#Culture: AI Testers, Digital Retail And Self-Checkouts. Here’s What The Future Holds For Beauty Retail In A Post-Covid Era
By the time corona creeps back to where it came from and all of this is finally over, I seriously fear I’ll slide back to being a beauty beginner. And I was pretty good at the beauty game, even if I say so myself. I was pro at makeup. But now, having gone without even touching an eyeliner in what seems like forever, I feel like I’d have to learn how to draw a steady winged liner and what goes on face after the primer, all over again. All those beauty lessons and binge-watching makeup tutorials gone to waste in a matter of 5 months (and counting).
Going through this dry spell, beauty wise, I have had the chance to reflect upon my impulsive splurges on makeup and beauty buys. I used to spend about one fourth of my hard-earned salary on fancy foundation bottles, cutest looking skincare products and oh, lipstick sets (you know those mini lipstick sets?) because I could never finish a big one without getting bored of it in some time. So I am not a smart shopper! Don’t you judge me.
I am not the only one who has pulled the plug on the monthly (sometimes weekly) purchase. The whole $500 billion worth beauty industry has come to a halt. There has been a dramatic drop in sales, which is not surprising. It panned out as anticipated, in fact, the consumer is likely to give up on luxury items in the times of crisis and, this is a crisis, alright.
However, the good news is that it is not going to be like this forever. If the beauty reports are to be believed, the industry will bounce right back albeit some changes in the way we shop. The future of beauty retail may be hazy but here are a few changes in the industry’s approach and buying habits that you can expect in beauty retail post-Covid.
Also Read: 5 Ways In Which Shopping Is Likely To Change After Coronavirus. Think Virtual Trial Rooms And The Like
A boost in local beauty brands
In the wake of small brands losing business in the Covid lockdown, the Indian government encouraged citizens to support the locally made brands so that the economy can limp back to normalcy. Plus, consumers in the last few months have become more conscious of what they spend their big bucks on. As a result, #vocalforlocal would pick up and Indian beauty brands will finally get the attention they deserve.
— Hauterfly (@TheHauterfly) January 26, 2016
Skincare is self-care
If there’s one thing we have all learned in the lockdown and can unanimously agree on is that letting your skin breathe and investing in skincare is the ultimate self-care. While buying makeup is pointless since we have nowhere to go, except the grocery shop, that too with a mask on, there is an increased demand for skincare products which will continue even post-Covid. Brands are already looking at foraying into more wellness products like eye masks and body scrubs to find a voice in the at-home beauty treatment line. With facials at a salon seeming like a distant reality, more people are going to be investing in products to use at home – especially whole regimes.
No testers, sorry
If you are missing your visits to the beauty stores and can’t wait to stroll through the mall, stopping at every beauty kiosk in the vicinity, to try a lipstick or two, you’re in for some major disappointment. AI induced face mapping and virtual trial of makeup products would be available for you to test the shade of products online. So basically, it will be long before you can get your hands on those in-store makeup testers and samples.
.@LancomeUSA shifted 20 per cent more samples to its own digital business and that of its retail partners like @Sephora. Sampling plays a vital role in converting shoppers to a luxury price point, and a large driver of sales. https://t.co/EUgEym56uu
— Vogue Business (@voguebusiness) July 23, 2020
Just like fashion, beauty retailing will also become completely digital-savvy. While physical stores won’t be replaced, to maintain social distancing and ensure minimum fiddling with shoppable items, online shopping will subsist for beauty products. Even if the stores are up and running, scans and self-checkout will be the preferred modes for shopping offline, and cashless payments might be the only payment method available.
The general consensus is that consumers post-Covid are going to be more conscious culturally, financially and socially. The financial aspect of it is because of the crumbling economy and fear of surviving in the uncertain times. That’s obvious. However, lockdown has been a perfect time to not only ponder over the ideologies of the brands we choose but also to support what’s right and call out what’s not (cue, beauty brands conveniently selling the idea of colourism through their products). Consumers are expected to be culturally, socially and environmentally responsible post Covid. And, that’s good.
‘Fair & Lovely,’ skin whitening and the pitfalls of performative allyship, according to Anum Chandani, Marvi Ahmed and Hira Hashmi https://t.co/S0ctMyg8Xf
— Washington Post Opinions (@PostOpinions) July 28, 2020
The beauty industry will set out on a revival path before you know it. As soon as people are up for loosening their purse strings again, stores will open up, products will pour in and the stores will be up and running. Although the shopping experience is going to change up a tad bit, who cares as long as you are getting to hoard your beauty staples just like before? Amirite?
Also Read: #Culture: Eye Makeup Is Stealing The Show In Corona Times Since That’s The Only Thing You Can See Over Masks. The Looks Are Gorgeous!