Why do women buy makeup in pharmacies?

retro pop art of woman putting on makeup

Pharmacies are selling the lion’s share of cosmetics to Australian women… especially Priceline and Chemist Warehouse

Information provider Field Agent surveyed 500 women around the country to find out where they’re buying makeup and why.

The organisation discovered that the pharmacy channel was the favourite of 43% of the respondents, who said they purchased most of their beauty products there. In second place were department stores (15%), and speciality beauty retailers (15%), with supermarkets coming third, at 9%.

Only 7% of women said they bought most of their beauty products online.

According to Field Agent, “Women said that their preference to shop in pharmacies is due to competitive prices, regular discounts and sales, reputable brands, available testers, and great advice”.

One respondent said that “I buy most of my makeup and skincare from Priceline because of the amazing loyalty program and the occasional 40% of makeup/skincare sales”.

Priceline was the top retailer for beauty products, with 72% of women citing it as their main retailer.

Chemist Warehouse came in in second place, with 60% of women choosing it as their main retailer, followed by Myer (43%), Coles (41%), Woolworths (38%), Kmart (35%) and Target (34%).

Field Agent specifically asked the women who were dubious about buying makeup online what their reasoning was: it turns out that 62% say they need to be able to match their skin tone, or other cosmetic shades, when buying makeup, while 52% want to see and/or touch the product before purchase.

The cost of shipping is another problem, with 44% complaining this makes the makeup more expensive than when shopping in a bricks-and-mortar store.

More results included:

  • 56% of respondents say SPF/UV protection is an important factor in their purchases;
  • 49% say that makeup being cruelty free and/or not tested on animals is important;
  • 45% look for dermatologist-tested products;
  • Quality was the key driver, with 56% ranking it in first or second place;
  • The main reason for wearing makeup was “feeling good about myself” at 53%, followed by “presenting a polished/professional image (22%) and “covering up defects or times I feel/look poorly” (19%);
  • Only 4% said “to be more attractive to others” was their main reason for wearing makeup.

Brand loyalty was an issue for some products more than others: 50% of women say they are loyal to a particular brand of foundation, while only 13% were loyal to a particular brand of eyeshadow.

And in terms of brands overall, Maybelline came out the winner, with 65% of women saying they used it; next was Revlon, at 52%; L’Oreal, at 49%; Rimmel, at 39%, and MAC, at 36%.

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