Majority of Beauty Consumers Struggle Making Purchases, Would Value Assistance From Virtual Beauty Advisors, New Market Research Study Finds
Automat-Commissioned Market Research by Wakefield Research Provides Insights Into Beauty Consumers’ Perception of the Purchasing Experience and Areas Prime for Digital Innovation
Montreal– June 27, 2018– Automat, the leader in AI-driven Conversational Marketing, today released the results of a first-of-its kind market research study that illuminates consumer shopping experiences and attitudes regarding beauty purchases, explores the extent to which technology influences those purchases, and identifies areas of unmet needs that messaging experiences can help address. Automat commissioned the study as part of its strategic focus on and commitment to the beauty industry. The new study builds upon the company’s previous launch of Beauty.bot as an industry-wide resource for everything worth knowing about beauty bots.
As more and more consumer purchases have moved online, brands across all industries have looked for ways to be more relevant through digital channels and to meet the needs of their increasingly mobile-first consumers. Beauty brands are especially susceptible to disruption from direct to consumer digital upstarts if they don’t respond to the rapidly evolving needs of modern beauty consumers who are overwhelmed by product choices and product claims. Over the last five years, beauty brands have invested heavily in mobile, social media, augmented reality and other technologies but consumers still lack access to the advice and expertise they need to buy online easily and with confidence in their purchases. Simplistic guided selling tools exist but don’t go deep enough in terms of getting to know consumers, providing personalized and trustworthy recommendations, and delivering positive experiences that cement relationships with consumers over time.
As this new research shows, virtual beauty advisors have reached a tipping point in terms of consumer demand and can readily step into this void in the online customer journey and path to purchase. This creates an opportunity for beauty brands to provide assisted service online and offline not only where real human advisors don’t exist today, but even where they are available since most consumers prefer to be left alone while shopping yet continue to need access to advice and expertise to complete their purchases. Notable findings from the consumer study include:
- 70% of beauty consumers are overwhelmed by too many beauty product choices and 63% of consumers are confused by beauty product claims.
- As a result, over two-thirds of beauty consumers perform extensive online research before making purchases. The most common purchase behavior is researching online and purchasing in a store.
- Approximately two-thirds of consumers prefer to be left alone while shopping. Surprisingly, 71% of consumers use their mobile phones to do additional online research while standing at the shelf. As such, online and offline purchase behavior becomes deeply intertwined.
- Nearly half (49%) of all respondents said that they would definitely use or likely use a virtual beauty advisor when shopping for beauty products whether online or offline.
- Virtual beauty advisors especially appeal to the young, digitally-engaged, frequent beauty purchasers that beauty brands want to reach the most as part of their digital strategies
Automat commissioned the independent, third-party research with consumer research expert Wakefield Research. Between May 11-23, 2018, 1,500 surveys were completed by U.S. female beauty consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 with a household income over $40,000, who are mobile phone users and have Facebook Messenger installed on their phones, and who made a beauty product purchase in the last three months.
“Beauty consumers are really struggling to make sense of which beauty products are right for them. It’s ridiculous that consumers in this day and age have to expend so much time and effort to complete beauty purchases,” said Andy Mauro, CEO and co-founder of Automat. “New conversational AI technology and virtual beauty advisors make it possible to cut through this complexity and provide the ease of use, convenience, and personalized experiences that consumers so clearly need and want.”
Download the full report here.