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Trendalytics and Beautycon Report on the Changing Retail Landscape

"The Revolution of Beauty Retail" report precedes this weekend’s Beautycon Festival in New York.

Within the changing beauty retail landscape, digital savvy brands that bear the imprint of enticing experience are winning the hearts of Generation Z.

In collaboration with Beautycon, which is hosting its ninth festival this weekend in New York, Trendalytics reports that 73 percent of Generation Z department store purchases were done in store, thanks to innovative and social media worthy in-store experiences.

Some brands that have successfully implemented these in-store experiences are E.l.f., whose influencer gathering space, Beautyscape, increased the brand’s Instagram following by 25 percent, and Kylie Cosmetics, which had customers waiting in line for two days before the brand’s New York pop-up opened.

“Retail is in a period of significant change, and younger consumers in particular now demand that their [real life] retail shopping be rooted in experiences,” said Moj Mahdara, chief executive officer and cofounder of Beautycon Media. “Everyone has this preconceived notion that Generation Z and young Millennial consumers are glued to their phones, only navigating life through a screen, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

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This gravitation toward immersive experiences extends to festivals, both beauty related like Beautycon, but also music festivals, like Burning Man and Coachella. The report states that 12 percent of 13- to 18-year-olds cite beauty festivals as their most important source for information when doing their beauty shopping.

“Creative concepts at festivals like Coachella and SXSW push the boundaries of memorable, ‘snappable’ experiences by leveraging cutting-edge technologies or giving festival goers insider access,” said Karen Moon, ceo at Trendalytics. “Validating what works in pop-ups is a smart way to test concepts before rolling out more broadly.”

The report also shows the power of limited quantity or exclusive products: consumers aged 19 to 44 years old are twice as likely to be affected by exclusivity when making a purchase. This influence was seen when Kat Von D sold out every shade of the brand’s latest Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks collection within 48 hours and when Tarte Cosmetics received 16 percent more engagement on Instagram after posting pictures with limited-edition products.

A final key takeaway from the report is product loyalty. While 19 percent of Generation Z consumers versus 29 percent of shoppers over the age of 45 are loyal to a brand, hero products and brand partnerships keep attracting younger consumers. For example, 48 percent of consumers state their beauty shopping starts with a specific hero product, like Too Faced’s Sweet Peach Palette, which caused searches for “peach palette” to increase 16 times.