Recommendations outweigh marketing in consumers' purchase decisions

Most women make beauty product buying decisions based on recommendations from friends, family or blogs.

Mintel conducted a study into US women’s beauty shopping habits and found women turn to other consumers rather than brands and advertising for prompts about what to buy. The research found 32% regularly ask friends and family for recommendations, while 37% of millennials (generally defined as those aged between 18 and 34 in 2015) look to product reviews on beauty blogs and vlogs. This is slightly lower for female beauty consumers overall, at 32%.

The consumer beauty boom of recent years is reflected in another of Mintel’s findings – over half the women asked said they enjoy shopping for and sampling beauty products (57% and 63% respectively). However, the research suggests the myriad products now available and constant new launches have led to oversaturation; 65% of beauty consumers said they feel overwhelmed by the choice on offer.

“Our research shows that the majority of women feel overwhelmed by the number of products available in this highly fragmented and competitive beauty market," commented Margie Nanninga, beauty analyst at Mintel. "As such, consumers may be lacking the appropriate education on how best to make purchases that are right for them, highlighting a need for tools to help differentiate between products and brands."