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You are currently viewing The challenges and threats of E-commerce in the Cosmetic industry

About 2500 euros are spent individually by French women in a year, and they spend more than 15 minutes daily doing their makeup and applying face care products.
Cosmetics… an important and essential part of most women’s life.

But, to purchase such products, customers need to try them first. Buying beauty products requires a particular assurance that it will properly work on them… so, with e-commerce how can companies provide such try-ons?


Cosmetics vs Digitalisation

Many customers find difficulties in knowing and choosing what products they truly need, for example choosing a product adequate for their skin tone. The lack of advice and testing is considered a major obstacle in the digitalisation of this industry. That is why many companies like Yves Rocher have developed online diagnostics and questionnaires to help customers better choose their make-up products. These beauty diagnoses are sure to help, but do not completely satisfy the customer’s most important needs: interaction and communication. That is why, setting up online conversations, and video consultations will potentially raise customer satisfaction and increase purchasing rate for the company in question.

Moreover, many customers find that mobile applications are not user-friendly enough. Because of the lack of the application’s simplicity and clarity and demanding much information on the customer’s personal life can negatively affect the navigation of the page, leading to abandoning the purchasing process.

In addition, for attending parties, events, gala events, etc, women are being more delicate in terms of timely delivery. Efficient distribution and warehouse stock organisation are a must in this industry. Mainly, delivery time should not exceed 72 hours, or else, customers will probably prefer going to the store to purchase what they need.


Real adequate solutions:

To satisfy customers’ needs, brands have invested in new digital technologies, by providing facial recognition, augmented reality products, try-ons and many more.

As an example, Sephora’s customers can now try out thousands of products, and learn how to apply make-up by animating a Virtual Artist directly on their face. This is what we call face-mapping technology. Moreover, this company provides online tutorials, beauty tips and advice, as well as one-to-one personalisation with a beauty expert of your choice.
Other companies like MAC, Sisley, and Chanel allow customers to choose the product and “try it” by using their cameras.

All this being said, testing products is a must in the cosmetic industry and if not developed properly, can be a downside of selling for the eCommerce sites and applications.

More to talk about: Legally, environmentally?

The cosmetic industry does not only face digital challenges but treats all the way long.

In this industry, companies should pay a high amount of attention to dangerous or non-compliant ingredients that they put in cosmetics and makeup products. Everything nowadays is checked by the authorities before being put on the market. All products need to be in coordination with European standards and should not cause any possible damage to the customers.

Also, with the rise of sustainability and environmentally conscious customers, companies are developing animal-friendly, vegan products that are not tested on animals.

Even though beauty companies succeeded in providing a well-structured experience through eCommerce, a bigger potential is yet to be developed. Due to the emergence of new technologies such as IA, the metaverse, virtual reality and more, far East Asian countries are leading the way as top markets for beauty products, but other countries are yet to pursue this journey.


Beauty Industry Trends & Cosmetics Ecommerce Statistics (2022) (commonthreadco.com)


A propos de Maria El Medawar