On a global scale, the cosmetic industry has had to assess and adapt in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, brainstorming innovative ideas and expanding upon previously established concepts, all for the purpose of retaining and attaining consumers.

Although the lockdowns and store closures are less in abundance now, in the long-term, the coronavirus outbreak will have tremendous effects on the industry because many people will remain reluctant to step foot into a brick-and-mortar store and precautionary measures are stifling how business itself is conducted.

Emerson Campbell is the owner of Konstantine & Co, a beauty and cosmetic company, and he has outlined the specific, multiple impressions that COVID-19 has left on the global cosmetic industry.

Digital Delivery

Companies have ramped up their online efforts in response to the COVID-19 restrictions, pushing forward and banking on their e-commerce platforms to serve its consumers, Emerson Campbell states. L’Oréal, for instance, reported a 52.6% growth in its e-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2020, a remarkable rise from the previous year’s totals, that accounted for nearly 20% of the firm’s total sales. The majority of consumers will certainly continue preferring online purchasing options for their beauty and personal care products, while plenty of others will be clicking away on items to add to their cart more than ever. A Mintel survey conducted in March 2020 proved that 49% of South Korean consumers and 16% of Japanese buyers enhanced their online shopping habits. E-commerce and digital offerings are expected to be the top priorities of cosmetic establishments for the coming months, perhaps years. Before you know it, live streams could very well be broadcasting events such as product launches and campaigns regularly.

Collaboration and Branching Out

Across all sectors, companies are discovering the importance of expanding their reach and venturing into new territory, Emerson Campbell confirms. Several companies have already taken the initiative in this regard by providing assistance in the face of a pandemic, a generous choice that will keep them in the public’s perception following the crisis. Wacoal, a lingerie brand, opted to utilize its production facilities to produce free face masks. LVMH, the Shiseido Company and Beiersdorf all committed to produce hand sanitizers for the community. And the Verdant Lab, based out of Singapore, is offering hand sanitizers for sale, too. Understanding this need to team up with other sectors outside of their niche, companies are bound to show more of a versatile side in their business maneuvers.

Supply Chain Setbacks

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, cosmetics and personal care manufacturers were already experiencing supply chain disruptions. Now, those interruptions have only been amplified, as illness concerns and precautions to prevent the coronavirus spread impact the cosmetic industry’s global workforce, Emerson Campbell says. Jon Moeller, the CFO of P&G, reported at a February conference that as many as 17,600 products could have been affected. Due to these supply chain problems, the onus will be on companies to promote sustainability in their product development, whether that is single packaging or less of a reliance on paper. For what it’s worth to cosmetic companies, consumers are sure to be more alert of the entire product that they ultimately purchase.

Emerson Campbell on Deterrents and Discounts

With large gatherings and glamorous events still on hold, people will naturally spend less on cosmetic products, despite the newfound urge to partake in more online shopping, Emerson Campbell points out. Also, salons have been closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting many make-up artists and hairstylists out of work. Smaller beauty companies had to relinquish their businesses, events and launch campaigns were cancelled, and crucial beauty trade shows were called off.

When people do regain their comfort and confidence in entering a retail store, they will be met by a greater amount of promotions, something that several brands have implemented into their online resources. Discounts, some as high as 40%, are already available through digital surfing, intended to outwit department stores and specialty beauty-product retailers in the attracting of promotion-chasing consumers. Hopefully, the discounts will prove to encourage purchasing among consumers and incentivize many others to follow their lead by visiting stores. Retrieving customer foot traffic is going to be a tricky challenge, so stores will be forced to display more promotions, especially for the unsold seasonal inventory.


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