The internet is a portal to an almost infinite source of information. If you are curious about any subject or topic, you can search online and read articles, watch videos, download an e-book or pamphlet, speak to experts, listen to podcasts, and more. For the most part, the internet has been a blessing to the human population because it opens opportunities for people to learn and improve their skills.
This wealth of information available to the public is transforming the way consumers shop.
The Internet Creates Smarter Consumers
Access to the internet has opened consumers to a world where they can research a product or a company before purchasing. In the present, consumers can go online, look for information about the product, and seek opinions from other buyers. They use these details to decide whether to push through with the transaction or look for alternatives.
The internet, therefore, made consumers smarter.
According to data from Google, over half of all shoppers (53 percent, to be exact) say that they constantly research a product before they buy it. They want to make sure that they are spending their hard-earned money on the best possible choice. Research also found that nearly two-thirds of all shoppers watch videos online to get an idea or get inspiration for their purchases.
The internet plays a vital role in purchasing decisions. This is apparent in how consumers choose beauty products to buy.
The Beauty Industry and the Connected Consumer
Traditionally, beauty shoppers visit physical stores to try a product before they buy it. While many people still prefer to physically experience the makeup or facial skincare product before taking it home, the number of consumers who do their research exclusively online is growing.
Facebook IQ, together with Accenture, researched how consumers shop for beauty products. They asked 1,682 female consumers from the United States aged 18 and older who have bought makeup and facial skincare products three months before July 2018.
They found that 61 percent and 55 percent of consumers still prefer to research makeup and facial skincare in-store, respectively. However, a significant number of consumers are using online platforms to evaluate products that have piqued their interests. About 36 percent of makeup and 30 percent of facial skincare shoppers go online to research the product before making a purchasing decision.
What Are the Primary Drivers?
Part of the increase is extensive access to the business’ website on the internet. Many resources online help consumers choose the right products for their specific needs and preferences. On YouTube or Instagram, they can watch videos of social media influencers trying out and reviewing these products on camera. There are also e-commerce platforms that have a feature that lets consumers virtually try a product out before they buy.
Moreover, many consumers use the internet to order beauty products. They do not have to go to a store to try it. Instead, they can have the product delivered right to their doorstep. For example, a customer who wants to buy facial serum online will read and watch reviews to see if it is worth the money.
About 26 percent of makeup buyers consider mobile devices an essential factor that influences their decision to purchase. Through their phones, they can evaluate and compare products wherever they are. Meanwhile, 38 percent of shoppers who purchased makeup on mobile said it is the most important factor they consider when making a purchasing decision.
Discovering Products Online
In addition, many consumers also discover beauty products that they, later on, buy via the internet. From the same Facebook survey, 46 percent of makeup shoppers and 36 percent of facial skincare buyers discovered products online. On the other hand, 33 percent of those who bought makeup and 25 percent of those who purchased facial skincare found products on mobile.
As a result, retailers are spending more on pushing their products online. In 2021, US retailers expect to pay a total of $35.48 billion on digital advertisements, a 25 percent increase from the year before. Meanwhile, retailers are estimated to invest $23.22 billion on ads on mobile, a 26.9 percent rise from 2020.
The internet is changing the way people shop. Consumers now have access to information about various products and the companies that sell them. They use the information they gather online to make a purchasing decision and ensure that they spend their money on the right products. This online revolution is also happening in the beauty sector, where more shoppers use online reviews to evaluate the product without physically testing it.