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Top 5 Reasons Beauty Product Shoppers Buy Online
The Covid-19 outbreak triggered the most dramatic changes in consumer behavior seen in our lifetime, but we must now turn our attention to the post-pandemic world.

Google partnered with UK research consultants Trinity McQueen to test the attitudes and behaviors of 5,000 consumers across the country. As Google explains, "The results point to both the opportunities for online retail and the value that in-store experiences can add to an effective omnichannel strategy."

Here we summarize the five key findings of this research.

# 1: The shift to online experiences is permanent

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards online shopping in the UK with store closures, lockdown measures and security concerns contributing to increased online spending.

The pandemic forced people who rarely or never shopped online before to take the big leap and encouraged everyone else to spend more money through online channels. And, according to the joint study published by Google and Trinity McQueen, these new shopping habits are here to stay.

“Our research indicates that this seismic shift to the online world is here to stay. In the fashion, beauty and telecommunications categories, the percentage of consumers who say they will buy or expect to buy online rather than in store in the next six months is still significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. " - The Change in Shopping: Data Revealing Permanent Changes in UK Consumer Behavior, Think with Google

% of purchases or expects to buy online vs. in store
Even 18 months after the first lockdown was announced in the UK, the percentage of shoppers expecting to buy online versus in store for the next 6 months is still significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels - an increase. 28% in the fashion retail sector alone. .

As a result, thousands of businesses in the UK have survived the most challenging economic event in living memory, thanks to having an online presence, while some even thrived by switching to online sales, in response to changing consumer behavior.

The key takeaway here is that this trend is not temporary, meaning that companies must permanently switch to online channels or increase investment in existing online channels to reach customers where they are most active.

# 2: Attitudes toward online shopping have changed across all age groups

The survey also reveals how the pandemic has affected attitudes toward online shopping across all age groups. Unsurprisingly, younger age groups were already shopping online at higher levels prior to the pandemic, and while this remains true across all three industries, the shift in shopping behavior is more extreme across groups. older.

The change in purchases is consistent across all age groups
As the study suggests, these attitude shifts are permanent, retailers need to re-evaluate the balance between in-store and online shopping experiences, especially if older age groups are important demographics.

In fact, Google says that many retailers may need to rethink the entire role that in-store experiences play and how they can complement, rather than compete with, the online experience.

# 3: The pandemic is not the only driver of online shopping

Given the significance of the Covid-19 pandemic, it's easy to attribute all the recent changes in consumer behavior to the outbreak. However, as Google points out: "while the pandemic has been an important factor in these intergenerational changes in purchasing behavior, it is far from the only one."

In the survey, each age group was asked to select the top reasons for buying more online, and the results among buyers of beauty products are revealing:

Among the youngest age group, Covid-19 scored the lowest among the five reasons to buy more online. For respondents aged 35-54, not wanting to visit stores due to COVID-19 was the highest overall response, but you can see how any other reason was selected at much higher volumes as well.

Even among the 55+ age group, where Covid-19 was cited as the primary reason, more than 40% of respondents selected convenience and home delivery, benefits that will continue to exist long after the pandemic.


# 4: New brand loyalties being formed online

Last year, 1 in 4 buyers of clothing and home goods bought from a new brand or retailer, while 1 in 3 buyers of beauty products bought from new brands during the same period.

% of people who tried new brands and retailers since March 2020
The survey reveals that consumers are forming new loyalties as they increase spending online with 75% of womenswear shoppers and 82% of menswear shoppers saying they will continue to buy from these same new retailers for years to come. the next six months.

As people shop online more and more they evaluate their options and this often leads to buying from new retailers, initiating new relationships that turn into customer loyalty.

In Google's words: "Consumers are less determined than ever when shopping online, which presents valuable opportunities for shopping choices to be disrupted."

“Make sure you are present and visible in the places where your customers are looking to explore and discover, ie generic search and YouTube. With generic searches growing faster than brand searches, challenging brands have an excellent opportunity to make their mark by investing in channels that were previously only associated with the end of the shopping journey. " - The Change in Shopping: Data Revealing Permanent Changes in UK Consumer Behavior, Think with Google

Google refers to "generic searches" in which consumers evaluate shopping options and the search giant has seen a dramatic increase in searches over the last year: "best electric car" (+ 80% YoY), " vegan meals ". (+ 58% YoY), “better skin care” and “better paint”.

# 5: Physical stores now play a different role

Any acceptance of online shopping has an impact on physical stores, and Google's survey findings suggest that people who have just converted to online shopping will be looking for a more omnichannel experience in the future.

Aspects of the shopping experience that are better or worse online than in store
Those who have always done most of their shopping online will continue to do so with little change in their attitudes and expectations. However, those who are new to online shopping have different attitudes, not only in terms of what they expect from online shopping, but also from brick-and-mortar stores in the future.

Younger audiences have simply adjusted or gotten used to the common challenges of shopping online, such as not being able to try on clothing, but these issues are more important to newly converted online shoppers.

Retailers need to tailor their online experiences to meet these expectations as digitally converted shoppers continue to shop online and also use physical stores to enhance the shopping experience, for example click and collect, bookings and provide shopping advice. in the shop.

You can read the full summary of the Google study in this post, posted on the Think with Google website. You can also take a look at our roundup of how search habits changed in the UK during lockdown and our interview with Vertical Leap CEO Chris Pitt on using search data to inform key business decisions and navigate. In difficult times.
Publication: 09/01/2022 06:56

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