10 ecommerce Beauty Trends to Watch for in 2020 and Beyond

Few sectors are powered by novelty and newness as much as the beauty industry. This focus has helped to make cosmetics and personal care big business – but in recent times, we’ve also seen a greater emphasis on slowness, inclusion and personalisation. 

Times really are changing and with Covid-19 and the lockdown affecting all of us, consumers are taking some time to concentrate and improve their skincare routine. Skincare products are now bigger than ever, and have overtaken colour cosmetics. 

So, what are some of the trends that ought to be borne in mind by beauty merchants turning to an agency like UWP this year for ecommerce design and build

  1. A different idea of ‘premium’

    Were you under the impression that a premium beauty product was solely about a high price and luxury? Well, think again. 

    In 2020, health and ethical claims are becoming the go-to markers of a high-quality product, as consumers look less to their vanity, and more to their all-round wellness. Especially within the D2C market and the ecommerce space, quality is no longer reserved for a high price tag, rather quality has become more accessible. 

  2. Greater efforts towards including men

    While recent statistics indicate that women account for about 90% of beauty and personal care sales by value, the new decade is expected to see a heightened emphasis on male grooming. 

    Mental wellbeing is an especially strong health factor for many men. It is therefore anticipated that beauty brands will seek to provide more answers to this pain point in their men’s ranges, while also aligning themselves with such values as prevention and self-care. 

  3. A salute to ageless beauty 

    One of the most celebrated shifts in the beauty sector since the late 2010s has been a greater focus on underrepresented communities. It is thanks to such work that today, products including hair, make-up and skincare better cater to the needs of all ethnicities, skin tones, body types, gender expressions and identities. 

    Too much beauty sector marketing, however, still assumes its customer to be young. Movements by some brands towards ‘ageless’ messaging and the use of mature beauty ambassadors indicate this is about to drastically change. We can also expect specific concerns such as hormonally-driven changes to be targeted, and less emphasis on ‘anti-ageing’. 

  4. Continued debate over natural vs synthetic ingredients 

    Should natural and synthetic ingredients be treated as being so far apart as they have been in recent years? Many industry observers are asking themselves this question, as well as whether they can better address the confusion customers often have about this polarising subject. 

    It has long been customary for natural ingredients to be presented as the healthier and superior choice. Both natural and synthetic ingredients, however, play crucial roles in making beauty products both effective and safe – and it is up to brands to better communicate this. 

  5. Both localisation and globalisation 

    We’re accustomed to global beauty going local, but what about local beauty going global? Both globalisation and localisation of heritage-based trends is likely to be a key feature of the 2020s beauty market. 

    This trend has been on the horizon for a while, with k-beauty – short for ‘Korean beauty’ – products having gained traction years ago among Western shoppers. Indonesia, meanwhile, has a thriving halal beauty market. But other territories are now attracting attention for their own heritage-inspired products, developing offerings for internal consumption that are then exported globally. 

  6. Conscious capitalism, sustainability and consumption 

    The shifts we have already seen by beauty giants towards, for example, eco-friendly packaging, are set to continue throughout the 2020s, with brands having set ambitious targets. 

    But how familiar are you with ‘waterless beauty’, which aims to reduce the level of water consumption per finished product, or ‘blue beauty’, with its emphasis on better protecting the world’s oceans and water supplies? The next decade will shape the wellbeing of our planet for generations to come, and the beauty market is increasingly rising to this challenge. 

  7. Hyper-personalisation 

    Personalisation is no longer just about product recommendations on the basis of past buying habits. In fact, certain advancing tech could be akin to us all having our own skincare consultant at home. 

    Imagine a world in which it’s normal to have skin swabs taken for DNA and bacteria analysis, so that you can receive products customised to suit your microbiome and genetic make-up. It’s just one way in which beauty is set to become really targeted in the 2020s. 

  8. Advancements in microbiome skincare 

    That term ‘microbiome’ – referring to the microorganisms on and inside of the body – is set to see some serious use by curious Google searchers in 2020. There are a trillion microorganisms on the surface of the skin alone, and none of us share the same microbiome as anyone else. 

    That presents obvious challenges for creating bacteria-balancing products that can deliver results for everyone. But thanks to the aforementioned greater personalisation and beauty giants making this area more of a priority, we can expect fascinating developments over the coming decade.

  9. Prejuvenation 

    Generation Z – the demographic cohort born approximately between the mid-1990s and early 2010s – looks set to be especially foresighted with its approach to beauty, by adopting serious routines at an early stage of life. 

    While there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ age to take an active interest in looking after one’s skin, ‘Generation Zers’ will help to further shift the emphasis of skincare from rejuvenation and ‘fixing’ to ‘prejuvenation’ and prevention. 

  10. From prestige to ‘masstige’ 

    The prestige beauty sector remains a high-growth one. However, the 2020s is also primed for significant expansion in products perceived to be not only exclusive and stylish, but also genuinely affordable for a wide range of customers. 

    For many beauty brands, this trend is going hand-in-hand with hyper-transparency, including about the use of established, science-backed ingredients that can be cheaply manufactured. This, in turn, helps to drive down the consumer price of ‘masstige’ beauty lines. 

Could 2020 be the year you unlock your own beauty brand’s online growth potential? Get in touch with Underwaterpistol today for an in-depth discussion of how we can serve your requirements for effective ecommerce design and build.