The Internet is gaining market share when it comes to U.S. prestige beauty sales, according to The NPD Group.

“Online is beauty’s primary growth engine, not just for the future, but now,” said NPD’s global beauty analyst Karen Grant in a statement. “It’s the arena where consumers are most free to investigate and discover products as well as emergent brands. As user-generated content continues to grow more prominent and influential, it’s also building a reputation as the trusted voice consumers turn to when contemplating a purchase. Online, consumers are increasingly more comfortable to buy when they trust the voice.”

Online, prestige makeup sales increased 30 percent, skin care grew by 21 percent and fragrance jumped 25 percent for the first quarter of 2016, compared to the prior-year period. Comparatively, bricks-and-mortar sales were up 9 percent for makeup, 1 percent for skin care and 1 percent for fragrance.

In the total market, with bricks-and-mortar and Internet combined, makeup had $1.7 billion in sales for the quarter, skin care brought in $1.3 billion and fragrance had about $687 million, NPD’s numbers show.

Within the makeup category, facial products drove a 12 percent gain, pushed by primer and concealer sales. In skin care, which includes the hair-care category, shampoo and sun-related products drove sales. Fragrance sales gained 18 percent because of growth in home fragrances, including diffusers and room fresheners, according to NPD.

“Brands and retailers adapting by increasing communication in both traditional and newer formats like user-generated content to tell the brand story and consumer journey, are gaining consumer trust, involvement and advocacy,” Grant said.

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