How Covid-19 can Affect the Beauty Industry

How Covid-19 can affect the Beauty Industry

Our experience with SARS indicates rebounding demands are likely to quickly stabilise the beauty market. Meanwhile, key beauty players remain confident amidst uncertainty with expected uptake in e-commerce. Customers are also showing strong urges to get back to their usual beauty routines.

women checking phone

Changes in Consumer Journey and Brand Actions

1. Empathize with consumers and their concerns to get through this trying time.

Brands should show their support to the individuals on the ‘front-line’ during the crisis. They can leverage their existing celebrity ambassadors to enhance the feeling of solidarity.

2. Opportunities to address emergent wants and needs

Brands can leverage social listening to discover the evolving needs of their consumers, to join in on the conversation, to provide useful tips and relevant product recommendations

3. Evolving triggers and methods to drive purchase vie e-commerce
Maximize existing customer base and newly used work collaboration tools as a means to drive further sales potentials via social-commerce. Brands can also utilise the social commerce “formula” (KOL in the public domain combined with KOC in the private domain + EC incentive).
4. Addressing product/ delivery experience/ concerns
It is imperative for brands to manage their customer expectations on timing, given supply chain blockages. They should also provide assurances and address concerns on how products will end up in the hands of their consumers. 


Stages for Beauty

Here are the following stages that will follow the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been broken down into three time periods and accompanied with suggestions on what beauty brands should implement in order for them to ready to adapt to their consumers’ perceptions and evolving purchase decisions.

Consumer Confidence/ Need-States

Striving Now Mar-May

Home-bound, consumers keep their skincare regimes to the bare basics as they have almost no need for makeup. For some, they may use the free time on their hands to begin a re-exploration of their beauty routines. This can include some consumers exploring a new type of eye make-up.

Reviving Comeback Jun-Aug

Consumers are slowly coming back to their routines pre-COVID-19, they may still prioritise health and wellness over beauty. Some may have a low level of confidence due to i.e. lack of grooming after a long time at home or certain restriction such as having to wear masks outside. They may suppress their desire to splurge on beauty related goods.

Surging Tomorrow Sep-Future

Consumers have fully gone back to their pre-COVID-19 routines with a new need to refresh and revamp their beauty collection. They may be more eager to spend and venture into brick-and-mortar shopping stores to experience and indulge in the physical act of shopping in-store as opposed to online. 

Key Moments to Consider

Striving Now Mar-May

A mixed routine of returning to office and the desire to beautify again while wearing a mask or continuation of working from home.

Reviving Comeback Jun-Aug

Post suppression with a greater urge to be mobile and hanging-outdoor.

Key dates: 5:20 Love Festival – depending of the level of recovery, this could be a ‘peak’ moment for couples as it will be the first moment since Christmas for them to enjoy together.

Surging Tomorrow Sep-Future

Consumers will want to travel and explore, this can be a rebound for travel retail sales.

Chinese Valentine’s Day -25th of August- will bring some normality for gifting.

Game Plan

Striving Now Mar-May

Provide bespoke content around consumers’ interest points. Beauty brands will need to closely monitor and remind media mix according to their consumers’ media behaviour. They may also need to redesign the consumer journey and model.

Reviving Comeback Jun-Aug

Prepare a plan for the upcoming battle when brands from all categories will try to occupy limited consumers’ mind space. You will need to use positive tonality to cater to or promote the enthusiasm of consumers who are returning to their normal lives.

Surging Tomorrow Sep-Future

It will be important to capture and maximise the return to normalcy and consumption needs of consumers. It will be beneficial to define potential new growth groups. There will be a need for brands to accelerate digital transformation and omni-channel solutions as well as to develop more diverse communication and retail models. 

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