Study Reports Increase in Online Beauty Purchases

A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm, released Beauty and the E-Commerce Beast: 2014 Edition, a study measuring online beauty purchases. Conducted mid-year in 2014, the results are based on consumers’ responses to questions regarding their shopping behaviors, motivations, favorite features, and preferred online shopping destinations. The research found 47 percent of participants purchased more beauty and personal care products online in 2014 compared to 2013, including a significant increase in shopping for more experiential products, such as fragrance and color cosmetics, which saw a 16 percent increase over 2012 in number of clients who frequently purchase those items online. “Beauty online is so much more than just a transaction,” says Hana Ben-Shabat, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study. “It’s, in fact, one of the most active categories on the internet. Online is becoming one of the most important paths to purchase, and those who buy beauty products online, make frequent purchases. For example, what we’re seeing in this year’s study is that there is an increased willingness on the part of consumers, to buy fragrances and makeup online, versus habitually used products that they simply replenish.” Additionally, the study found that beauty categories, including skincare, have above average e-commerce consumption compared to personal care products, such as bath- and haircare, presenting 6.5 percent of total sector sales of $4.3 billion. “It’s no longer sufficient for beauty and personal care brands and retailers to invest experimentally in digital,” says Ben-Shabat. “Winning companies are those that can figure out how to make the link between online and offline, digital, and physical. And collaboration between manufacturers and retailers in the quest for engaging today’s online consumer is more important than ever before.”

For more information, visit