Reinventing beauty retail: the transformation to an online space


For the 2021 edition of WeCosmoprof International, the world’s largest trade show usually based in Bologna, Ascential experts from across WGSN, EDGE by Ascential and Flywheel Digital collaborated on an exclusive panel and report exploring how the post-pandemic era will transform beauty sales.

For the global digital show, WeCosmoprof International gathered beauty, skincare and packaging businesses, experts and innovators under one (virtual) roof to collaborate and inspire. Here at Ascential, we’ve collaborated across our sister brands to bring you our very best beauty product experts and consumer experts from WGSN, digital commerce and e-commerce experts from EDGE and Flywheel Digital to dig into the industry’s most-asked questions of how to innovate and drive beauty business in a post-Covid-19 world. 

Embed wellness into products

“Every beauty brand – in fact every brand – must act like a health and wellness brand in the wake of the pandemic. People have become acutely aware of how their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing is interconnected, and brands must create products that offer consumers support. Consider reformulating skincare and make-up favourites to include stress-busting activities or embedding products into a ritual that plays to self-care.”
– Jenni Middleton, Director of Beauty, WGSN


Highlight your values

“Align your values to your target audience, as consumers increasingly expect the brands they buy from to mirror their values and identities. A blanket approach or POV will not go down well. Young consumers are looking for civic awareness and a sensitivity towards culture, gender and identity. Brands must have cultural clout and agency. Great products are a byproduct: brand mission and ethos will be considered and scrutinised.”
– Laura Saunter, Senior Insight Strategist, WGSN

Search behaviours have changed

“Taking a look at indexed category search velocity shows us how search behaviours have shifted during the pandemic. The dramatic search increases for CPG items are now beginning to fall to pre-pandemic levels as vaccination rates increase and people become less concerned with purchasing PPE and sanitation products. Search velocity in categories such as softlines and beauty is now increasing slightly above pre-pandemic levels as the US eases pandemic-related restrictions and more people attend in-person events.”
– Abi Harmon, Managing Director, Flywheel Digital

Look for white spaces

“Today’s market conditions are challenging. Companies are struggling to drive top-line growth in a highly competitive price environment. On the other hand, we are seeing input costs going up and squeezing their ability to drive bottom-line profitability. Under this scenario, companies are looking for white spaces of growth opportunity and these white spaces are going to come in the way of entering new markets, entering new categories or entering new business models or channels.”
– Gemma Pinedo, Director of E-Commerce Advisory, EDGE by Ascential

For further insights to help you navigate this time of constant change and uncertainty download our full key takeaways report.

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