Online is one of the few channels of cosmetics retail that can benefit from the coronavirus epidemic, as consumers try to stay at home and out of public spaces as much as possible. Adapting to the situation, more and more players are launching e-shops.
E-commerce to gain most
The impact of the coronavirus crisis on the main distribution channels of the cosmetics retail market in Poland will not be the same. Some will be hit harder than others. And some can profit from the situation. The channel that stands to gain the most is e-commerce. That’s because many consumers, trying to avoid public spaces as much as possible, are moving their cosmetics purchases online.
New restrictions further enhance the channel’s appeal
On 1 April the Polish government imposed new restrictions on shopping, limiting the number of customers who can be in a store at a time to three times the number of checkout registers, and ordering stores to dedicate the two hours between 10.00 AM and 12.00 AM to senior citizens only. This has led to queues – which pose health risks, as well as being annoying – thus making online shopping an even more attractive alternative to drugstores or grocery stores.
Players are focusing on e-commerce
Market players are reacting to the new reality by focusing more of their resources on e-commerce. This will further support the shift to online shopping. Thus, for example, Ziaja, the popular Polish cosmetics brand, accelerated the launch of its official e-shop, which went live at the beginning of April. Sephora, the big perfume chain, unveiled a revamped version of its e-shop in mid-March, with enhanced graphics and product presentation, improved navigation, and more inspirational content.
Many other cosmetics chains that have closed all or most of their physical stores in response to the epidemic are aggressively promoting their e-shops, offering special deals, free delivery, or longer product-return periods. Examples include Yves Rocher, L’Occitane, Kiehl’s, or Mydlarnia u Franciszka, among others.
Gains could be permanent
Importantly, this rise in the popularity of e-commerce can prove lasting. Customer attitudes could shift permanently. It may well be that the channel’s share will not fall back after the restrictions are lifted.
For more analysis, see a new report from PMR, “Impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the cosmetics market in Poland 2020“.