Submitted by Nikolas James
Like many other markets, the beauty industry has taken a massive blow as a result of measures
to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Production has decreased and brick-and-mortar shops have
been forced to close due to state and national ordinances. Brands rely on the relationships they
develop at conferences, which have also been forced to cancel or postpone. Some brands can
use this as an opportunity to develop their online presences. Companies who already have a
firm stake in the digital market may use this time to develop their digital tools.
Beauty Events are Going Online
Event cancellations are causing turmoil for beauty businesses. Cosmoprof is a massive
tradeshow that takes place in Bologna, Italy every year. They’ve rescheduled from March to
September 2020. Many suppliers, brands and growing businesses attend an opportunity to make
connections, secure partners and sell their products. The postponement may cause technology
in the beauty sector to be brought to market slower than anticipated.
Expo West 2020 has been cancelled, a natural products tradeshow with 3500+ exhibitors and
86,000 attendees. Instead of rescheduling, they’re focusing their efforts and resources to
develop the upcoming Natural Products Expo East 2020 tradeshow.
As a result of live event cancellations, more online webinars are taking place. Women’s Wear
Daily is hosting a series of weekly webinars from March 17th to April 2nd on crisis management.
The Glow Getter is also hosting a natural beauty brand summit to teach companies how to
Join Innocos on March 24 and 25 for a webinar series on how beauty brands can make the most of the crisis.
Using Digital Tools in the Beauty Market
The lack of in-person opportunities and sanitation best practices have mobilized a transition to
digital innovations in the beauty sector.
Sephora’s Digital Strategy
Prior to the mandated retail store closures, Sephora suspended in-store makeup testing and
product sampling. Consumers are encouraged to make use of Sephora’s online tools instead.
Sephora’s Digital Makeover Guide allows shoppers to take their tips and tricks from their make-
up artist home through the Sephora App. Sephora’s Virtual Artist app uses AR technology to
allow users to try on makeup live via their phones.
Ulta has also invited customers to try its virtual services through the brand’s virtual reality app.
Trestique’s Sampling Service
Trestique offers a human experience by introducing a selfie shade matching service conducted
by staff on the inside. They maintain sanitary sampling with a 30-day trial program. 70-80% of
customers who try samples from Trestique end up purchasing the collection.
While the quarantine in the US is only scheduled to last until March 31st, there is the potential
for it to extend. If it does, there’s a possibility that prices for products online will increase as
supply is decreased. As a result, the beauty market may experience a shift away from product
sales and toward digital innovation, content creation and brand development. “I may have to
start turning to my journalism passion soon and work from home,” said celebrity makeup artist