Beauty Counters Step Up their Game to Compete with Online Sales

As millennials continue to be an economic powerhouse, their tech-driven behavior is encouraging some beauty counters to innovate. Last year, online sales in the makeup industry increased by upwards of 30 percent, while online sales for skincare products surpassed in-store sales by 700 percent. This is largely and unsurprisingly linked to the tech-savvy millennial consumer’s affinity for beauty products — plus the convenience and instant gratification of online shopping.

inside of Saks Beauty sectionTo create a more unique in-store beauty experience, companies are rolling out new, niche approaches that focus on the physicality of the product and the space. Presentation-focused upgrades, like a more open floor plan as opposed to a single-brand focused counter, and under-the-radar, hyped up releases have been proven to set the shopper’s experience apart. The new focus is as much on presenting experiences as it is on the products — a major demand exists for clean, natural ingredients with health benefits, including vegan and cruelty-free offerings. There is also a desire for customers to discover a limited or exclusive product, giving them an additional reason to visit stores.

Saks Fifth Avenue, for example, recently moved its beauty section entirely to the shop’s second floor and increased the selection by 40 percent. The floor’s highly Instagrammable layout will include boutique-like pockets that showcase products from sought out luxury brands like Givenchy, Guerlain and Tom Ford. The beauty floor will also offer a large event space created for a variety of panel discussions and tutorials.

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Photo credit: WWD