From beautification to health – Independent beauty brands (and not large conglomerates) are leading the charge
San Francisco, CA – January 16, 2020
This particular edition of the Retail Hive series of benchmarking reports evaluates, ranks, and compares the digital presence and quality of user experience of leading mid-size independent ‘beauty’ brands in the US. The brands covered in this report are 100% PURE, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Aromatica, Beautycounter, Beverly Hills MD, City Beauty, Clarins, Drunk Elephant, Glossier, Huda Beauty, Just Nutritive, Kylie Cosmetics, Milk Makeup, Modere, and Sigma Beauty.
The report answers four questions: how the mid-size independent brands fare in the beauty industry, the impact this segment has had on the dynamics of this industry, brands’ positioning relative to each other, and an in-depth analysis of each brand’s digital performance.
Venu Gopalakrishnan, Global CEO and Founder, Litmus7 said that “In the US, the independent beauty brands are gaining momentum and we at Litmus7 are devising tailored IT products and services to help these brands amplify their value proposition”.
The one-of-a-kind evaluation encompasses digital presence (SEO, SEM, display/retargeting, and email marketing effectiveness) and quality of experience (does the feature set conform to established norms of user experience?). Beauty brands will find a wealth of data points and associated analyses that can potentially shape their digital marketing strategy and product roadmap.
This report positions independent beauty brands on a two-dimensional matrix. The horizontal axis evaluates the ‘quality of experience’ offered by brands based on their web/mobile site user experience, and site engagement metrics. The vertical axis evaluates the ‘digital presence’ of brands based on organic and paid search results, direct and referral traffic, social media effectiveness, display ad performance, and email marketing effectiveness.
“The age-old principle of equating beauty with ‘enhancement of physical features’ is being challenged. It has been losing ground to the idea of health, of healthy skin and hair. The independent brands have been at the forefront of this movement,” said Ashish Chaturvedi (Author), Manager, Digital Advisory Services, Litmus7.
In 2018, the makeup category (largest by revenue) grew 1%, while skincare grew 13%, accounting for nearly 60% of industry gains. Interestingly, more than a quarter of the skincare category sales came from natural products, an increase of 23% over the previous year. The agents of change have been the mid-size independent beauty brands, who have successfully ridden this wave.
Please note: Drunk Elephant (now acquired by Shiseido) was an independent brand during the time of this study i.e. Jun-Aug 2019. Hence, the inclusion.
Litmus7, a 100% retail design niche company established its digital leadership with the world’s leading retailers since 2009. Predictable engineering services and solutions for the future are its core focus areas. Well recognised for its engineering excellence, having implemented large eCommerce initiatives for several top retailers. Litmus7’s deep involvement in transformations has created unique success stories, making it one of the most loved retail engineering companies. With highly skilled retail technologists and domain specialists spread across 5 global locations (US, India, UK, Canada and UAE), Litmus7’s portfolio includes Digital Experience (UI/UX, Mobility, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Consumer Store), Store, eCommerce, Analytics, Core Retail Marketing, DevOps, Integrations and Microservices.