We exhaled and objectively look at the results of 2020. Drum roll: despite a difficult start, the Russian cosmetics industry remained in positive territory, even growing by 1.2%. Ahem. Let's take a closer look at what it was and how beauty brands survived the coronavirus crisis.
Decor - to ignore, leaving - home
At the beginning of 2020, no one would have thought that everything would turn out like this. Life slowed down, and with it the sales of cosmetics and perfumes. There are many obvious reasons: offline stores have closed, revenues have declined, and consumers have begun to save. Moreover, in Zoom, you can turn off the front-facing camera, and no one will see you without makeup (if this is important to someone).
Bottom line: by May, global sales of cosmetics fell by 50%, and in Russia, for example, the category of decor - up to 80%, as told to the radio station "Moscow Talk" by Peter Bobrovsky, Executive Director of the Association of Manufacturers of Perfumery and Cosmetics, Household Chemicals and Hygiene Products. And if in ordinary crises the "lipstick index", derived by Leonard Lauder as a joke, is in effect: when consumers buy lipsticks because they are more affordable and even more noticeable than dresses and rings, then the mask regime canceled it too.
“Changes in sales have undergone, first of all, bright shades of lipsticks, but balms and lip oils have grown,” confirms Tatiana Kruglova, General Director of Clarins in Russia. - In the summer, the numbers of tonal means fell strongly. But we feel great about it - now the situation is leveling off. " In general, sales of Clarins by the end of 2020 increased when compared with 2019.
Cosmetics for eye and eyebrow makeup are also in great demand, rather than lipsticks and lip glosses, noted the press service of the online retailer Wildberries: “The popularity of eye shadows among consumers has grown by 109%, mascaras - by 81%, liquid eyeliners - by 160%, eyebrow wax - by 430%. " Moreover, given the amount of free time and tutorials in the same TikTok, the arrows began to draw not only everything.
Of course, hygiene and personal care products felt the most advantageous among the affected categories of goods - you can't even sit at home without shampoo, shower gel, basic moisturizing and cleansing the skin. For example, Inna Chekmareva, marketing director for online distributor Authentica, notes that hair care is the most popular category among consumers. And that's not it. Surrounded by four walls, we began to pay more attention to ourselves, namely, to the condition of our hair and skin, which, due to stress, worsened for many. Because of this, in the West, the demand for plastic surgery has increased, and someone began to experiment with cosmetics: “At Pure Love, sales have grown significantly during the pandemic. The reason is that buyers have time to try the products, to study them carefully,”says Katerina Karpova, founder of the Pure Love cosmetics brand.
For several months it was legally impossible to sign up for nails and trim the tips. Because of this, interest in home care has jumped, replacing the usual salon. “The number of purchases in this category has doubled,” says Iloanga Ershova, Business Development Director of Ozon. "The greatest demand was for hair clippers, and among women, for gel polish dryers."
The press service of the online retailer Wildberries shared with us the numbers on sales growth in April-May 2020:
hairdresser's scisors -
; hair tint masks - 45 times; hairdressing peignoirs - 27 times; cuticle removal devices - 32 times; manicure sticks - 15 times; pedicure blades - 13 times; tools for
and depilation strips - 10 times.
Among the growth factors in the category of care, there are also preconditions associated with the pandemic - people began to use antiseptics and wash their hands more often, which over time caused skin problems. For example, “80% more hand creams were purchased in September than in August,” says Viktoria Abdrashitova, director of category development at Lamoda. The same trend is confirmed by the Businesstat study. Victoria also draws attention to the fact that in the fall the demand for products for the face, legs and the area around the eyes increased by 40%.
As trend watchers, we cannot fail to note the new directions of cosmetics that have appeared on self-isolation and, accordingly, made a contribution to the development of the beauty industry: cosmetics to improve mood, emo-beauty, home fragrances. And the main thing is that the banks fit perfectly into the interior and please. Sitting at a remote location 24/7, people make this an important selection criterion when buying. As well as the composition, of course.
The only possible strategy for survival at the time of closing offline stores is the development of online, and for some this allowed to even out the losses from a physical lockdown: “Online sales are showing rapid growth in all channels. Own e-commerce shows double-digit growth, e-commerce partners - three-digit growth. We are also actively developing on the Pure Players platforms,”says Maria Kudryavtseva, General Director of the Estée Lauder Corporation branch in Russia and the CIS countries. Keep other numbers that may seem shocking in the context of the pandemic: Iloanga Ershova, director of business development for Ozon, claims that in the spring of 2020, sales of the decorative cosmetics segment in the online store tripled compared to the same period in 2019.
Overall, beauty companies note the positive role played by major online retailers such as Ozon, Lamoda and Wildberries in maintaining good sales.
But online is an unusual format for a consumer who is used to testing products - color, texture, aroma and other properties. This worries 48% of people surveyed for the GFK and AliExpress Russia survey. In addition, another 38% of consumers are worried that the product purchased "without fitting" will be of inferior quality. Among the advantages of online shopping: favorable prices and discounts, a wide range of products and time savings.
The first months of the pandemic were most difficult for brands that relied on offline sales and did not engage in e-commerce and digital marketing before the pandemic. It was necessary to act quickly. “The principle 'we'll look for a couple of months and then approve the best advertising tool' doesn't work anymore,” explains Anna Sharova, founder of the Anna Sharova brand.
Brands began to develop everything with the prefix "online": courses, products, services, consultants, etc. “In April Authentica launched a program of support for guests and salons of Salon-online. The bottom line is that the user receives a remote consultation from a specialist about the peculiarities of different care and its home use,”says Inna Chekmareva.
Another way to attract consumers is to improve the loyalty system. The Romanovamakeup brand also adhered to this strategy: “We added new delivery options, lowered the threshold for free shipping and made a premium loyalty program: registered users of the site get a permanent 10% discount,” said Olga Romanova, the brand's creator.
The brands also focused on visual content: photos and videos of swatches, videos in how-to format, online broadcasts, especially on Instagram, in order to maximize the experience of physical testing of cosmetics. Large companies have begun to develop VR technologies that make it possible to “try on” make-up tools online.
Has everything returned to normal after the opening of shopping centers and offline sites? Not certainly in that way. “At the end of the year, we saw a revival in offline stores: although traffic dropped, the average check increased, which practically compensated for the previous drop in offline sales,” says Clarins CEO.The Lush brand and the Golden Apple retailer also spoke about the reduction in the number of consumers “walking” around the shops and the increase in purchase conversion and average check.
Surveys show that offline shoppers may be unhappy with the assortment, lack of budget products, and poor service. And after the restrictions have been lifted, retailers are trying to improve the quality of consultations, and, for example, Lush is changing the internal infrastructure of stores and making mobile checkouts to avoid queues.
And other complications and other advantages
It's one thing when we consumers can't or don't want to spend money on cosmetics. Another - when, due to closed borders and covid restrictions, the production of cosmetics stopped and the supply system became more complicated. “The pandemic has had a significant impact on logistics. This is a whole chain: some companies prepare raw materials, others - packaging or individual components of the product. Our production is located in different countries, and factories, for example, have their own suppliers. Everyone is dependent on each other. I had to postpone the launch of one new item,”Olga Romanova shared.
Anna Sharova also spoke about the difficulties of expanding the line during the pandemic, however, the brand's sales doubled over the year. The Pure Love brand has its own developments, and production is located in Russia, so restrictions did not prevent the launch of new products. “This time was effective for our contract customers as well. By the fall, many had already used their funds to compensate for the costs of purchasing imported brands,”said the brand founder, Katerina Karpova. Large manufacturers such as Clarins and Estée Lauder have not experienced any difficulties with the launch of new products, representatives of the companies said.
Closed borders have also influenced the flow of tourists, for example, from China - they are actively buying luxury goods in other countries. As a result, the European luxury market has shrunk while the domestic Chinese market is growing. Including thanks to local private shoppers who buy luxury suites with discounts in Europe and then send them to China, the regional offices of the companies note. The fluctuating exchange rate also added complications, says Natalya Shik, creator of the Shik cosmetics brand. Despite this, the crisis became a point of growth and a reason for the emergence of new products. In the case of Shik - antiseptics, eyebrow products.
In 2020, new players have emerged in the cosmetic market. For example, makeup artist Lena Yasenkova launched makeup brushes. However, she notes that product development was easy and spontaneous. “At such a time, it is important to understand: there is no point in starting something alone. The brand is always a story about people who need to properly interact with each other,” adds Lena. Major players such as Estée Lauder are of the same opinion.
To summarize, cosmetics manufacturers rather positively assess the past year, but prefer not to make long-term plans - you never know: “It is difficult to predict something in reality, where everything is changing very quickly, but based on the opinions of experts, most likely, the first half 2021 will retain many uncertainties and constraints that will affect traffic and consumption. But the second half of 2021, we hope, will be a period of active recovery and return to a more familiar regime,”says Maria Kudryavtseva, General Director of the Estée Lauder Corporation branch in Russia and the CIS countries.
The Clarins brand notes that over the period of the pandemic, the buyer has become more audacious, began to try new complex products and save less on skin care products, which allows them to look optimistically into the future. I am glad that, despite the frightening predictions at the beginning of the year, the Russian beauty industry did not decline, on the contrary, it began to develop internal communications, direct sales to customers and engage in its own production.
But I don't want to worry about another quarantine.
P. S.It is good that consumers bought special scissors, and did not resort to manicure to get their hair cut, like some in our editorial office.
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