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Published
Dec 6, 2021
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Consumers embrace physical beauty shopping after online mistakes says study

Published
Dec 6, 2021

The old saying ‘try before you buy’ could have a big influence on beauty purchases this Christmas as consumers choose the high street over online, a survey claims.


Image: Pixabay


New research commissioned by retailer Bobby & Co of Bournemouth — the revived department store business — says ‘fast beauty’ is being rejected by many. This comes after a much as 25% of the £3.3 billion spent buying beauty products online last year was wasted on unsuitable/unused products. 

That means £860 million of beauty products purchased on line were “totally unsuitable, thrown in a drawer never to be used again”, it claimed.

It estimated 19 million people plan to reduce their online make-up purchases with an estimated six million shoppers “vowing to only buy their Xmas make-up in person, avoiding previous lockdown disasters”.

“With a worldwide focus on sustainability and a call to move away from fast fashion, this Christmas people are promising to make their purchases count with 24% of those who have previously ordered cosmetics online vowing to only buy their Christmas make-up looks in person and a further 30% committing to only buying online if they know the product well”, the report said. 

Additionally, another 27% of consumers who’ve previously ordered cosmetics online would consider purchasing a new product online but only if they were offered a proper online matching consultation.

The report claimed that, over lockdown, most consumers had at least one case of buyer’s remorse when it came to beauty. Some 58% of respondents who purchased cosmetics online (14 million) bought make-up they never used, and a further 78% (around 19 million) would spend less money buying make-up online in the future, even if there were a future lockdown.

“While online beauty purchases are no doubt here to stay, it seems many consumers are being drawn back to the high street as we approach the festive season, where they can physically test the make-up to ensure that they can get the best value for money. The results are perhaps not surprising - that the internet isn’t the answer to every purchase,” the report said.

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