According to e-Marketer, while beauty and personal care items do sell better when accompanied by photos and videos online, shoppers still overwhelmingly prefer to sample products in-store before purchasing. But once they do decide which products they like, their preferences solidify, and shoppers refill online.
eMarketer also projects US health and personal care retail ecommerce sales will increase from $19.7 billion to $27.6 billion between 2015 and 2018 and account for 5.6% of total retail ecommerce sales in the country.
However, there are still large hurdles to overcome. A Harris Interactive poll asked Internet users why they felt more comfortable purchasing cosmetics in-store rather than online; 62% were concerned a computer screen may skew colors, creating the need to see the item in-person.
Harris also discovered an increased desire to shop in-store when trying a new product. 69% agreed they were more likely to go to in-store when purchasing new health or cosmetic products for the first time. In this situation, shopping online still can’t recreate the offline experience—but once shoppers know what they want, 88% agreed they’ll shop anywhere—online or off—to get the best price.
Brands are getting closer to closing the gap between the offline and online experience, using augmented reality to mirror the tactile in-store environment. ModiFace, creators of virtual makeover and visualizations apps, partnered with industry-leading beauty retailers and brands to simulate the in-store experience with apps that give consumers customized recommendations based on their individual needs.
As US health and personal care retail ecommerce sales continue to grow, it’s critical to provide a strong online experience that supports the in-store shopper.
To learn more about how to create seamless experiences from online to offline, download our “Building a Digital Foundation” whitepaper here.