Although overall beauty sales were up in 2022, a report from 1010Data​ claimed that online prestige beauty sales saw a 14% year-on-year decrease. The same report also stated that Macy’s and Target’s brick-and-mortar stores both saw an uptick in sales.

A similar picture was painted by Mintel’s consumer data in September 2022*, which revealed that 61% of beauty and personal care consumers shopped in-store at mass market retailers, compared to just 44% online. Drug stores and Grocery stores showed similarly large gaps between in-store and online shoppers. Amazon was the only exception to the rule, as 61% of shoppers had bought beauty products there online in the past 12 months.

This suggested that when there is an option of a brick-and-mortar store vs. an e-commerce store, more US beauty consumers are choosing the former to buy their products. Marisa Ortega, Retail & eCommerce Analyst at Mintel believed that an increased focus on what is ‘valuable’ has led consumers to look at aspects beyond price. Moving forward, product efficiency, enhanced shopping experiences, and ethical practices will be key differentiators for brands and retailers​,” she said.

Nail-painting robots

Indeed, most consumers don’t shop for beauty products in the same way they might for food, electronics, or any other category. There are expectations for beauty retail to be more interactive; to be fun-filled, offer try-on options, and be TikTok-worthy or Instagrammable. Brick-and-mortar beauty stores must feel more like a ‘destination’ or ‘experience’.


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