Want to attract big spenders? Keep those BOGO promotions coming.
Just because online “power shoppers” spend more than $2,500 on beauty products every year doesn’t mean they want to spend it all at once, according to a new international survey by ESW, a global and domestic direct-to-consumer e-commerce company.
“Sixty-seven percent of Gen Z and Millennial global online beauty shoppers prefer to wait for lower prices on products and will risk that an item they want may become out of stock,” reports ESW. “In fact, nearly 40% of beauty ‘power shoppers,’ defined as those who spend at least the equivalent of $2,500 online annually, are bargain shoppers.”
Clarissa Schealer, ESW’s VP of Sales, Beauty, Wellness & Lifestyle Brands, exclusively tells CEW, “Young people are just savvy — they know the cadence, here — that when there’s a holiday, a particular product is going to go on sale. They’re marking their calendars and waiting for that time to make the right purchase.”
Even so, an emphasis on scarcity still drives a buyer to the add-to-cart button. Brand-identified “super fans” are willing to pay full price for early access (21%) to or limited-edition products (25%). And even bargain shoppers can be a part of that fandom, says Clarissa, if they feel like they’re getting special access.
Thanks in part to social media, both exclusivity and inclusivity have become signs of an aspirational lifestyle. “There are two sides to the coin,” explains Clarissa. “We like to think of ourselves as individuals but being a part of a group is powerful and unique; people like the idea of ‘I have it and so does everyone else.’ There’s the idea of wanting to be individual but also wanting to be like the other folks out there.”
Beyond being willing to wait for sales and limited releases, younger online beauty shoppers are also more likely to buy products from other countries, according to ESW data. The survey results collected in November 2022 include 16,557 shoppers in 16 countries (Canada, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, India, China, South Korea, Japan, and Australia). “Nearly 25% each of Gen Z (23%) and Millennial shoppers (24%) made beauty purchases cross-border within the last 12 months,” they report. Shoppers in China (41%) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) (36%) were most likely to cross a digital border — usually to the United States or France.
Clarissa believes that brands updating their e-commerce sites to accommodate these shoppers could lead to a boost in sales. “In the beauty space we like to be authentic,” she says. “Yet, we’ll forget that authenticity comes with understanding shoppers. A brand would never think to open a store in Japan and have everyone speak English and have all the prices in US dollars. But their e-commerce sites don’t [reflect that]. It’s important to make sure that in your advertising and on your site that you’re truly seeing them—that you’re speaking to people in their local language.”
Improving SEO may be an important step in doing this, she says. “In Australia, when they’re searching for lipsticks, quite often the search term people use is ‘lippie’—which is adorable,” Clarissa says. “If you’re a brand who’s marketing your lipstick in Australia, and you’re not maximizing that search engine optimization with ‘lippie,’ they might not find you as quickly. It’s important to know your market and make sure that you’re letting them find your product in their authentic voice.”