Industries Post Lockdown: Health and Beauty

September 18, 2020

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Continuing with our Industries Post Lockdown series takes us to the health and beauty industry...

The next in our series on industries post the pandemic is one of two very contrasting categories. On one side the health industry which for obvious reasons has been in serious demand over the last six months. The other being beauty which has in some cases seen its worst-ever year in terms of sales. While hand sanitizer and other antibacterial products have flown off the shelves and been hoarded online, beauty products like makeup and hair products have suffered as people have been locked indoors. 

Self-care and wellbeing have become some of the most popular consumers trends to date in recent months. Since mid-March Google searches for "self-care" have spiked to record highs worldwide with a score of 100% in popularity. As the social distancing rules have become tighter peoples need for cosmetic products may have decreased but the need for cleansing and health products has skyrocketed, in fact, according to Statista hand sanitizers and wipes have seen a 5678% year over year growth in sales. 

The Positives

So which brands can take positives from these times of uncertainty? Personal care brand’s Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson have both come out of these past few months with more positives than negatives. Colgate-Palmolive’s sales were up 28% on the previous year’s Q1, with a reported growth across every global region. Whereas Johnson & Johnson registered a 54% increase in total net income. They saw particular growth in the women’s care, skin health and oral care categories. 

The Strugglers

Now I’ll be honest, I'm sure I'm, not the only one who has barely got out of my pyjamas for the last six months, let alone used hair products. The hair and beauty industry was taking a bit of a beating at the beginning of lockdown, consumers opting for products that make them healthier over the cosmetic option lead to a decline in sales. International cosmetics brand L’Oreal reported an overall drop in worldwide sales, they were down 4.8% in Q1 from the previous year. Their professional products division were the most impacted, with hair salons being one of the last places to open, makeup brand’s Maybelline New York and NYX Professional were temporarily slowed down.  

Brands Adapting

Some brands have chosen to adapt quickly,  the cosmetic brand Coty took COVID-19 as an opportunity to reset its business. Branded their ‘quarenteam’, they built a brand new direct-to-consumer website in just three weeks. As the world plunged into lockdown the cosmetics industry came to a grinding holt, people were still allowed to venture to the pharmacy but large sections of the cosmetics sections were closed off. By mid-April brands worldwide were looking for ways to take the products direct-to-consumer which lead to a 60% increase in online beauty sales. Coty created the Home Beauty Edit, giving customers the option to buy bundles of products such as hair care and nail care and have them delivered directly.  

So what's next for the beauty industry? The annual Christmas rush should only accelerate the eCommerce trend and bring with it more online beauty sales. In terms of hygiene, people are still slightly on edge when touching surfaces and others around them so the need for wipes and sanitizers will supposedly stay steady. QR codes are seen as an option of safe replenishment. Consumers simply scan a code on the packaging of a product and it will be added to a basket of a retailer of their choice. From an eCommerce standpoint, with more and more brands being forced online with D2C sites, bundle options will become more and more frequent. In the beauty industry’s case, get the look bundles will allow customers to buy all the products used in one look in one bundle. 

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