According to the market research institute Kline Group, the U.S. cosmetics retail market is changing. Technology and the advancement of the Internet are changing the consumer’s behaviour and the cosmetics industry’s distribution strategies. This also concerns the professional channel. According to Kline, retail outlet strategies can be guidance for the professional beauty channel in order to gain a larger market share.
Brands that were previously exclusive to the professional channel are now using retail outlets as part of their channel strategies, the market research firm states. The Internet has become a legitimate venue for professional products thanks to initiatives like Loxa Beauty by BSG and L’Oréal’s collaboration with StyleSeat, as Kline reports.
However, professional outlets – which include salons, spas, beauty institutes, and doctors’ offices – account for about 7% of total U.S. market sales when factoring in back-bar (professional use) products, making it the smallest retail outlet, the company points out. In contrast, mass outlets (food stores, drug stores, and mass merchandisers combined) command the lion’s share of market sales at 61%. According to Kline, the professional segment could gain market shares by orienting towards strategies of the retail outlet and its use of data.
Kline explains that most retailers view themselves omni-channel in order to reach out to the largest possible audience made up of smaller sub-demographics. Technology and the advancement of the Internet makes online shopping an everyday consumer purchasing behavior. In addition, the consumer’s path to purchase is not always clear as offline and online shopping are more intertwined than ever before, as the analysts state. Retailers are no longer bound by a particular channel.
Moreover, the advancing technology makes it possible to capture timely and detailed information and insights on markets, shoppers and transactions. According to Kline, these data can help to identify latest market trends and emerging product innovations. So they can improve marketing and distribution strategies of manufacturers and retailers.