CWH, Priceline the beauty winners

retro pop art of woman putting on makeup

Australian women are increasingly buying their cosmetics and skincare online, new data shows – and the pharmacy channel’s share is growing

A shift to online purchasing of cosmetics is having a “definitive impact” on the types of stores women buy from, according to new Roy Morgan research.

The data, from Roy Morgan Single Source and covering the year up to December 2018, found that cosmetics are still a growing market, with more than 5.3 million Australian women purchasing these goods in an average six months.

This is up from less than 4.8 million in 2014.

Women were more likely in 2018 to buy health and beauty products online – up from 18% in an average three months in 2014, to 26% in 2018.

This shift has changed where women buy both online and in-store, with 42% of women who purchase cosmetics in an average six months choosing the pharmacy channel.

This was a significant rise of 9% from four years ago, when 33% of women bought their beauty goods from pharmacy.

“Thus far the biggest winners are Chemists/Pharmacies such as Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and My Chemist,” says Roy Morgan Research.

Other channels have experienced a decline in custom: the supermarket channel saw a drop of 1% from 24% in 2014 to 23% in 2018; department stores’ share of customers dropped from 16% to 13% and discount department stores dropped from 12% to 9%.

“Increasingly the place to be to capture a growing slice of this rising market is online,” said Roy Morgan’s CEO, Michele Levine.

“Although the market is growing quickly the increasing shift to online will catch out retailers with business models not suited to the new realities.

“Already this year high profile Australian make-up retailer Napoleon Perdis has entered administration with the immediate closure of half their stores as competitive pressures became too great.

“The entry of online retailers such as Amazon to the Australian market provides additional competitive tension but the success of Australian chemists and pharmacies in growing their online presence proves that with the right strategy there is growth to be had.

“Now 42% of women who buy cosmetics buy from a chemist or pharmacy – whether in-store or online – up 9ppts in only four years despite the increasing shift online,” Ms Levine said.

“Over 21% of women who buy cosmetics have bought from Priceline/ Priceline Pharmacy and nearly 15% have bought from Chemist Warehouse – clearly the two market leaders.

“Chemist Warehouse even bills itself as ‘Australia’s Cheapest Online Pharmacy’.”

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