Clients want to continue online beauty consultations and retail beyond reopening

One in five consumers moved online for virtual hair or beauty consultations during the pandemic and almost half (46%) plan to continue to do so going forward, according to a global study.

The report by tech consultancy Accenture also found that consumers are now four times more likely to purchase their make-up and personal care products online compared to pre-pandemic, marking the importance a hybrid retail model for salons and spas (– check out our advice piece on how to build an online store for your salon here).

The survey of 9,650 people in 19 countries was carried out to explore how consumer priorities, purchasing decisions, and behavioural patterns have shifted after a year of lockdowns.

As well as a lasting shift towards more online purchases and consultations, the study found that six in 10 people are still worried for their personal health, impacting their comfort with visiting salons. 

“We have seen many examples of beauty companies respond with agility and creativity throughout the crisis — from shifting to produce hand sanitizer and redeploying beauty advisers from physical stores to become online influencers; to using digital technology, such as augmented and virtual reality, to engage people virtually and drive online sales,” said Oliver Wright, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s global consumer goods industry group.

“However, the ripple effects of the pandemic will be felt for some time and serve as a powerful illustration of the need for beauty companies to be agile, resilient, and responsive to change.”

More salon reopening statistics

As beauty professionals get used to being back at work and adjust to changes in client behaviour, separate studies this week have revealed that 66% of beauty pros are more confident about business recovery now the vaccine rollout is progressing quickly; and the most important safety procedures clients look for include PPE (61%) and for staff to clean treatment areas in front on clients upon arrival (53%).