Cosmetics Survey Highlights Consumers’ Preferences

by Dr. Kurt Jetta on Mar 17, 2015 3:00:00 AM Brand Marketing

CosmeticsSurveyHighlightsConsumersPreferences-639349-editedRecently, we released part 2 of the TABS Group Cosmetics Study, which examines beauty consumers and their attitudes toward specific brands, outlets, and product attributes. We surveyed 1,000 women between the ages of 18-75, testing for awareness, favorability, and the effects of deals, outlet share, and brand loyalty.

While the study focused specifically on cosmetics brands, this data is valuable to direct response marketers across industries because it shows how a product’s awareness, positioning, and price point can affect purchasing decisions. Let’s take a look at the major findings:  

Awareness, Favorability, and Availability

There’s a direct connection between awareness and favorability. Brands with high levels of awareness have higher levels of favorability overall. The mainstream brands such as Maybelline, Revlon, and Cover Girl have the most awareness of the brands sold in mass outlets (such as Walmart and Target), while Estee Lauder, Clinique, and Chanel have the highest level of awareness of the brands sold in specialty outlets (such as Ulta, Sephora, and department stores). Furthermore, the availability of products affects conversion rates. Products that are available in mass outlets convert at twice the rate of other brands. In other words, the “exclusivity” factor does not necessarily drive higher conversion rates.

The Effects of Deals

As in prior TABS Group studies, we found that more deals mean more sales. Favorability also increases for mainstream mass brands as their deal activity increases. Higher deal levels drive higher loyalty among cosmetics buyers. For most consumers, offering “good deals” is the most important purchase attribute that consumers said that they look for when buying cosmetics. This data, once again, debunks the myth that discounts or deals damage a brand’s reputation.

Outlet Share

Looking at the outlet share, department stores are the top selling outlet among high-price buyers. Sephora and Amazon also generate high shares among this group, whereas Walmart and Dollar Stores are the leaders among the low price buyer group. Walgreens and Target saw a meaningful gain in share among more active deal seekers, whereas CVS and Rite Aid did not. CVS and Walgreens show low shares among high-price buyers despite strong beauty clinic initiatives. Our data shows that the in-house beauty advisor, a tactic many retailers have been experimenting with, simply doesn’t make a difference in sales.

Brand Loyalty

Though there are differences in awareness, favorability, and conversion across brand profiles, brand loyalty is remarkably consistent across all brands (between 44 percent and 49 percent). Solid loyalty among less well-known brands demonstrates that product performance, not brand imagery, matters to consumers.

For more information about the data, click below to download the infographic.

Download Infographic

Image courtesy of marin/

Dr. Kurt Jett is the founder of TABS Group.

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