The beauty secret of young men: the convenience of buying beauty products online appeals to six in ten young men in the US

January 9, 2013

While “made for men” beauty products are now mainstream, latest research from Mintel reveals that online retailing is the ultimate shopping channel for American men when it comes to beauty. Indeed, the ease and convenience features of shopping online appeal to some 60% of men aged 18-34 who buy beauty products and agree that buying online is more convenient than shopping in-store. This compares to 52% of women of the same age – and 41% of their older male counterparts (aged 55+).

Moreover, 37% of younger men who buy beauty products also report being more likely to make impulse purchases when shopping online compared to shopping in-store, versus 26% of female consumers of the same age.

It is said that a thing of beauty is a joy forever – and it seems young male consumers don’t want to miss the chance to get their hands on the latest beauty products, with the majority (73%) of beauty product shoppers agreeing that buying online gives them access to hard to find products – compared to 69% of women of the same age. Moreover, 43% say that buying online allows them to be the first to try the latest products – versus 30% of women. Also, in time-constrained lives, saving time is another important feature when buying beauty products online, with 73% of young men thinking that shopping online saves them time.
Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel, said:

“The time-saving factor is one of the key drivers for shopping online. The internet allows consumers to shop 24/7 from the comfort of their own home or even when waiting in line at the grocery store. As men are particularly motivated by time-saving and convenience as reasons for shopping online, beauty retailers may want to consider expanding more marketing efforts to this often untapped consumer in the beauty category. Men are a prime target for online beauty retailing as they are less likely to want to spend a lot of time browsing stores and are looking for quick, simple and convenient ways to get the products they want. Additionally, the internet allows for a level of anonymity when shopping for products that may be a bit embarrassing to shop for in person like anti-aging or hair thinning products, particularly for men.”

Tapping into the love younger consumers have for technology, enhanced shopping features are of interest to both men and women in the 18-34 age range. Roughly half (52%) of men and around the same number (48%) of women (aged 18-34) who buy beauty products express interest in apps that could help them pick products based on their needs. Additionally, nearly half (45%) of men (aged 18-34) report that they would be more willing to shop online if websites had interactive customer service features like live chat, versus 32% of women of the same age. Furthermore, nearly one third of consumers (31% men and 30% women) in the 18-34 group like to use mobile devices to research products once they learn about them.

Today’s consumers are still making the majority of their beauty purchases in-store for everyday essentials with 87% of US consumers purchasing shampoo and conditioner in-store over the past twelve months, 70% of consumers who purchased body lotion in-store and 69% body wash in-store. However, when it comes to the most popular beauty products purchased online, it seems facial skincare tops the list. Indeed, one in ten (10%) US consumers who buy online say they have bought facial skincare products online in the last year, followed by women’s fragrances (8%), male fragrances (7%), and makeup (8%).

“Facial skincare, fragrance, and makeup are the most purchased beauty products online, which is a departure from the most purchased beauty products in-store. These products tend to be higher priced, making them more of an investment, and also have longer purchase cycles so consumers may not mind waiting a little longer for shipping. Online shopping also provides consumers with access to more premium and specialty items that were once only available to those who lived near urban areas or high-end shopping outlets,” Shannon Romanowski concludes.

It also seems that consumers shop online to find better deals. Amongst consumers of all ages who buy cosmetics online, 58% agree that if they find something they want in-store, they look on the internet to try and find a better deal, meanwhile 38% like the idea of receiving coupons immediately on their smartphone while shopping in a store.

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