When over-the-counter medications and pain relievers sell more than eyeshadows and face creams, why should convenience store owners and operators incorporate makeup, skincare, and nail polishes into the limited space allocated for health and beauty aids (HBA)?
While each business must make that determination, an overview of industry research might provide a convincing argument in favor of investing in makeup.
- On average, including during the pandemic, women dish out more than $300 each month on beauty products, which adds up to more than $3,600 a year.
- According to CNBC, 56% of men use some form of makeup.
- Nearly half of millennials report regularly applying skincare formulas containing CBDs.
- Industry analysts anticipate the men’s personal care sector to reach $166 billion this year.
- By 2024, more than 153 million Americans are expected to be buying shaving gel or cream.
- As travel picked back up in 2021, demand for travel size of items such as cosmetics, lotions and facial cleansers grew in response.
These types of statistics paint a pretty picture of the beauty industry in the U.S. That said, it’s been undergoing a makeover for the past few years. Traditionally, the vast majority of skincare and makeup products was sold at big box or drug stores, then specialty shops popped up at malls. Then the pandemic caused people to reconsider their shopping habits, and cosmetics sales shifted online, benefitting retailers that already had a prominent online presence, like Ulta and Sephora. Still, there’s room left for c-stores to carve out a presence, but it may require category managers to update how they promote this group of products.
The most effective form of marketing for makeup and beauty items today is social media. Cosmetics are one of those industries that greatly benefits from influencers introducing and recommending products with a constant supply of images, along with how-to videos. Statista reports that 96% of beauty brands maintain an Instagram account. The Drum also reveals that almost three-fourths of buyers consult Instagram before making purchasing decisions.
Not that convenience stores are expected to create the same level of activity on social media platforms as major manufacturers, but occasionally highlighting makeup items on company posts or through loyalty program push messages could increase customer awareness of this HBA segment.
Diversifying inventory also can make the makeup section more appealing. As noted earlier, all genders are spending more money on skincare and makeup, so include products and brands that cater to masculine looks to unlock that demographic potential. Plus, there’s interest in organic or natural products as well as cosmetics manufactured by Black-owned businesses.
Probably the best reason to incorporate makeup into your HBA category, however, is no more complex than plain, old customer service. Stocking shelves with at least some staples, such as mascara, makeup remover, lipsticks, polish remover, for example, will serve individuals in need of a quick touchup. More importantly, not offering that selection could send individuals — and all their additional basket item purchases — to other retailers.