Four out of five women in the U.S. wear makeup and interact with their favorite brand products about 20 minutes daily, not including research. In fact, women spent $33.3 billion last year on makeup and skincare products, per Nielsen. A study that looks at makeup and skin care products, scheduled for release this week, analyzes search terms, online traffic, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media use.
Avon, Mary Kay, L’OCCITANE, BH Cosmetics, e.l.f. Cosmetics, MAC, Urban Decay, and The Body Shop account for half of all online traffic for the beauty category, according to PM Digital's trend report, titled Makeup and Skincare Brands Online. Nine makeup and skincare brands had more than one million total visits each to their sites in November 2014 -- up from only one brand, Mary Kay, in the year prior, which had more than one million monthly visits.
The study analyzes 74 makeup and skincare brands -- excluding hair, fragrances, and nails -- serving as a benchmark for the sector in the report. Much of the data in the report, excluding data primarily gathered by PM Digital, has been sourced from Experian Marketing Services.
The study reveals that the brands see an average of 31.5% of site traffic from search. "Top beauty brand search terms tend to mirror popular sites that have the highest share of monthly visits," per the study. "The only exception is L'OCCITANE which has a lower percentage of brand searches, .36%, given its large share of site visits.
The top non-brand search keywords fall into three categories: products, lipstick; concerns, soap for oily skin; and tutorials, how to apply eyeliner.
Google drives about 28% of clicks to beauty sites. The next-highest single source of traffic to beauty sites is Facebook, at nearly 5%.
The beauty category gains a high percentage of traffic from social media, compared with the overall retail category at 36%. Overall, social drives 8% of traffic for makeup and skincare products. It is fueled by photos, videos, advice, product features, and reviews. Several beauty brands’ YouTube channels allow consumers to easily buy products seen in videos.
Interestingly, 43% of females age 55 and older, and 25% between the ages of 45 and 54, account for the majority of visitors to makeup and skincare brand Web sites.
Traffic to makeup and beauty brands from other retail sites, including competitive sites, rose from 17% in 2013 to 24% in 2014. PM Digital attributes the growth partly to an increase in cross-shopping between brands.
Brands with strong makeup focus tend to have more mobile visits, such as BH Cosmetics, e.l.f., and MAC. Mobile visits to makeup and skincare brand sites now represent nearly half of all traffic. BH Cosmetics, e.l.f. and MAC received the highest number of mobile visits.