The cosmetics industry market is a multi-billion dollar business that has seen a record-high rise in demand in the last ten years. The current value for the cosmetics market is estimated at $532 billion and is expected to exceed $800 billion by 2025.
An interesting trend, however, has been the change in consumer behaviour in the cosmetics sector influenced by social media trends. Sustainability, social awareness and transparency have all become leading factors in influencing customer decisions when it comes to purchasing cosmetic products. In an era where customers have a lot more awareness of global issues brands have had to change their approach in order to keep their foot in the market.
The direct correlation between social media and purchasing habits started with the advent of online blogs. Customers were no longer restricted to only reading about products in magazines but they could share with the world their own buying habits and interests online.
Beauty blogging had an unexpected effect on the global market trends and reinvented the beauty industry. One of the main online media platforms that led to this change was Youtube.
Users of the platform were freelancers, skincare specialists, professional makeup artists and normal consumers which all provided free knowledge about cosmetics to the audience. Once Youtube introduced paid ads for videos, some small cosmetic brands took the chance and became more involved in their online marketing.
Soon after, the big corporations realised that the future of advertising is in digital marketing and followed that path. Much like in the 1920s and ’30s when Max Factor discovered celebrity advertising in Hollywood, nowadays brands turn to internet celebrities who have a large following in social media to promote their products.
Internet celebrities or “influencers” have a powerful tool in their hands when it comes to influencing mass opinions quickly and effectively. Brands have found a way to use that to their leverage to sell their products, however, there are big risks in online exposure.
Many brands who fail to follow the social media trends and social movements suffer the consequences of their ignorance. In recent years, sustainability has become more and more sought after by customers when they purchase from a brand.
A company in the beauty sector that was amongst the first that voiced an opinion regarding ethical and sustainable actions was UK company LUSH Cosmetics. Their ethical approach and anti-animal testing policy raised the public’s attention on these core issues. The company uses eco-friendly packaging, manufactures clean organic products and gets involved in raising donations for charities.
LUSH have found a way to make their products very attractive to the public with their creative advertising and packaging, which is easily recognisable. They also have an active online presence and have many times raised different social and economical issues on their Twitter and Instagram pages.
The beauty industry has seen many different trends in society but has been generally criticized for setting unrealistic standards for women, deceiving advertising and non-ethical approaches. These are all modern-day topics that are highly discussed on social media.
Brands cannot afford to stay ignorant to these issues and therefore have to comply with the new standards that consumers uphold to a degree. Social media is the quickest and most effective way for a brand to reach its customers directly and hear their demands. By keeping a close relationship with their audience, brands can also keep track of current social trends and adhere to them in order to sell effectively.
Article by Kalina Magureva, Beauty Feature Writer – British Thoughts