• Lena Media

How the pandemic has affected the beauty industry


The beauty industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, from global store closures to a decrease in revenue, the billion dollar industry has responded positively to the crisis, making adjustments to day-to-day operations and providing new ways to stay in business.


Online shopping

We have seen a dramatic increase in online shopping, within a sector which saw predominantly in-store purchases prior to the pandemic. Boots reported a drop of ⅔ in beauty sales in their stores between March 25th and April 3rd, 2020 alone. The inability to try products in store and the reduced store capacity has made online shopping a more appealing option for consumers.


Despite an increase of 6% in new customers making online purchases of beauty and cosmetics products, a tighter disposable income for many people has resulted in a drop of 32% in spending per month for the sector. Impulse buying has also seen a decrease, which is usually a result of shopping in store.


Changes are here to stay

Survey results and data from the pandemic suggest that consumers’ new shopping habits are here to stay even after the COVID pandemic. It is expected that customers will continue to shop online for beauty products.


The wider impact

Tightening restrictions across the UK bring more concern for the future of the beauty industry, social media and marketing will play a key role in customer retention and sales increases. Companies who put e-commerce at the heart of their business are prepared for a post-COVID era. Consumers are also reporting spending less on beauty products, with 50% having spent less on products during lockdown than usual. Due to the increase in working from home practices, many people are finding it much less important to wear makeup and fragrance whilst at home. In prestige beauty brands alone, there has been a 55-75% decline in fragrance and cosmetic purchases in comparison to a year ago.


In contrast the skincare, hair and bath and body sectors seem to be benefiting from the increase in at home pampering by consumers. Zalando recently reported a 300% increase in sales on candles, nail, hair, and detox products, which is also in line with Amazon’s figures. It is expected that these figures will remain consistent whilst working from home is in place across the UK.


The need for new and innovative products and solutions is more prevalent than ever. We have experienced first-hand how quickly the world can change, and brands need to be prepared for anything if they are to keep their customer base loyal and engaged.


Written by Yasmin Thompson



References: https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Industries/Consumer%20Packaged%20Goods/Our%20Insights/How%20COVID%2019%20is%20changing%20the%20world%20of%20beauty/How-COVID-19-is-changing-the-world-of-beauty-vF.pdf


http://elitebusinessmagazine.co.uk/analysis/item/covid-19-s-impact-on-the-hair-and-beauty-industry


https://unctad.org/news/covid-19-has-changed-online-shopping-forever-survey-shows