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UK Insights

Over £1.88bn will be spent on health and beauty this Christmas in the UK

Kirsty Cooke

Head of Digital Content, UK

Shoppers 18.12.2017 / 09:27


UK consumers increase their spending in the festive season, according to Kantar data – but where are the year-round opportunities?

As a category, health and beauty is growing 1% in value each year at Christmas, and is now worth over £1.88bn – according to stats from Kantar Worldpanel. Consumers not only spend a quarter of their beauty budget during the festive season, but their store repertoire increases – they visited an average of 3.2 stores for these product purchases last Crimbo (for 8 weeks ending 1 January 2017).

The uplift comes from an increase in sales of gift packs, presumably as a result of buying gifts for other people, but it is premium fragrances that comprise the majority of purchases in the beauty category. 55% of fine fragrances bought in this period are bought as gifts, and over half of the shoppers are men.

Fragrance can be a risky gift choice, as it is ranked number 18 on our list of worst presents to receive (data from Lightspeed, a Kantar company). Perhaps those men who suddenly enter the market for fragrance are making ill-advised choices for their partners?

Not just for Christmas

But what can beauty brands do to maintain this level of interest all year round? Kantar Retail finds that the opportunities lie in technology – in making it more convenient to buy beauty products. 

Hanna Ryngmark, Senior Insights Analyst for Health & Beauty Ecommerce at Kantar Retail comments: ‘Younger shoppers like the millennials and centennials look for easy and convenient ways of shopping for beauty. Fabled By Marie Claire connects its physical store to its ecommerce by placing digital screens next to each product category. This allows shoppers to easily browse the online content and place online orders of items unavailable in-store.’

‘Also, virtual reality is becoming an increasingly important tool for beauty (and fashion) ecommerce, as it helps overcome some of the barriers to purchase that comes with not being able to touch and feel a product online. Sephora and Charlotte Tilbury have seen great success by allowing users to virtually try on color cosmetics in order to find the products and style that best fits their needs. Both technologies creates efficiencies in stores as less staff is needed to entertain and advice shoppers at all times.’

Use your influence(r)

The world of beauty has seen some shifts this year inspired by wider cultural trends, as user-generated content analysed by Kantar Added Value indicated. Two of the major themes permeating Instagram this year were identity and expression, ushering in new brands and forms of marketing that celebrate ‘real people’ and self-love. Authenticity is the watch word for brands in beauty, especially true for those using social media influencers to promote their products.

At a recent panel hosted by Kantar Added Value in partnership with Olapic, influencer Natalie Lee (@stylemesunday) made the point that brands need to start connecting with the ‘grass roots’ elements of Instagram, instead of simply targeting high profile celebrities with Instagram accounts. ‘The beauty of social media is that it comes from the bottom up, which keeps brands in check and makes their purpose more genuine,’ she said.

Commenting on the same panel, make-up artist, beauty and lifestyle influencer Danny Defreitas (@DannyDefreitas) agreed. ‘Brands need to understand that we have to believe in the product if we’re going to promote it to our followers,’ he said. ‘I would never be anything but honest about what I’m promoting, so brands need to make sure that they themselves are honest about what their beauty products do.’

Both influencers agreed that honesty from brands is key to accessing micro-networks on social networks. ‘If I think a product’s bad, I’ll tell them,’ said Lee. ‘I feel that if brands want me to engage with their product, they need to be open to my honest feedback.’ Defreitas added: ‘Brands need to learn to listen more directly to consumers. So often they think they’re listening, but actually the big decisions are getting made in boardrooms by people who don’t understand the finer details.’

Source : Kantar Worldpanel, Lightspeed, Kantar Retail, Kantar Added Value

Editor's Notes

Kantar Worldpanel data is from the 8 weeks ending 1 January 2017. 

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