Online sales of high-end beauty on the rise

The sale of prestige beauty products online in the UK, increased by 13% in the 12 months to the end of 2018 according to The NPD Group.

The total value of the prestige beauty market in the UK was valued at £2.7 billion in 2018. E-commerce now accounts for 20% of all sales in the prestige beauty market, an increase of 2% on the previous 12 months, while shops on the high-street now represent 80% of the market, a decrease of 2% compared to 2017. 

This demonstrates the continued importance of physical outlets and department stores, as prestige beauty relies on a hands-on, consultant-led approach with demonstrations, sampling, gift with purchase and make-up lessons, as part of the retail experience.

However the market for online beauty products continues to grow with a wider range of businesses offering Click & Collect, next day and now even same day delivery. Amazon Now, through its Prime subscription service, offers a two-hour delivery service for a capsule range of beauty products in select postcodes. 

June Jensen, NPD UK Beauty director says, “The high street market for prestige beauty has faced many challenges in 2018 from low consumer confidence, a decline in foot fall, businesses falling into administration and Brexit which have all compounded the financial woes on the high street. “

“There are many positives here; Ecommerce is growing, and the high street has responded too, adapting its model to offer more experiential retail opportunities for customers.” 

Last year saw an increase in the use of night-time skincare sales, positioning the value of the market at £43 million.