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UK consumers are beauty brand loyal, but make-up has low loyalty levels

Published
today Nov 11, 2019
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Many Britons are unadventurous when its comes to the beauty products they use, which means they return to the same item again and again, making investment in keeping those customers happy extremely important.


Lipstick brands have low consumer loyalty compared to some other beauty products


However, it’s also crucial to invest in sampling as a third of consumers would switch products after a positive experience from a free sample, and with many make-up categories having much lower levels of loyalty than some other products, the opportunity for brands to win new fans is big.

A survey from Showerstoyou.co.uk spoke to 2,178 Britons about how loyal they are to the beauty products they’re using, and how many of them would throw them away in favour of a new launch.

The brands consumers are most likely to stick with are fragrance labels, with 68% always re-buying from the same brand. It’s a similar figure for mascara (66%), while foundation enjoys a 54% loyalty rate.

However, the figures decline sharply for some other categories with eyeliner on 38%, lipstick 31%, primer 29%, concealer 27%, bronzer 26%, contour products 24%, eyeshadow 22%, powder 19% and blusher lagging behind on just 18%.

Consumers tend to stick with their existing products for one very good reason — because they perform well (71% say so) — but their other reasons also suggest there’s plenty of opportunity to get them to switch, even though 53% say they’re “afraid” to change products. Some 57% are attracted by ‘good value’, 41% stick with a brand because it’s vegan, 23% because they like the packaging and 18% because “everyone else is using them”.

But 60% of consumers say they’re open to trying something new and the survey also showed what influences them to switch. As many as 52% are influenced by their friends using a product, with 47% saying that an influencer vouching for it has an impact. The results showed 33% will be affected by receiving a free sample and 31% by whether the brand is cruelty-free.

And it seems packaging really matters for a sizeable minority of consumers. We’ve already seen that 23% stick with a product or brand as they like the packaging, but it seems that 21% would also actively switch if they liked the packaging of the alternative more.

So where are these consumers buying their beauty products? As many as 68% still go to Boots, but 61% choose Superdrug. Some 57% choose a brand’s own store, while Debenhams’ beauty department attracts 44%, as does John Lewis. A brand’s e-store is the choice for 41% with 37% going to a multibrand beauty e-store. And 29% patronise other department stores. 

Two things are clear from this — Britons still prefer to buy beauty products in physical stores and online sales are increasingly significant.

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