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Beauty in a Box: the growth of the online cosmetic industry

No Comments    |    ,     |    June 7, 2022    |    Reading time 7 minutes
growth of the online cosmetic industry

You could be forgiven when wandering through the shopping centres of the UK’s towns and cities for thinking that the beauty industry is still mainly to be found thriving in the brightly lit, sweetly smelling ground floors of our well known and well loved department stores.

Beauty in a Box: the growth of the online cosmetic industry

Savvy cosmetic brands however, whether niche or mainstream, recognise that their future exists online as well as off. They also understand that a new wave of consumers – young, diverse consumers normalising new, technology-centric, shopping habits – are becoming equally as important as the more traditional customer.

Online Sales in Beauty has Skyrocketed

The ecommerce beauty industry in the UK and globally is booming. This trend looks set to continue its upward trajectory and its presence is dominating digital channels as an increasing number of beauty product aficionadas show themselves willing to part with more and more money in return for high quality, environmentally friendly cosmetics.

Online Sales in Beauty has Skyrocketed

Significantly, a growing number of beauty industry customers are in emerging nations, keen to get in on the act as their purchasing power grows. This fact emphasises further just how powerful the reach of an online platform can be for a brand, especially if that brand belongs to an international company who can offer something a little bit different, even a little bit better, than that which can be found locally.

Currently, the majority of those in the market for cosmetics and beauty products still prefer to be physically present when considering a purchase, but figures show that this number is starting to fall. Online sales for beauty products, on the other hand, are steadily rising.

Since the dawn of time, women, in particular, have been devoted to the cosmetic industry. Sometimes, it feels as though the same few companies have been right there with them, advising the Ancient Egyptians on which eyeliner might be best, for example.

Online Success for Small Cosmetic Brands

While it’s true that a small number of dominant multi-national conglomerates have enjoyed the lion’s share of the market, this finally looks set to change. Current research shows that customers to whom quality is important are now more willing than ever to shop directly from a site rather than through a second party retailer.

Online Success for Small Cosmetic Brands

This means that even a small cosmetics company has the opportunity to help themselves to a larger slice of the pie simply by having an online presence. To be really successful however, a company must also demonstrate to their customers how they can conveniently and efficiently satisfy a desire for top quality products whilst also including an added edge of exclusivity and originality.

Customer Behaviour: Key to Online Success in Beauty

And this is where digital marketing strategies come into play: as far as the ascendency of ecommerce is concerned, these have a pivotal role to play.

According to a survey from Pymnts, some of the most essential factors influencing customer behaviour - factors trumping even price or location - are exclusive products, rewards programmes and special sales.

Customer Behaviour is key to Online Success in Beauty Sector

The digital strategies of retailers therefore, might just have the power to turn the tables once and for all in favour of ecommerce as far as sales figures are concerned.

An online presence shouldn’t just promise convenience and offer exclusivity. It’s also a phenomenal mechanism through which to demonstrate using ‘non-biased’ third parties - in other words, other paying customers - the quality of the product and what it really looks like on a vast variety of skin tones, ages and ‘normal’ people who might not be models. It’s also the perfect medium for evidencing just how sustainable the product is.

Environmentally Aware Customers Demand Sustainable & Organic Beauty Products

Sustainability is especially important in a climate where environmentally aware, knowledgeable purchasers have higher incomes, above average expenditure and the willingness to pay higher prices if the products they’re buying fit with their own ethics. Nowadays, products are considered superior not only because they fulfil cosmetic expectations, but also because they’re natural and organic. Eco-conscious customers browsing products online have immediate, incomparable access to multiple reviews and other User Generated Content and it’s this UGC that can rapidly assuage any questions or concerns purchasers might have, therefore sealing multiple deals.

Environmentally Aware Customers Demand Sustainable & Organic Beauty Products

Generation Z - that is, those coming after the Baby Boomers and Generation X – have been shown to be happy to make at least a third of their purchasing decisions based solely on media or online reviews. But in order to achieve a truly equitable, global market however, store based or online, the cosmetics industry must also identify where exactly in the world their customers – both young and old - are, how exactly they shop and the different ways in which they prefer to go about doing so. This can only result in a fairer, better shopping experience for everyone.

The future of the beauty industry might not rely wholly on ecommerce, but the opportunities for growth and development in this area are overwhelmingly positive and more than a little exciting. If you’re an ecommerce business owner selling cosmetics online, then packaging should be a fundamental part of your growth strategy.

Packaging Designed for Ecommerce & Cosmetics

And that’s where FlyPak comes in. Traditionally, the beauty industry has always used crash lock boxes to deliver their products, but unfortunately, crash lock boxes aren’t without problems. FlyPak on the other hand is a truly unique, ecommerce box specifically designed to eradicate these issues and to provide Internet retailers with a viable alternative. Moreover, FlyPak is a way in which retailers can upgrade their crash lock packaging and spend less per unit or, at the very least, spend exactly the same as they were before, but with additional benefits that will can save your business thousands.

Admittedly, crash lock boxes can work very well - especially our own, which feature a clever interlocking base for improved security. The average run-of-the-mill crashlock boxes you buy elsewhere however, do come with a few security flaws.

The base, for example, is easily opened enabling the swift removal of contents. In comparison, FlyPak’s efficient design means that this is no longer possible, the base being a solid piece of cardboard.

Even with an improved secure base, FlyPak’s rapid pop-up construction and fast-peel integrated tape makes it just as fast to construct than a crash lock box, helping eradicate irritating and costly bottlenecks that can occur when dispatching high output cosmetics. It requires less space to store too, thanks to being 2 ply thick, you get 30-40% more per pallet.

FlyPak's Key Selling Point to Cosmetic Retailers

Cost, security, construction, and efficiency: These are just four of FlyPak’s many strengths when compared to crash lock boxes. But there are more. FlyPak’s patented variable height retention means no void-fill and void-fill, as everyone in the packaging industry knows, can be problematic. Not only is it fiddly, it’s also very expensive and hard to quantify and track consumption.

Using FlyPak, one internet retailer has the potential to save up to £400,000 a year in void fill usage reduction. This is because its patented built-in retention wings fold over, holding the product inside firmly in place, secured and cushioned - no need for anything else.

FlyPak’s retention wings don’t just signify a cost saving as well as a higher level of environmental sustainability as a result of less packaging material, they also mean that one style of box is absolutely perfect for the plethora of cosmetics and beauty products on the market whatever size, shape and permutation they come in.

These wings also contribute to the packaging theatre element of the unboxing experience, creating more interior space for branding opportunities. FlyPak can be custom printed both externally and internally to ensure that the packaging drives a brand’s social engagement, bringing brand awareness to each and every customer.

You can even print this box single sided and save on production and setup costs, yet still have that wow factor on opening, as the wings offer generous space for marketing messages inside.

Wherever in the world your products are going and whoever is going to be doing the unwrapping, FlyPak can deliver a message about your company just as much as its contents can.

As more and more customers actively seek out natural beauty products that are ecologically sound and indeed, as they view the process of production and manufacture just as important as the products themselves, the benefits of ‘green’ packaging can’t be underestimated. Paper-based and plastic free, FlyPak’s environmental credentials mean your packaging’s ethics will match those of your brand.

Being sustainable doesn’t mean compromising on or neglecting aesthetic appeal. As with make-up, the two can easily go hand in hand. In fact, environmentally conscious packaging only adds to the allure of the product it is protecting.

The ecommerce cosmetics industry looks set to spread its own wings and soar to ever-greater heights. Don’t think you’re boxed in by the cheapest option on the market when it comes to delivering exceptional products. Be ready by promising your customers beauty inside and out. Choose FlyPak.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Photo by Nefeli Kavvada on Unsplash

This article was written by...

Jo Hilton

I studied at the University of St. Andrews and have an MA in French and German. For a number of years, I worked for a Swiss financial institution and lived in Hamburg, London, Zürich and NYC before retraining as a primary school teacher and settling with my family in Cambridgeshire. When I'm not at school, I write content for various blogs and edit academic research articles for clients at ETH Zürich and the University of Munich. I'm also in the process of completing a Masters in Crime and Thriller writing at the University of Cambridge, so behind me you'll find a trail of fictional dead bodies and actual biscuit wrappers.

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