Online sales of high-end beauty products increase by 38%

Sales of prestige skincare online reported the largest growth in the prestige beauty market in the period of January to October 2020, reported data analyst The NPD Group.

The “prestige” category represents high-end, premium beauty brands on the upper end of the price point scale. The NPD Group includes skincare, body care, make-up, fragrance and men’s grooming in this market.

Overall, the prestige beauty market saw a 38% increase in online sales during the majority of 2020, accounting for over £491 million-worth of sales.

Skincare sales accounted for the largest portion of growth however, increasing 54% from January to October compared to the same period in 2019. Breaking it down further, “face creams” increased by 67%, sales of cleansers grew by 66% and sales of face serums were up 32% when compared to the previous year.

Sales of skincare sets and kits have also been a key contributor, increasing 57% compared to the same period in 2019.  

E-commerce accounted for 41% of total prestige beauty sales in the period from January 2020 to the end of October 2020, compared to 21% over the same period last year. This substantial shift in consumer behaviour was of course driven by lockdown and the closure of bricks and mortar retailers, salons and clinics in the early part of the year.

Emma Fishwick, account manager at NPD UK Beauty, commented: “The prestige beauty market was quick to respond to the change in consumer behaviour during lockdown. Many brands switched their marketing efforts online with innovations including virtual consultations, classes and facials at home led by a skincare professional.

“Skincare sets and kits proved very popular because they offer value for money and encourage experimentation via trial size products. The growth in online sales is set to continue as retailers find new ways to enhance their high street store offering with an omni-channel presence online.”

Beauty consumers were also searching for at-home skin treatments online during the first lockdown.