The health crisis in which we currently find ourselves has meant a before and after for everyone, without exception. We are in a time of uncertainty, crisis and change. Confinement has taken us by surprise and has left us with two great protagonists: the home and e-commerce.
More and more we need to disconnect and carry out activities in a quiet and safe leisure environment. Circumstances push us to take refuge in our home and seek environments in which we feel comfortable fleeing from an outside world that we perceive to be increasingly accelerated, aggressive and unpredictable.
What is cocooning?
We have been preparing for years and the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated a trend that we already saw coming in 2012; the "cocooning". An upward trend of wanting to leave the homeless and have more experiences within our home.
This practice has been accentuated, if possible, even more, with the spread of technology and the use of the Internet. The truth is that it is becoming easier to enjoy the pleasure of being at home with all the possible comforts.
We can carry out all those activities that we used to do outside the home before; consoles make us connected beings, even if we no longer go outside to play; We go to the cinema less and less because we have all the options at home, with large screens and numerous series, movies, podcasts; in terms of catering, we have devices that allow us to make more elaborate dishes or even order food at home; we can train through e-learning at our own pace and without moving; we can socialize with hundreds, thousands of people thanks to social networks; and, of course, teleworking, although many companies have had to implement it urgently and forced marches, it has been possible.
Beauty eCommerce: cosmetic sales of personal care products grow
And what is happening in the world of cosmetics and personal care? This is also a clear example of how consumers need to leave their homes less to enjoy treatments or try products and, above all, to take care of themselves.
The example of Birchbox in these last two months is impressive, ithas reached record figures in their results: an increase of more than 50% in new subscribers and an increase of more than 150% in the sales of our online store.
Their business model, being 100% online, has played a fundamental role, but we must not forget that to reach the consumers, the technology factor and the trend that have talked about must join: our home and having our time to take care of ourselves.
We have also verified this in these months of forced confinement; By increasing the time in our homes, it have had more time for their selves and their consumers have chosen to invest that time in taking better care of themselves, as we have seen reflected in their sales. Some categories that make us aware of ourselves and are basic to our well-being have been greatly increased.
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The sector prepares for the arrival of more technology
What changes are foreseen in this sector? We must forget about product tests -the testers- in physical stores, in shopping centres, in cosmetic chains, etc.
The retailers are betting on artificial intelligence allowing the digital test products (makeup especially) through augmented reality, so a solution is provided, in our opinion is halfway, since the consumer can see the effect of the product, but the sensory experience is lost, a very important and decisive factor when purchasing new cosmetic products.
The increase in online purchases and the difficulty of testing cosmetic products on-site, due to safety and hygiene measures, will make e-commerce more and more consolidated.
Both as a first option to discover makeup, facial, body hair care productsor goop eye cream reviews and, in the case of the subscription model, to test products completely safe at home and be able to buy them later. You can search any product on atomeesuch as Best salicylic acid face wash online and get it from the reputed online store.
In that sense, at Birchbox we have a long way to go since we have been pioneers in this field: moving the product test to the home. The subscriber receives a selection of personalized products at home, tests them and decides, in the tranquillity of her home, which products she wants to buy.
Current circumstances have only accelerated and, above all, forced us to adopt this trend: home, self-care, technology, e-commerce.
And what will happen now? Will these habits that, in many cases, we have acquired compulsorily in a few months will be maintained? The answer is, in my opinion, affirmative since there is no going back for digitization and what is launched at high speed must be taken advantage of.
Ecommerce has accelerated in all sectors, as we have seen in the statistics that speak of penetration, in recent years, of 1% per year to a digital advance, in the last eight weeks, comparable to that of the last ten years.
Thanks to this exceptional situation, we have been able to analyse how we want to be as a company and what we want to contribute to the society in which we operate: are we responsible? Are we sustainable? Are they the values that represent us?
And above all: what have we learned from this health and economic crisis? As a company, we have learned a lot: the importance of the correct management of requests from our consumers, the replenishment of inventory after stock breakages to the extent of having an online delivery system that is safe and appropriate to current demand.