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UK shoppers choose online for beauty products

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More than a third (38 per cent) of online shoppers in the UK have bought beauty and personal care products online in the last 12 months, according to research by global strategy consultancy AT Kearney.

The study found that online beauty sales grew almost four times faster than overall retail sales, with the percentage set to increase.

Based on survey responses from 3,942 participants across Europe, the survey found that UK shoppers buy more beauty products online then clothes and jewellery.

More than 40 per cent of respondents said that they buy their beauty products online for convenience, while those who avoid online shopping said they need to touch or try products before purchasing.

Delivery costs were cited as key de-motivators of buying products online. Amazon (26 per cent) was noted as the most popular choice for UK beauty shoppers, followed by Boots (16 per cent) and ebay (14 per cent).

The increases in retail activity could provide the UK's spa sector with a boost. Consumers are increasingly seeing beauty, skincare and wellness products and treatments as a 'necessity' rather than a one-off treat.

The report also indicated, however, that consumers shop online to find specific products they already use (usually skin care) at the best possible price.

Karina van den Oever, senior consultant at A.T Kearney, said: "Online is clearly an area with immense growth potential for the beauty sector.

"However, firms will need to embrace a fully multichannel marketing approach to engage successfully with the modern-day customer. There is a golden opportunity here for brands to expand their online presence and for retailers to re-think the role of their physical stores in an increasingly online world."

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More than a third (38 per cent) of online shoppers in the UK have bought beauty and personal care products online in the last 12 months, according to research by global strategy consultancy AT Kearney. The study found that online beauty sales grew almost four times faster than overall retail sales, with the percentage set to increase.
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