How Location Data is Changing the Beauty Industry

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From the latest eyeshadow palette to the next big thing in skincare, there’s a good chance that data is what’s behind the beauty industry’s hottest trends.

The U.S Personal Care & Beauty market is estimated at $87.99B in 2022 and is predicted to grow steadily over the next four years, reaching $99.48B by 2026. At the same time, consumer buying behavior is evolving, with more purchase options than ever before – from ecommerce, to in-store shopping, to buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS). As shopping habits mature, beauty brands need accurate data they can trust to provide insight into customers’ ever-changing preferences.

Here are some of the top ways in which beauty brands across makeup and cosmetics, skin and nail care, or perfume and fragrance are utilizing location data and technology to tap into the latest trends in cosmetics and self-care.

Increasing Media Effectiveness By Adapting On The Fly
Even the savviest beauty brands often lack a holistic way to evaluate media’s impact on both online and offline KPIs. Marketers can now connect consumers’ behavior across online and offline touchpoints to inform campaign optimizations and budget allocations. With omnichannel attribution, these brands can start to measure complex behaviors like BOPIS, quantifying the impact of media strategies on real world business outcomes and adjusting strategies based on what proves most effective.

For example, Foursquare analyzed visit lift by audience across 15 beauty campaigns in 2021 to identify which location-driven audiences will most likely drive visit lift to stores. Best practices included targeting Fast Casual Diners, Roadtrippers, Air Travelers, Auto Enthusiasts, Entertainment Seekers, and Department Store Shoppers. With Foursquare Attribution, beauty brands understand where customers are converting and how to best optimize towards these top performing tactics.

Selecting Optimal Sites To Set Up Shop
As the role of brick-and-mortar stores in the customer journey evolves, it’s more important than ever that beauty brands maximize the impact in their physical footprint. Foursquare research shows that people are willing to travel approximately 4-10 miles to a beauty category location, but the median distance traveled varies widely by type of store. For example, the average shopper only travels 4.9 miles to reach a pharmacy, but is willing to travel nearly twice as far – 9.6 miles – to reach a perfume shop. Location data can answer key questions that reveal further nuances in catchment areas – how far are Gen Z willing to travel to reach a store versus a baby boomer? How does distance traveled vary in urban areas versus rural?

With this type of intelligence, real estate teams at beauty brands are equipped to make smarter decisions. In fact, a recent study by 451 Research shows that 74% of commercial real estate executives view location technology as a highly strategic investment that drives competitive differentiation, and 77% agree that using location intelligence for site selection is highly important to maintain their competitive advantage.

Tailoring Strategies For Gen Z
Beauty brands are increasingly focused on product innovation and marketing strategies to Gen Z. It’s critical to keep in mind that each generation possesses distinct buying considerations and audience affinities. Beauty brands need to understand who their customers are as well as the varying audience affinities betweenage cohorts in order to effectively reach and engage with their customers. Location data reveals Gen Z’s patterns and preferences based on places they go in the real world. For example, Foursquare data shows that Gen Z is more likely than the average consumer to visit winter leisure spots like ski areas. Once they’ve activated based on these kinds of learnings, omnichannel attribution enables beauty brands to understand which tactics, creative, and messaging is resonating with Gen Z specifically and optimize accordingly.

Driving Ecommerce Sales
Ecommerce beauty sales are rising, estimated at a 15.6% compound annual growth rate until 2025. 53% of beauty shoppers (across all ages) claim to buy more beauty products online. 99% of beauty shoppers read ratings and reviews when shopping for beauty products online, while 85% of in-store beauty customers consult digital reviews before purchasing. With location technology, beauty brands can identify and reach people who visit relevant locations and whose online behaviors indicate an interest in makeup and cosmetics, skin and nail care, or perfume and fragrances. By combining offline and online signals, savvy marketers can connect with the right customers at the right moment with relevant messaging.

Smarter Targeting
To compete in a growing market, beauty brands are activating segments around lapsed salon visitors and competitive shoppers. For example, a hair salon brand could identify individuals who used to visit their locations but have not visited in the last six months, or those who visited a competitive salon instead, and target them with a promotional offer. There’s also opportunities for beauty brands to reach consumers based on their lifestyle, along the path to purchase, or in the moment when they are at or near a beauty retailer. With location-driven targeting, beauty brands can identify customers based on real-world movements and activate data-driven segments across channels and platforms.