beauty consumer

To better understand the U.S. consumer’s behavior toward beauty purchasing decisions and sentiment toward sustainability within the beauty and wellness category, Scalefast, the digital commerce solution company, has released two beauty digital hype reports that uncover not only expectations for sustainability efforts as they extend to the beauty and wellness brands they purchase but also larger generational divides that are driving purchases across the industry.

The studies, “Beauty Digital Hype Report: Shoppers and Sustainability” and Beauty Digital Hype Report: Generational Rifts in Shopping Behavior,” were conducted with the third-party research firm YouGov, and surveyed nearly 1,200 U.S. adults who purchase beauty and wellness products in late May 2021.

According to Scalefast’s report, a quarter of U.S. consumers would try a new beauty or wellness product if they knew it was sustainable with 61 percent also indicating that they rate a brand’s caring about sustainability efforts as somewhat important to very important when they are shopping for a beauty or wellness product — making it vital for brands to share its goals and efforts with consumers.

“A huge desire for sustainable beauty or wellness products combined with a gap in consumer trust and education provides a massive opening for brands like those leveraging Scalefast to better communicate with customers around how they are implementing sustainability into their products and supply chains,” said Olivier Schott, founder and chief marketing officer of Scalefast. “Thirty-five percent of consumers want transparency and education on brands’ sustainability efforts. Our goal is to help beauty and wellness brands better identify where in their respective operations they can move toward more sustainable practices and in turn create profits and loyalty in the process.”

Notably, 21 percent of consumers told Scalefast that they don’t trust that brands are as sustainable as they claim to be and 25 percent said they don’t know how to tell if a product is sustainable at all. However, if they know for certain a product is sustainable, 21 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay more, 38 percent said they would even be willing to make sacrifices like accepting less packaging and 28 percent said they would accept longer wait times.

Looking ahead to the next five years, 84 percent of the survey respondents said they would “like to see beauty and wellness brands and retailers taking action toward sustainability challenges.” Almost half of these consumers said cutting down on the waste created by shipping and helping to recycle items that are easy to dispose of as top ways beauty brands should reduce their impact.

Meanwhile, Scalefast’s reports also revealed a generational divide among consumers when it came to general attitudes toward beauty and wellness, especially when shopping digitally. While those consumers age 18 to 34 were found twice as likely to be interested in leveraging technology features such as augmented reality or virtual-reality tools to preview beauty products before making a purchase than those over age 55, the younger consumer was also three times as likely to be interested in using voice assistants, like Alexa, when shopping for these products.

Moreover, when looking at preferred payment methods, Millennials were found to be the most interested in using buy now, pay later options at 36 percent, with authors of the report noting the importance of having these features to offer younger shoppers.

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