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5 Considerations When Plumping Up Beauty Categories

With market fragmentation and competing retail formats driving fundamental industry shifts, leading retailers including Amazon, Ulta, and Walgreens have been giving their Beauty categories a makeover.

When Beauty is projected to gross over $62 billion in U.S. sales in 2016, it’s no surprise that most retailers are trying to plump up their Beauty product sections, both in-store and online. From Ulta to Amazon, leading retailers are giving their Beauty strategies a makeover and are transforming the industry. Here are five considerations brands and retailers should keep in mind.

1. Find the gaps

Capitalize on gaps between premium department store Beauty counters and no-frills mass and drug store departments. Both Ulta and Sephora have found success by offering extensive product assortment, including exclusive label alternatives, combined with test and play environments.

2. Price isn’t everything

Ulta has seen results in redefining itself, aiming to refocus efforts on customer experience and convenience, and less so on coupons and discounting.

3. You have the data—use it to sell!

Amazon and other ecommerce players continue to gain traction in Beauty by knowing their customers better than they know themselves. Many shoppers expect a personalized and enhanced customer experience with suggested picks, express delivery, curated product lists, videos/tutorials, and Subscribe & Save options.

4. Don’t neglect traditional channels

Neighborhood drug stores have long been a favorite low-cost option for many Beauty enthusiasts. CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens have widened their assortments to include prestige labels, launched Beauty loyalty programs, and created shopper experiences with staffing, layouts, and even media within the department.

5. Ratings & reviews matter

A recent poll found that the majority of shoppers (58%) prefer to turn to their devices rather than store employees to price check and/or reference a product’s reputation. Understanding product ratings and reviews is a crucial element to wooing shoppers.

Are You Primed to Win in Beauty Categories?

In retail, being the cheapest and most convenient option may guarantee you sales, but at the cost of your margins. Competing on price is never a winning long-term strategy, especially with an established powerhouse like Amazon never trailing far behind. Keep these considerations in mind when giving your beauty strategy a makeover.

Want more? 360pi took an in-depth look into today’s Health and Beauty industry. Read the full report on Beauty Categories or download the Health & Beauty infographic.

About the Author
360pi delivers next generation commerce analytics to retail and brand innovators helping them make sense of retail and shopper big data to realize a winning product-price position across channels and create a consistent shopper experience. 360pi’s customer base accounts for over $US300 billion in annual product sales and includes Ace Hardware,,, and Walgreens, along with several Fortune 500 consumer products companies. Ultimately, 360pi customers use the company’s product and pricing intelligence to make smarter decisions faster, driving increased revenues and margins across all channels.