Updated: Dec 20, 2020
We are living in uncertain times and navigating uncharted waters. What was true before the Covid19 pandemic may not hold true once life begins again.
Let's take a look at the cold hard facts. In April of 2020, Nearly 17 million Americans applied for jobless aid. The leisure and hospitality sectors were decimated reporting a 65% percent job loss. That translates into 459,000 jobs. Restaurants lost 417,000 jobs and healthcare experienced a decline of 76,000 jobs. What do all these industries have in common? these industries are all dominated by women.
Here are the numbers across the spectrum of positions from lowest to highest on the totem within healthcare, restaurant and tourism business sectors; 78% of the individuals employed in the healthcare industry are women, 55.9% of those employed in tourism are female and 70% of those who work in the restaurant industry are women. While men are dipping their toe into corrective skincare and cosmetic procedures, women are still the main consumers of beauty and skincare products and most apt to opt for cosmetic surgery. And hundreds of thousands of women are out of work.
Teens are experiencing 14.3% unemployment, 20-24 year old's are looking at 8.7% unemployment, 25-34 year old's are reporting 4.1% decline in employment and 45-54-year-old women are the most likely to have kept their jobs.
Sadly the pandemic has also claimed the livelihood of small businesses with less than 500 employees. A survey conducted by Metlife and the US Department of Commerce found that 54% of small businesses shuttered their doors during the pandemic and many are just holding on. Women own 11.6 million businesses in the US which is 40%, if we extrapolate, approximately half of these businesses have experienced a great downturn in business during the pandemic, leading to lost revenue and profits. Add to that, the stock market's daily gyrations are not building confidence, which leads to limited spending.
There are some bright spots. According to Women's Wear Daily, online sales are up, especially among prestige beauty products. Sales of prestige products escalated to 45% of the total beauty spend. Already there has been a rebound among shoppers in China, which bodes well for manufacturers in the US.
Other trends driving the market are selfies and Zoom. As more people seek employment bio photos and selfies will become more critical and Zoom and FaceTime interviews and meetings will make women want to look as good and polished as possible as they beam their virtual images to potential employers.
So what does this mean for us in the beauty industry? frankly, it is hard to tell. The underlying fundamentals of the economy were strong before the US shut down. History has shown that shoppers will re-prioritize their needs and will return to spending, they will be cautious but also want to treat themselves to something that makes them feel good. What makes anyone feel better than looking good. However, there is still a great deal of insecurity, especially with the threat of the pandemic returning in the fall.
Manufacturers, distributors, and beauty professionals should be asking themselves to think about the veracity of their messaging as women the world and the business market. With cash curtailed for the time being what are women looking for in the products and the services they choose to invest in? You need to capture her attention and let her know that you are definitely speaking to her.
Based on past consumer behavior the American shopper is going to replenish her basics but she is going to look for products that are going to enhance her appearance. She will also be looking to purchase products that are sustainable, clean, and socially responsible. She will place an emphasis or results and outcomes rather than flimsy promises.
Now more than ever you need a marketing and content strategy that works. You need copy that shines, that clearly tells a woman, why she should trust and invest in your product. You need to prove to her that you hear her concerns and you can deliver. With thousands so many products on the market you need to stand out. We can help. E-mail a Call to Beauty at Rmichelow@gmail.com we can talk about a whole new plan or just a touch up.