Millennials and Gen Zs Dominate Global DTC Sales in Skin Care and Beauty

Global direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have been the big winners in the digital flight during the Covid-19 pandemic, led by millennials and millennials. Driven by product discovery unique, social media marketing and the desire to “have fun”, this young consumer is no longer limited to thinking locally when it comes to shopping.

A recent eShopWorld (ESW) survey of nearly 15,000 consumers around the world found that more than half of Millennials surveyed (52%) have made online purchases from brands outside of their home country for pandemic blockages. Millennials have outperformed their Boomer counterparts 3 to 1 with global DTC brands, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest winners in the category was skin care and, to a lesser but still significant extent, cosmetics. Before the pandemic, the beauty industry operated on the premise that its products were too “affected” to be discovered online. Obviously, this premise is outdated. The clean beauty trend embraced by Millennials has led to a massive surge in online skincare sales during the pandemic. Millennials and Gen Z combined accounted for 40% of cross-border purchases of skincare, cosmetics and perfumes. Only 10% of baby boomers shopped outside of their home country in each of these three categories. Obviously, the shopping paradigm has changed.

The role of social media in driving these trends cannot be underestimated. Millennials and Gen Z consumers have a huge appetite for discovering new brands through social media. GlobalWebIndex recently reported that 96% of social media users aged 16-34 search for products online through social media; 60% discover brands or products through social media advertising; and 52% discover brands or products through recommendations on social networks. Our data shows that more than half (55%) of Millennials and Gen Z have bought through a social media channel, with 37% of this cohort relying on social media influencers for product recommendations.

Retailers with a well-articulated digital offering, like Sephora, performed extremely well during the pandemic due to their strong social engagement before the pandemic. Targeting and interacting with these young consumers is one of the keys to building a solid cross-border clientele. Adding prices in the currency of the country of origin, multilingual content, reliable shipping and generous return policies will help DTC brands achieve higher conversion rates for their millennial consumers eager to discover new exciting products, regardless of their location.

About Thomas Hereford

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