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More than Half of US Shoppers Buy Beauty Online

August 1, 2012

• Online sales of beauty and personal care products are in the region of $3 billion, which represents about 5% penetration of the category, according to a new study from A.T. Kearney. The report examines the shopping behaviors of consumers and the implications for retailers and beauty brands.
A.T. Kearney partner and study leader Hana Ben-Shabat said, “The world of e-commerce has been, for quite some time, ‘The Beast’ that beauty retailers and brands were trying to avoid. We are at the point where we have to ‘beat the beast.’ There is simply too much at stake if businesses do not address this opportunity.”

Both beauty brands and retailers must embrace multi-channel marketing to meet customers where they are. Brands have an opportunity to extend their roles as category captains on retailer websites to maintain control over brand image and integrity.

The study, based on survey responses from 1,381 participants across the US and Canada, found that 62% shop online regularly, and of these, 60% purchase beauty and personal care products online. Among the most frequently purchased categories by online shoppers are skin care, personal care and hair care.

Amazon and Sephora seem to dominate the online beauty and personal care market, with 46% of respondents listing these sites as their favorite online destinations.

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