Lockdown boosts online sales in UK beauty market

By Sarah Todd


By Sarah Todd

12 February 2021

According to a new report from data analysts at the NPD Group, Covid-19 has changed consumer buying habits of prestige beauty products.

Despite an overall decline in the market – with sales of prestige beauty products in bricks and mortar stores dropping 44% in 2020 when UK stores were forced to close intermittently due to government restrictions – many consumers subsequently adopted a digital approach to their shopping.

In total, the prestige beauty market in the UK was valued at £2bn in 2020 with prestige beauty sales online increasing 47%. Furthermore, 44% of all prestige beauty sales in 2020 were purchased online, representing an increase of 21% points compared to 2019.

Sales of lip makeup have declined during the pandemic

Within the sector, fragrance demonstrated its resilience and was one of the best performing categories alongside skincare and self-care. The most challenged category, according to NPD Group, was makeup, which declined 40% compared to 2019 with sales of lip makeup down 50% related to regulations on the wearing of face masks.

“The UK’s prestige beauty industry has been hugely challenged in 2020, however brands and retailers remain resilient and the trends we witnessed in previous years have accelerated during the pandemic,” said Emma Fishwick, account manager of NPD UK Beauty.

“This includes the growth of online sales, the importance of a multi-channel retail approach, and the influence of social media on a consumers path to purchase.”

Top image: The creative Exchange on Unsplash

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