons to appeal to younger demographics, while also considering the unique needs of homeowners and regional markets. Implementing targeted marketing strategies that address these findings can lead to increased engagement and loyalty among a broader audience.

Marketing & Ecommerce Implications

Crafting Targeted Experiences in E-commerce

The detailed analysis underscores the importance of nuanced marketing and e-commerce strategies that resonate with diverse consumer segments. E-commerce leaders are encouraged to leverage data analytics for personalized marketing campaigns that speak directly to the preferences of Gen Z, high-income earners, and specific regional audiences. Additionally, enhancing user experiences on e-commerce platforms to offer seamless navigation, comprehensive product information, and expedited shipping options can significantly boost consumer satisfaction and loyalty. By adapting marketing tactics and e-commerce strategies based on these insights, brands can better meet the expectations of their customers, leading to improved sales performance and market positioning.

Wrap Up

E-commerce leaders who proactively respond to these findings by adjusting their competitive and marketing strategies are poised to significantly outperform those who remain static. The evolving landscape of consumer preferences, especially among Gen Z and within specific income and regional demographics, necessitates a dynamic and tailored approach. Brands that prioritize an understanding of these shifts and integrate them into their operational and strategic planning will likely see enhanced customer engagement, increased loyalty, and a stronger competitive position in the market.

Warranty and Return Policies

For ecommerce in particular, return policies emerge as critical threads influencing consumer confidence and loyalty. This analysis delves into how varying demographics, from male shoppers to Gen Z, perceive and prioritize return policies in their purchasing decisions. With male participants placing a high premium on return policies and Gen Z showcasing an unparalleled flexibility, the findings illuminate a complex landscape where expectations and preferences diverge significantly across different segments of the market.

The return policy paradox presents a fascinating study in balancing act—where the demand for standardization meets the call for innovation. As the majority clamor for a minimum 30-day return window, signifying a universal benchmark for trust, younger consumers and high-income shoppers chart a course towards more lenient or even unconventional return durations. This section explores how these varied expectations around return policies shape the modern shopping experience, revealing opportunities for e-commerce leaders to tailor their approaches to meet the nuanced demands of their diverse customer base.

Navigating the Complex World of Return Policies: A Key Factor in Consumer Decision-Making

From Male Shoppers’ High Standards to Gen Z’s Flexibility: Unpacking the Impact of Return Policies on Diverse Demographics

  • Return policies are crucial for male shoppers. Male participants show the highest regard for return policies, with 24.04% stating it definitely influences their purchasing decision.
  • Gen Z values flexibility in returns. A significant portion of Gen Z (38.89%) said a return policy somewhat influences their buying decision, the highest among all age groups.
  • High earners are discerning about return policies. Shoppers with a household income greater than $100k are more likely to check return policies before purchasing, with 27.78% not checking at all, suggesting they may assume or require favorable return conditions.
  • Midwesterners are more laissez-faire about return policies. The Midwest had the highest percentage of shoppers (23.21%) who don’t check return policies before buying, indicating a possible trust in product satisfaction or less concern over return logistics.
  • Millennials demand satisfaction guarantees. Millennials lead in valuing return policies, with 25.27% saying it definitely influences their choice, highlighting the importance of clear and favorable return policies to this demographic.

The Return Policy Paradox: Balancing Expectations and Flexibility

From Midwest Standards to Gen Z’s Innovations: How Return Durations Shape Shopping Decisions

  • The majority require a 30-day return window. A significant portion across all segments, notably 75% in the Midwest, demand at least a 30-day return period, emphasizing the importance of a standard return window for consumer confidence.
  • Younger consumers are more lenient with return durations. Gen Z shows a higher tolerance for shorter return periods (45% for 30 days minimum) compared to other demographics, suggesting their more flexible shopping habits.
  • High-income shoppers expect more flexible return policies. Shoppers with a household income greater than $100k are among the most demanding of a longer return period, with 71.43% requiring at least 30 days, indicating their expectation for premium service standards.
  • A significant portion of males demand extended return policies. Male shoppers exhibit a strong preference for longer return periods, with 32.61% requiring at least 60 days, underscoring the importance of return policy duration in their purchasing decisions.
  • Gen Z is open to unconventional return policies. With 5% considering ‘Other’ return durations, Gen Z’s openness to non-standard return policies suggests an opportunity for innovative return solutions tailored to younger consumers’ preferences.

Navigating the Complex Landscape of Return Policies

From Generational Flexibility to Regional Preferences: Unpacking Consumer Expectations

  • Free returns with company-paid shipping is the top preference. The majority, especially within the HHI > $100k segment at 75%, prefer free returns with company-paid shipping, emphasizing the importance of a hassle-free return policy.
  • High earners are most insistent on free returns. Shoppers with higher household incomes (HHI > $100k) demonstrate a significant preference for no-cost return solutions, indicating a premium on convenience and service quality.
  • Gen Z’s unique openness to restocking fees. A noticeable portion of Gen Z (16.67%) is okay with a restocking fee if the company covers return shipping, showing their flexibility compared to other groups.
  • Midwesterners show a high tolerance for final sales. The Midwest segment has a notable proportion of consumers (23.08%) who are okay with no returns allowed, the highest among all regions, suggesting regional differences in shopping expectations.
  • Male shoppers show a significant variance in return preferences. Males are more likely than other segments to accept all sales final (16.00%) or to pay for return shipping themselves, highlighting a broader range of acceptable return policies within this demographic.

Strategic Implications

Tailoring Return Policies to Enhance Competitive Advantage

The diversity in consumer expectations around return policies underscores the necessity for e-commerce leaders to adopt a segmented approach in policy formulation. Given the paramount importance male shoppers and Millennials place on return policies, and the notable leniency of Gen Z towards return durations, strategic adjustments are warranted. E-commerce entities should consider customizing return policies that cater to the specific preferences of these demographic groups. For high-income earners, offering premium service standards, such as extended return windows, could reinforce brand loyalty. Meanwhile, leveraging the Midwest’s laissez-faire attitude by ensuring product satisfaction might serve to enhance consumer trust. In essence, the competitive strategy moving forward must involve a deep dive into demographic-specific expectations, using these insights to sculpt return policies that not only attract a diverse customer base but also engender lasting loyalty.

Marketing & Ecommerce Implications

Crafting Marketing Narratives Around Consumer-Centric Return Policies

The findings present a compelling case for e-commerce leaders to intricately weave the flexibility and assurance of their return policies into their marketing narratives. Highlighting hassle-free returns with company-paid shipping, especially for high earners, can act as a significant value proposition in marketing campaigns. Simultaneously, acknowledging the unique preferences of Gen Z—such as their openness to restocking fees if offset by other conveniences—can inform targeted marketing strategies and e-commerce platform enhancements. Marketing efforts should emphasize the alignment of return policies with consumer values and expectations, spotlighting convenience, fairness, and flexibility. By doing so, e-commerce brands can differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, fostering a reputation for customer-centricity that attracts and retains a diverse clientele.

Wrap Up

E-commerce leaders equipped with the insights from these findings are positioned to navigate the complexities of the market with greater agility and foresight. Tailoring return policies to meet the nuanced preferences of various demographic segments not only enhances the competitive edge but also fosters deeper customer engagement and loyalty. On the other hand, e-commerce leaders who choose to overlook these insights and maintain a one-size-fits-all approach to return policies may find themselves at a disadvantage, struggling to retain a diverse and demanding customer base.

Discovery Channels

The journey to discovering and purchasing personal care and beauty products is as diverse as the consumers themselves. From the trusted recommendations of friends and family to the swipe-up culture of TikTok, the avenues through which consumers uncover new products paint a complex picture of influence.

The findings illuminate a world where Gen X relies on the personal endorsements of their social circle, while Gen Z is swayed by the visual and dynamic allure of social media. Moreover, YouTube emerges as a cornerstone for discovery, especially among the affluent and the young, indicating the power of video content in shaping purchasing decisions.

Discovering New Trends: The Role of Social Circles and Digital Platforms

How Different Generations and Income Groups Find Their Next Favorite Product

  • Friends and Family are crucial influencers across all demographics. Friends & Family remain a top source for learning about new Personal Care and Beauty products, with particularly high influence among Gen X (60.61%) and high-income households (77.78%).
  • Gen Z’s unique engagement with TikTok for new discoveries. A significant portion of Gen Z (50%) uses TikTok to discover new Personal Care and Beauty products, underscoring the platform’s impact on younger consumers.
  • YouTube serves as an influential discovery platform, especially among younger and affluent shoppers. YouTube is notably popular for discovering new products within the HHI $50k-$100k segment (45.65%), highlighting its role as a key content medium for engaging potential buyers.
  • Ads retain significant impact but vary across demographics. While ads are a significant discovery channel, particularly among Baby Boomers (62.50%), their influence varies, indicating the importance of targeted advertising strategies.
  • Online browsing remains a dominant method for discovery among Millennials. Browsing online stores is particularly prominent among Millennials (39.56%) and the South region (45.68%), suggesting that an intuitive and engaging online shopping experience is essential for capturing interest.

Strategic Implications

Adapting to the Multichannel Discovery Journey

For ecommerce leaders, understanding these diverse paths to discovery is crucial. The key to capturing attention in a saturated market lies not just in being present, but in being present in the right way and in the right place. This means crafting strategies that not only engage but also resonate across generations and income levels. For high-income households, a strong YouTube presence with high-quality content can translate into high engagement and conversion rates. Meanwhile, leveraging the influence of friends and family through referral programs or social media integrations can tap into the trust-based mechanisms that drive Gen X’s purchasing behavior.

Marketing & Ecommerce Implications

Crafting Personalized Discovery Experiences

Navigating the nuanced landscape of product discovery necessitates a tailored approach to marketing and ecommerce strategies. Ecommerce leaders should consider how to effectively integrate social proof into their online platforms, whether through user-generated content, influencer collaborations, or customer reviews. For the Gen Z demographic, embracing emerging platforms like TikTok with creative, authentic content could be the key to unlocking significant market potential. Simultaneously, ensuring a seamless, engaging online browsing experience will cater to Millennials’ and the South’s preference for digital window shopping, thereby enhancing both discovery and conversion.

Wrap Up

By recognizing the unique preferences and influences that drive their target audience’s purchasing decisions, businesses can tailor their approaches to meet consumers where they are most receptive. Those who remain static, relying on outdated methods or ignoring the rising tide of digital platforms, risk fading into obscurity. In contrast, leaders who adapt, embrace change, and invest in understanding the evolving dynamics of consumer behavior will not only capture attention but also loyalty, setting the stage for sustained success in the competitive landscape of personal care and beauty ecommerce.

Loyalty Factors

Understanding what drives customer loyalty is paramount for maintaining market position and driving growth. The data reveals a complex mosaic of factors influencing loyalty, with price leading the charge as the most significant determinant across nearly all consumer segments. Yet, the nuances of loyalty extend beyond mere cost, encompassing the value of local ownership, the allure of convenience and enriched shopping experiences, the diversity of product selection, and the impact of customer service. This intricate blend of drivers highlights the evolving nature of consumer expectations and the strategic importance of addressing these multifaceted demands to cultivate long-term relationships.

Prioritizing Price and Experience: Unraveling Loyalty in the Digital Age

From Value for Money to Exemplary Customer Service: What Keeps Shoppers Coming Back

  • Price remains the primary loyalty drive Across almost all segments, the majority highlight price as a critical factor for loyalty, with the highest emphasis in the HHI > $100k group at 77.78%.
  • Local ownership matters more to high-income shoppers. Surprisingly, those in the HHI $50k-$100k bracket value local ownership more (15.22%) than other income groups, showcasing a preference for supporting community businesses.
  • Gen Z prioritizes convenience and shopping experience. The youngest generation, Gen Z, places the highest value on convenience (47.22%) and shopping experience (33.33%), indicating a shift towards valuing time efficiency and enjoyable shopping environments.
  • High-income shoppers are selective. Consumers with an HHI > $100k show the strongest preference for selection (55.56%), suggesting that a wide variety of options is essential for attracting affluent customers.
  • Customer service is a significant factor for the West. The West region places a high importance on customer service (30.95%), underscoring the need for excellent support and interaction in maintaining customer loyalty.

Strategic Implications

Adapting to the Nuances of Consumer Loyalty

For ecommerce leaders, the findings underscore the importance of a multifaceted approach to fostering customer loyalty. While competitive pricing remains critical, especially among the affluent, there’s a compelling case for investing in areas that traditionally received less attention. Emphasizing local ownership, enhancing the online shopping experience, diversifying product selections, and prioritizing customer service can serve as differentiators in a crowded market. Tailoring strategies to meet these varied expectations, especially among specific demographics such as Gen Z and high-income shoppers, can unlock new levels of customer retention and satisfaction.

Marketing & Ecommerce Implications

Crafting Experiences That Resonate

Ecommerce strategies must evolve to emphasize not just price competitiveness but also the quality of the customer journey. This means creating an online environment that mirrors the convenience and immediacy Gen Z shoppers seek, supported by a selection wide enough to satisfy the discerning tastes of high-income consumers. Moreover, embedding the ethos of local ownership into brand narratives can appeal to community-conscious shoppers, offering a sense of belonging and alignment with their values. Ensuring that every customer interaction is underscored by responsive and thoughtful service, especially in regions like the West, will further cement loyalty in an increasingly impersonal digital age.

Wrap Up

By recognizing that loyalty extends far beyond price to encompass a broader spectrum of values and experiences, businesses can forge deeper, more resilient connections with their customers. Those who overlook these nuanced preferences and continue to compete on price alone risk being overshadowed by rivals who understand the new loyalty lexicon. In contrast, leaders who innovate and adapt, offering an ecommerce experience that is not only financially appealing but also richly rewarding on multiple levels, will likely see their investment in loyalty translate into enduring success and customer advocacy.

Methodology

The methodology behind this comprehensive report stems from the dedicated efforts of 2 Visions, a consulting and research firm renowned for its expertise in ecommerce and consumer behavior analysis. Conducted nationally between February and April of 2024, the study aimed to capture a snapshot of current consumer preferences and behaviors in the personal care and beauty shopping sectors, reflecting the latest trends in ecommerce.

Participant selection was meticulously designed around their engagement with ecommerce platforms for purchasing personal care and beauty items, ensuring the findings are both relevant and insightful. The study engaged 2,259 American participants, representing a wide array of generational cohorts, including Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. This diverse participant pool offered a rich, varied perspective on consumer behaviors and preferences across different age groups, enhancing the depth and applicability of the research findings.

To guarantee a representative sample, the study was diligent in its demographic selection, ensuring participants were evenly distributed across different U.S. regions in alignment with recent census data. This approach ensured geographical diversity and accuracy. Additionally, the gender distribution within the participant group closely mirrored national demographics, providing a balanced view of consumer behaviors from a gender perspective.

This study diverged from previous methodologies by focusing on direct survey methods rather than predictive analytics. This approach allowed for a wide-open exploration of myriad consumer attitudes, preferences, and behaviors without presupposing the variables required for predictive modeling. We believe that for the breadth of questions answered by this report, this was the best methodology. The margin of error for the findings stands at 5.93%, with a confidence level of 95%, indicating the high reliability of the insights presented.

The questionnaire was crafted to delve into various aspects of consumer behavior in the personal care and beauty space, including recent purchase history, the impact of return policies, and preferences for online versus in-store shopping. This targeted inquiry has yielded nuanced insights into the dynamics of ecommerce consumer behavior within the personal care and beauty market. Any statements of fact throughout the report represent synthesis from the stated values of the participants. Therefore, when leveraging these insights for strategic planning, business leaders are encouraged to consider the straightforward nature of the data, which directly reflects current consumer attitudes and behaviors in the personal care and beauty ecommerce sector. This method ensures that the strategies developed are deeply rooted in the authentic needs and preferences of today’s ecommerce shoppers, providing a solid foundation for enhancing customer satisfaction and driving business growth.

The objective of this methodology is to arm ecommerce business leaders with actionable insights, catering to the strategic needs of direct-to-consumer companies looking to enhance their market presence and connect more effectively with their audience. The data and conclusions drawn from this study are intended to inform strategic decision-making, optimizing marketing, product offering, and customer engagement strategies.

Fair Use

This content is offered for public usage with the intention to enhance the industry’s shared understanding and knowledge. While we invite you to share and distribute this information for non-commercial purposes, please ensure to attribute it to us by providing a backlink to this original source page. This will enable full access to our complete methodology and results, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of our research.

Report Championed by Nosto

This report was produced in collaboration with Nosto, who supported the initiative to make this comprehensive research freely available to the ecommerce community. While Nosto championed this effort to foster industry-wide insights, it is important to note that they did not influence, review, or edit any of the report’s data or findings before its publication. The integrity of the research and the independence of its conclusions have been strictly maintained, ensuring unbiased insights into the personal care and beauty product market.

About 2 Visions

2 Visions is an award-winning consulting and market research firm specializing in helping direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce brands grow by developing their in-house capabilities for long-term success. Founded by Yates Jarvis, who has worked with notable companies such as TGW, Ancient Nutrition, Kay, DIFF Eyewear, Jeep, and Spanx, 2 Visions focuses on high-touch teaching and side-by-side collaboration to empower brands to avoid costly missteps and build profitable ecommerce strategies.

The firm’s unique consulting approach involves working directly with senior leadership and key employees to pursue high-leverage opportunities, enabling brands to scale faster and more efficiently. On the research side, 2 Visions offers in-depth, granular market research, which serves as a secret sauce for clients aiming to improve personalization, AI, and targeted journeys in ecommerce customer experiences. Their research enables clients to uncover powerful data-driven insights and develop more effective marketing and CX strategies tailored to their target audiences.

About Nosto

Nosto is the intelligent Commerce Experience Platform (CXP) that gives brands and retailers intuitively designed tools to increase online revenue through end-to-end commerce experience management. 

With experience.AI™, Nosto helps brands enrich and activate customer, product and content data in real-time across personalization, product discovery, and user-generated content to deliver high-performing commerce experiences at scale. 

Nosto supports intelligent commerce experiences for more than 1,500 brands in over 100 countries, including Kylie Cosmetics, Dermalogica, Belstaff, The Travel Corporation, BYLT Basics, Douglas, MUJI, Flight Center, Lord and Taylor, Vuori, FIGS and more.

Written by Yates Jarvis, Founder & Principal of 2 Visions.

Having consulted with over 1,000 companies across verticals, Yates is an ecommerce expert, strategist, and market researcher with a multi-billion dollar ecommerce portfolio that brings the experience required to help scale DTC businesses regardless of size, team dynamics, or perceived barriers.

Prior to founding 2 Visions, Yates was Managing Director, Client Solutions & Strategy at global award-winning, two-time Inc 5000 CX/UX & eCommerce firm, eHouse Studio. Specializing in data-based decision making for his clients, he grew eHouse’s portfolio to online revenues in excess of $400MM annually for companies such as Kay, Dr. Axe, and Spanx. Yates came to eHouse Studio after growing “Moneyball” sabermetric & predictive technology company ScoutAdvisor as Co-Owner and VP of Strategy, earning business with 19 MLB teams. Yates partnered with Warner Bros. to have his work featured in Clint Eastwood’s movie “Trouble With The Curve.”

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