Royal Mail has looked at shopping trends in beauty and wellness to understand online shopping behaviour in these sectors. With global reach and the number one facilitator of ecommerce in the UK, Royal Mail is well placed to observe trends across the industry.
Haircare narrowly beats toiletries as the most commonly purchased beauty item. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of beauty product shoppers purchase haircare products in-store, whereas 48 per cent do so online. 64 per cent purchase bathroom toiletries in-store, compared to 44 per cent that do so online. Skincare, cosmetics and fragrances are the products that beauty product shoppers prefer to buy online, compared to in-store.
The average beauty product shopper spends £18 online compared to £16 spent in-store per month*. The average beauty product shopper is 42 years old, more likely to be female and live in the suburbs.
34 per cent of 18-34 year olds prefer to shop online, a much higher proportion than those aged over 55 years old (14 per cent).
There are lots of factors that come into play when shoppers decide to purchase beauty products online. Trust is important with 35 per cent of shoppers saying a retailer’s reputation is key in their purchasing decision, while regular deals and variety in choice of products are also key drivers, alongside competitive pricing.
Almost half (48 per cent) of beauty product shoppers prefer to buy products online because they can compare prices whereas 46 per cent do so due to increased choice of products. 45 per cent perceive products to be cheaper online and 44 per cent like to shop from the comfort of their own home.
When it comes to delivery, tracking is important. Almost half (48 per cent) of beauty shoppers would track every item ordered if the service was available. 47 per cent of shoppers are also prepared to pay more for the convenience of a home delivery.
Vitamins and supplements are the most commonly purchased wellness products. Almost eight in ten (79 per cent) wellness product shoppers purchase vitamins and supplements online, whereas 74 per cent buy in-store. 43 per cent purchase fruit or herbal teas in-store, compared to 22 per cent that do so online.
The average wellness product shopper spends £17 online compared to £14 spent in-store per month*. The average wellness product shopper is 45 years old, more likely to be female and live in the suburbs or urban areas.
Offering the lowest prices (53 per cent), having the specific products desired (50 per cent), a good level of customer service (24 per cent) and a user-friendly app (20 per cent) would encourage wellness shoppers to buy online more frequently.
Wellness shoppers prefer to buy online due to ease (55 per cent), price (53 per cent) and choice (47 per cent). Younger shoppers generally have a larger repertoire of online retailers they shop from. They also tend to be less brand-led. Only 27 per cent believe having a range of brands is important, compared to 40 percent of those aged over 55 years old.
Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of wellness shoppers are more confident when ordering online with tracking. Home delivery is the preferred choice, with two in three shoppers wanting their items to be sent to their house compared to another location.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said “For businesses currently operating in the beauty and wellness sectors or looking to expand into this area, it's important to understand the distinct shopping habits of shoppers. Trust is really important for beauty and wellness shoppers when they choose to purchase products online. Having a good reputation, providing competitive offers, ensuring a variety of products are available and efficient delivery are also important for beauty and wellness online shoppers.”