Innovative tools in the global beauty and personal care industry are changing the way consumers purchase presents for their family and friends. Here, Global Beauty and Personal Care Analyst Lauren Goodsitt shares three lessons digital marketers can learn about the way beauty gifting has changed this holiday season.

2 in 5 US consumers who celebrate any holiday agree that getting the right gift is more important than the price.

1. Let the recipient customize their gift

While some consumers feel that the gift of money is impersonal, others prefer monetary gifts to make desired purchases. GiftNow strikes a balance and allows both the recipient and gifter to play a role in the process by letting gift givers select an item from participating retailer sites, input the receiver’s email address and then give the receiver the option to customize the order. According to Mintel’s report on winter holiday shopping in the US, two in five US consumers who celebrate any holiday agree that getting the right gift is more important than the price. The service is more than a virtual gift card; it ensures that the recipient sees the thoughtfulness of the gift. In fact, 45% of UK consumers who bought gifts for 2016 agree that personalized gifts are more meaningful, according to Mintel’s UK report on Christmas shopping habits. The ability to modify the selected gift will be especially important to color cosmetics brands and ties well to consumer interest in personalization, making gifting cosmetics a more seamless process.

2. Capitalize on digital tools

Consumers worry that gifts will not be well received. Beauty products can be an especially daunting gift to give as it is so personal. When gifting beauty sets, 25% of female UK consumers worry that they will be the incorrect product or shade, according to Mintel’s UK report on beauty and personal care gift sets. To help combat this fear, retailers can utilize various online portals and or questionnaires to offer guidance to consumers and help them pick the best gifts.

Online sites have the opportunity to partner with gifters to lend a helping hand during the holiday season. Sephora recently launched its Gift Finder, which enables consumers who may be less familiar with beauty to find products that suit their recipient’s needs. The quiz consists of three questions about who the consumer is shopping for, how much they want to spend and the genre of products. Not only do consumers have the option to select palettes or skincare, they can also select trending or top-selling products per demographic group. The additional categories allow consumers who may not be familiar with the beauty market to make trend-focused purchases without conducting hours of research. Brands can learn from the tool and look for ways to easily educate gifters on beauty trends and popular items prior to purchase. Little effort is required, but the result demonstrates care and an understanding of the categories.

Source: Sephora.com

3. Add sparkle to social media

Glitter and sparkle are synonymous with the holiday season. From apparel to footwear, color cosmetics and even phone apps, glitter is having its moment. Apps like KiraKira are helping brands to differentiate their social posts by adding that extra sparkle to photographs and videos. KiraKira is a Japanese app that first made it’s mark two years ago, but has recently gained traction in the US. The app has seven different glittery filters that allow consumers to add extra sparkle to photos or videos. Brands can use KiraKira to differentiate their holiday season social media posts by adding eye-catching sparkle to photos or videos to help capture users’ attention among a sea of posts. KiraKira, or apps like it, are a simple and cost-efficient way to increase engagement on a brand’s social media page.

Lauren Goodsitt is a Global Beauty & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel. With over 6 years of research experience, Lauren brings expertise in data analysis and trend interpretation. She utilizes research to help develop innovative product concepts, understand the landscape of the beauty categories, and to apply relevant industry trends.