In a survey of more than 15,000 Klarna shoppers, ages 18 and older, Klarna asked consumers how they are shopping for beauty during the pandemic, what trends are likely to continue and found insights into what new consumer behaviors mean for beauty retailers as stores continue to reopen in 2021.
“Klarna’s beauty survey has uncovered new consumer insights and trends that beauty brands should keep in mind as they plan their strategies for the rest of the year,” said David Sykes, head of U.S. at Klarna. “For example, a key learning is that shoppers across all generations agree that brand values play a significant role in their purchasing decisions when shopping their favorite beauty items.”
Notably, while Klarna’s survey found that shoppers across all generations agree that brand values factor into purchasing decisions consumers across generations showed some difference in which values were most important. In fact, more consumers in the Baby Boomer generation said sustainability values were most important when shopping for beauty products (31 percent) than Gen Z (19 percent). Instead, diversity and inclusion was named the most important value by both Gen Z at 40 percent and Millennials at 31 percent.
When asked what items beauty shoppers want most, skin care came out as the top beauty category shopped during the pandemic. And, more specifically, clean beauty was found to be in high demand. For younger generations, finding products with natural, nontoxic ingredients was named as the biggest consideration when shopping with beauty brands. And Gen Z and Millennials were also more inclined to purchase beauty products that were cruelty-free and vegan — even more so than older generations.
Concurrently, across all consumers, the number-one activity incorporated into health and wellness routines since the beginning of the pandemic was skin care regiments at 33 percent, followed by at-home workouts at 23 percent, vitamins and supplements at 22 percent and meditation at 8 percent.
As vaccines become available, Klarna’s survey found many young shoppers plan to return to stores to shop for beauty — 30 percent of Gen Z and 24 percent of Millennials. However, while 67 percent of respondents said they preferred shopping in-store for beauty pre-pandemic, 42 percent said they plan to continue to shop as they currently are even after the vaccine rolls out.
Over the past year, the survey shows that Millennials were the top generation to prefer mobile shopping at 42.5 percent while all other generations preferred shopping on a desktop. At the same time, younger generations cited buy online, pick up in store options as the “biggest improvement to the in-store beauty shopping experience” during the pandemic, followed by contactless payments. And overall, the option to buy now, pay later was found to be the “biggest factor in improving the online shopping experience” during the pandemic in all age groups, including 75 percent of Gen Z, 76 percent of Millennials, 74 percent of Gen Xers and 74 percent of Baby Boomers. Eighty-eight percent of shoppers saying they are “more likely to shop with a beauty brand that offers a BNPL option.”
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