Beauty Shopping

06-26-2009 3:35 PM

When Mary Kay chatted recently with women around the world about what they wanted in the area of beauty, one of the things they talked about was how they shopped for their skinc are and cosmetic products.  For most of the women, it was "anything goes", meaning that they purchase their beauty products from all over -- supercenters, department stores, direct sellers, specialty stores and online.  It's usually about what's convenient for her.  So you could say that one thing women want when shopping for beauty products is EASY ACCESS.

What she also wants is CONTROL over her shopping experience.  She wants it to be fun, social and casual, and sees the opportunity to browse as a part of the experience.  She wants to TRY IT BEFORE SHE BUYS IT.  She wants the opportunity to touch and experience it before she lays down that hard-earned money.  And she is much more likely to try a new product that has been recomended by a friend or family member. 

She wants PERSONALIZED BEAUTY ADVICE, WITHOUT PRESSURE.  She wants an advisor who is knowledgeable and is a good listener; someone who understands and knows her and her skin, and doesn't try to just sell her the latest thing that might not be right for her.  Ideally, the advisor could help holistically, with everything from makeup application to the latest fashion trends. 

Women also want someone who will reach out to them on THEIR schedule.

None of this is surprising or unique to the beauty industry, given that consumers have been in control of the buying process for quite some time now.  Consumers, specifically women consumers, want to call the shots, with as many options as possible.  When she has choices, she feels more in control.  The only rule is that there are no rules.  She gets to choose how, when, where, and how often she buys.

In beauty, just as in everything else these days, those who are best at giving the women what they want will be the most loved brands.