Search engines, social media key to unlocking opportunity for beauty brands

The nature of beauty products invokes a highly engaging shopping experience whereby customers are accustomed to touching, feeling, smelling and trying on each product and color to find the best fit. Despite this, beauty brands are making strides in the digital world, and e-commerce continues to be a consistent vehicle for how beauty mavens shop, according to recent research by digital marketing firm PM Digital.

According to PM Digital’s latest “Trend Report: Makeup and Skincare Brands Online,” U.S. beauty sales are expected to reach $81.7 billion by 2017, and online key term searches are bound to play a key factor.

In fact, such search engines as Google drove 38% of clicks to makeup and skin care sites during December 2013, according to the research. Social media (e.g., Facebook and You-Tube) and email services also proved to be important sources for makeup and skin care brands, as each drove about 12% of traffic.

While many beauty brands are working to leverage the web, smaller beauty players are unlocking significant opportunities and, according to the research, are heavily reliant on visits from search. PM Digital states that search accounts for at least 1-out-of-4 visits to every beauty brand, and such smaller sites as New York Color and Bioré get upward of 60% of traffic from search.

Let’s not forget about social media. Making up 12% of traffic to makeup and skin care brand sites, social media is not to be underestimated. What’s also important to note is that Facebook “likes” count, at least according to PM Digital.

The research notes that smaller sites in terms of market share, like Vichy and Laura Mercier, have significant “likes” (Vichy has nearly 3 million and Laura Mercier has nearly 1.4 million) and use their pages to promote sales and deals, as well as engage consumers about collections and new products.

Also accounting for about 12% of web traffic is email. Why? It gives beauty brands the opportunity to reach mobile connected consumers on the go, making it a natural fit in an all-encompassing marketing strategy.
PM Digital states that brands like Avon, La Mer, Es-teé Lauder, L’Occitane and Philosophy all have more than 15% of traffic to their sites come from various email services.

Additional key findings include:

  • The top search keywords for makeup and skin care sites fall into three categories: products, concerns and promotion/contest/giveaway searches;

  • Generic searches for makeup or skin care products usually result in product listing ads for department or retail beauty stores;

  • Searches for branded products often result in PLAs with links to both department stores and the brand’s own sites; and

  • Product features and reviews, how-to videos, testimonials, forums and social media continue to be a leading factor in being a trusted perspective.

To view the article with charts, click here.
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