After a performance dip in 2020, the beauty industry is finding new and innovative ways to connect with consumers, despite drastic changes in purchasing preferences. According to PowerReviews, 22% of beauty consumers prefer buying on a specialty beauty retailer's website, and 21% will opt for a mass retailer's store — such as Walmart or Target. Another 18% will purchase at a specialty beauty retailer's store. As a result, specialty beauty retailers are pivoting to curate in-store partnerships, and retailers previously not in the beauty space are entering the market.
This year, luxury e-commerce players Farfetch and Moda Operandi announced plans to enter the beauty market. In April 2022, Farfetch began carrying over 100 luxury and indie brands, from La Mer to Nécessaire. The following month, Moda Operandi announced plans to start selling makeup, skincare, and fragrance products later this year.
Make no mistake: the rise in beauty e-commerce doesn't mean the in-store experience is dead. Last year, retailers fully invested in the idea of retail space (both online and in-store). Ulta opened shop in more than 100 Target locations, while Sephora and Kohl's partnered up to make beauty more accessible.
As top retailers continue to increase their assortment of beauty products, we analyze which categories they are prioritizing at the moment and the opportunities within each category.
Sets are growing in demand, and retailers are stocking up. Over the past 30 days, top beauty retailers have increased their assortment of beauty sets by 17%.
Sets offer a low-risk, cost-effective way for consumers to test new products. The appetite for newness in the beauty space has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. According to PowerReviews, 40% of people surveyed were more likely to try new-to-them beauty products now than pre-COVID.
The smaller, less expensive versions of the full-sized products make sets convenient for on-the-go use, as travel (and need for travel-size packaging) soars. In June 2022, NudeStix launched the Citrus Renew Set, a TSA-friendly kit containing a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and micro-peel. Glow Recipe also dropped two travel-friendly sets: the Soothe & Glow Duo and Plump & Brighten Duo.
- Elf Makeup Brush Set, online searches +285% to LY
- MAC Lipstick Set, online searches +34% to LY
- Anastasia Contour Kit, online searches +21% to LY
Tools, Bags, & Cases
After two-plus years of COVID-related cancellations, consumers are splurging on "revenge travel." According to The Vacationer, approximately 80% of Americans intend to travel this summer, about 35 million more than last year.
As summer travel plans heat up, retailers are stocking up on travel-friendly accessories. Over the past 30 days, top beauty retailers have increased their assortment of tools, bags, and cases by 16%.
Cadence (pictured above) offers refillable, magnetic travel containers made of ocean-bound plastic. Consumers can customize their capsules with pre-made labels, making everything easy to locate.
- Travel Makeup Brush Set, online searches +126% to LY
- Travel Bag, online searches +114% to LY
- Travel Hair Dryer, online searches +111% to LY
Oral beauty products are entering the luxury and mass market as consumers rethink every step of their daily personal care routine. Over the past 30 days, top beauty retailers have increased their assortment of toothcare by 8%.
New products from up-and-coming brands like TWICE, Tend, and Mintly are reshaping how consumers view their oral hygiene routine. With the continued trend of health and self-care, there's an opportunity for products that integrate trending ingredients into floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash formulations.
- Heritage Brands: Marvis and Colgate have evolved to remain culturally relevant. In 2021, Colgate launched CO. by Colgate, an oralcare collection aimed at Gen Z. Marvis continues to prove that the classics are best. Chic before its time, the ornately packaged Italian brand lends an undeniably elegant heritage touch to the bathroom sink.
- #Shelfie: Oralcare brands Moon (backed by Kendall Jenner) and vVardis feature chic, minimalist design, while Cocofloss and ROCC offer colorful, creative packaging for a sensory experience.
- Eco-Conscious: Bite and Georganics offer sustainable solutions for hard-to-recycle products to end plastic and water waste. Bite is entirely plastic-free and carbon neutral, and their low-waste, tube-free oral care bites are 100% gluten-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and free from harsh chemicals.
After two-plus years of slowdown, the makeup category is growing, and lip looks are taking center stage. Over the past 30 days, top beauty retailers have increased their assortment of lip products by 7%, and sell out of the category has increased by 50% over the same time period.
Routines are evolving post-pandemic, and demand has shifted from lip exfoliators (-1% to LY) to lip liner (+15% to LY) and gloss (+11% to LY). The hybridization of makeup and skincare has created an opportunity for products that showcase a bold lip with healthy new benefits. In June 2022, Kosas launched lip liners infused with Hyaluronic Acid for ultimate hydration.
- Dior Lip Gloss, online searches +259% to LY
- MAC Whirl Lip Liner, online searches +185% to LY
- Chanel Lip Gloss, online searches +131% to LY
Want to understand more about emerging categories and brands? StyleSage clients can find more data in our Trend Radar and Recently Introduced charts!