2021 was another year of upheaval - and innovation - for the beauty industry.

Recovering from the sudden impact of coronavirus the previous year and continuing to contend with fluctuating social restrictions, beauty brands have had to think creatively about the way they engage with customers and respond to shifting consumer attitudes.

Central to this has been the development of beauty tech and in 2021 this has continued to be an area of rapid and exciting growth, from e-sampling to at-home beauty tech.

So, how will the beauty industry trends we’ve seen in 2021 evolve and grow in the coming year?

Here are our five beauty industry predictions for 2022.

1. Sustainability will become a core part of beauty

As the climate conversation gets louder - amplified by the pandemic, social media and world events like COP26 - brands can no longer afford to ignore sustainability if they want to win over increasingly concerned consumers.

The statistics bear this out: according to recent research from EY, 84% of consumers say sustainability is important when making purchase decisions. And a survey conducted last year by Deloitte found that 28% of UK consumers say they have stopped buying certain products due to ethical or environmental concerns, rising to 45% among Gen Z consumers.

We’ve already started to see the shift to sustainability within beauty - in 2020 Maybelline launched its UK-wide recycling scheme to help consumers responsibly dispose of old makeup - but in 2022 we expect to see sustainability become central to all aspects of beauty.

This won’t just mean more product recycling. From reducing packaging waste and eco-friendly packaging to responsibly sourced product ingredients and ethical testing, there are numerous ways beauty brands can make their businesses more sustainable, in addition to cutting down on waste and energy use in offices and factories. 

But in their bid for sustainability, beauty brands should beware of greenwashing. Consumers are smart and they can spot when a company is only talking the talk. If a brand’s actions don’t match their words this can have the opposite effect and start to turn consumers against them.

Odore’s platform can help brands achieve their sustainability goals in 2022 as we offer our partners recyclable and sustainability packaging options as part of their product sampling campaigns. Our targeted product sampling features also help brands cut down on unnecessary waste by only giving customers the samples they want.

2. Social media and online engagement will continue to grow in importance

Social media marketing has for a while now been a staple of the beauty industry.

But as usage figures rise - last year global social media users exceeded 4.5 billion with users spending on average 2 hours 27 minutes per day on social media - so does the need for brands to engage with consumers in new and creative ways.

2021 demonstrated the power of social media in selling beauty products: Maybelline’s Sky High Mascara sold out in numerous locations after going viral on TikTok and Madison Beer’s Vogue Beauty Secrets YouTube video (currently standing at over 10 million views) caused a huge surge of interest in Charlotte Tilbury’s products.

In 2022 we should expect beauty brands to be investing more in social media marketing and using the power and reach of influencers to attract new customers.

And we should also be seeing the growth of livestream shopping - already popular in China but now beginning to more significantly enter other markets too. For instance, in December TikTok launched  a two-day live shopping event for UK users on its platform, with exclusive offers and entertainment.

Odore helps brands manage their social media activities and launch sophisticated social campaigns with our easy-to-use campaign builder. It also centralises their data, eliminating information silos and helping teams work more effectively together.

3. New digital offerings like e-sampling and personalised experiences will gain more traction

With the boom in online shopping, precipitated by the pandemic, digital offerings have never been more important. And in 2022 we’re set to see the digital experiences and strategies that have emerged over the past few years gain more and more traction as brands look to woo online buyers.

Shade-matching online tools have become increasingly popular, with brands like Cult Beauty launching AI-powered foundation finding tech. Then there’s the growing adoption of AR makeup try-on tools - Fenty Beauty introduced its virtual try-on feature in August last year - to help consumers in their cosmetics decisions and eliminate the frustration of an ill-suited product.

And brands are also helping consumers make the best beauty decisions through personalised experiences. Online questionnaires can help match customers with the products best suited to their needs and when combined with consumer product sampling, can help brands win  customers by overcoming new product reticence.

Smaller beauty brands may feel they lack the resources to take advantage of these new digital offerings but Odore’s platform means they don’t have to miss out. Our SaaS platform gives them the ability to personalise their marketing and launch targeted e-sampling campaigns with an affordable, scalable solution.

4. Brands will increasingly turn to big data for better customer relationships

Another area we predict big growth is big data.

Driven by the increasing desire for personalisation - research shows 71% of consumers  now expect companies to deliver personalised interactions - the demand for data and analytics is only set to rise.

And with the third-party cookie phase-out and continuing concerns over data privacy and control, it’s going to be zero-party data and customer reviews that become more and more important to brands. 

Such data will be vital in helping brands personalise their services, guide product development and hyper-target customers in skin care sampling and cosmetic sampling campaigns.

Again, this is something Odore makes easy for beauty brands. Our integrated campaign builder helps brands collect zero-party data by creating questionnaires that can be launched as targeted ads or campaigns.

5. We’ll watch the rise of delivery on demand and slicker delivery services

Takeaways and groceries delivered on demand have become a mainstay throughout the pandemic and are now woven into our lives: in the UK and Ireland, Deliveroo saw a 59% increase in orders between July and September 2021, despite dine-in restaurant restrictions being lifted.

But such delivery services have the potential to extend beyond food and into the beauty industry.

Indeed, last year Boots launched an on-demand delivery trial with Deliveroo, allowing customers to purchase makeup and toiletries, as well as baby products, snacks and some medicines and painkillers, through the app.

In 2022 we should expect to see the appetite for easy delivery become a key driver in brand’s business strategies - whether that’s through exploring partnerships with popular couriers, improving the speed and convenience of postage, or investing in tech that allows customers to  get samples delivered straight to their door  in a matter of clicks.

Beauty product sampling platforms like Odore are helping brands adjust to evolved consumer expectations and meet the demand for easy delivery. Our services make sampling smarter, faster and more reliable and we offer complete end-to-end fulfilment at competitive prices with options for customised packaging. This means samples get to customers quickly and safely, helping strengthen brand relationships.


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