The beauty industry is hopping on the trend of the digital world…

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The year 2020 has changed the way we shop forever. The pandemic has driven online sales, for example. Now, over 25 per cent of the world’s population shops on e-commerce websites. The dramatic shift from the high street to online landing pages is set to continue. But while COVID-19 has changed many brands’ focus on retail, the beauty industry has continued to innovate. 

There are more factors involved in our changing shopping habits. From consumer demand to understanding the customer experience, beauty brands are opening up to further technological and social innovation. Here we look at how shopping for beauty products will change in the future.

Technology

Technology and the makeup industry are becoming more interwoven. This is already evident in some makeup retailers who offer customers the ability to match their makeup with their skin type and colour by using intelligent scanners. However, innovations may further integrate intelligent technology into our buying decisions, helping us to make smarter decisions about the types of products we buy. 80 per cent of online consumers state that new tech is improving their shopping experience.

Using artificial intelligence (AI), some makeup companies can indicate your skin age and advise which tone of foundation and concealer should be used. Previously, the makeup market had often made it difficult for women of colour to find a matching foundation or concealer. However, this technique allows correct decisions to be made and products to be custom produced for specific customers.

Technology even allows us to test out makeup looks and help guide our purchases. Smartphone filters, the likes of which have been popularised by Snapchat and Instagram, can show us what we look like with a variety of fashionable options. Customers can try on a variety of fashion and beauty products, from clothes, ladies shoes, and makeup. When deciding which colour looks best, choosing from swatches may become the old technique. Instead, seeing the makeup we may buy on our faces without having to apply it may make cosmetic buying a walk in the park. The benefits of this include being able to view multiple makeup looks and colours, avoiding cross-contamination by using testers, and being cleaner overall.

Authenticity

One survey by Ipsos shows that consumers are influenced by the people closest to them over any other group. This means that beauty influencers may not be as effective as first thought. The survey suggests that 50 per cent of people’s beauty choices are influenced by friends, while Instagram and social media influencers only influence 25 per cent of people when it comes to buying beauty products.

Beauty businesses are recognising this and are seeking out more authentic ways to demonstrate and promote their products. Instead of aspirational advertising, where a particular standard of beauty is pedestalled, the future of shopping in the beauty industry will celebrate difference. Diversifying the beauty industry will create a better image for the market, where different body sizes, skin colours, ethnicities, and distinguishable features will be celebrated. Even gender will be a less considerable measure in the industry. The US edition of Vogue recently featured Harry Styles as the first solo-male on the magazine’s cover. Wearing a flowing dress, the singer is taking another step in proving that beauty has no limitations.

Functional

The beauty market has a strong focus on aestheticism. After all, makeup should be used to make us look stronger and feel more confident. But we may be looking for more than colour shades and texture when we go shopping in the future. Instead, makeup is becoming less of a covering tool, and more something which can benefit and rejuvenate the skin underneath.

Gone are the days of clogged pores and heavy chemicals which we would normally associate with makeup. In the future, we can expect natural vitamins, oils, and extracts in our makeup to boost our skincare.

One ingredient in health-boosting makeup is vitamin A. This vitamin can be found in many foundations and base layer cosmetics and can benefit your skin greatly. Vitamin A helps promote and maintain healthy dermis and epidermis. The top two layers of skin can benefit from this health boost which adds natural moisture and can prevent breakouts.

The move is being adopted by more cosmetic companies who understand that, in the future, beauty shopping will focus more on the long-term benefits of cosmetics as opposed to the short-term boost that a new shade of eyeshadow can give us.

The beauty industry is hopping on the trend of the digital world. But the biggest changes will not impose on how we shop, but why we shop. The message of the beauty industry will become one of acceptance and utility, where cosmetics serve a purpose of confidence and change. When we shop for beauty products, we will think about the impact of our buying choices.

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