The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the changes in the personal care retail landscape in the UK. New circumstances have forced hesitant consumers to start shopping online for products they would previously purchase in a brick-and-mortar store. Even with restrictions being lifted, many of those shoppers have been converted by the frictionless omnichannel shopping experience,” explained Nina Nowak, Senior Researcher at GlobalData.

Efficiently replacing in-store experience

According to GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 consumer survey, 80% of UK consumers stated that how well the product or service aligns with their time and money constraints either always, often, or somewhat influences their product choice.

The advanced digital tools and apps that allow personalized product choice based on a ‘selfie’ image provided by a consumer are efficiently replacing an in-store experience. The growing variety of delivery methods help accommodate busy consumers, saving them time and minimizing social contact,” continued Nowak.

Indeed, when asked about the main advantages of purchasing items online compared to visiting a store, UK consumers listed convenience (64%), timesaving (48%), minimal social contact (43%), variety and choice available (36%), and lower prices (32%) as the main benefits.

Growth will continue

Although the adoption of e-retailers for beauty and grooming is set to slow, the data and analytics company forecasts it will retain positive growth - posting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% over 2021-2025 to reach a forecast value of £2.1bn in 2025 - owing to these perceived benefits.

E-commerce allows nearly unlimited personalization, which is an especially important element of effective personal care sales strategies. Modern e-commerce tools allow retailers to track the consumer journey from initial interactions on the website to the final purchase. This enables businesses to create customized ads, recommendations, and price promotions to further solidify the relationship with the consumer,” added Nowak.

Consumers’ shopping habits may have changed for good with traditional ways of purchasing becoming a thing of the past. Extended lockdowns and social distancing restrictions have triggered a permanent shift towards e-commerce across various categories, including beauty and grooming. This change should be an impulse for personal care brands to focus their strategy toward enhancing their online presence, with brand and retailer deals at the centre, as well as providing a tailored shopping experience for consumers,” she concluded.