Like fashion, travel and other highly visual marketing sectors, the beauty industry relies on imagery to compel purchases, and the power of influencer marketing fits right into that pocket. In fact, new research from creator-guided shopping platform LTK affirms that the vast majority of Gen Z women (92 percent) acknowledge that their beauty or wellness routines are influenced by online creators, illustrating the trust and power creators hold in driving consumer behavior.
The firm’s new LTK Beauty Shopper Study reveals that in the evolving landscape of retail, creators wield considerable influence over consumer choices, especially in the world of beauty and personal care: 78 percent of Gen Z and 61 percent of Millennial women rank creators as their most trusted source for beauty recommendations, with social media ranking as the number one platform where they discover new beauty products.
Even when compared to trusted traditional sources, Gen Z and Millennials prefer creator content over retailer websites, and Gen Z women even rank creators higher than friends and family when it comes to beauty and personal care recommendations. In fact, the report finds that 83 percent of Gen Z women shop for creators’ beauty and personal care recommendations online, and 82 percent shop their recommendations in stores.
Influencing beauty shopping choices
The study identified skincare, hair care, and makeup as the top three routines influenced by creators across the general population. Foundation, eye makeup, lip products, mascara, hair tools, and hair serums were found to be the most purchased beauty items from creators, while personal care products included body wash/scrub, moisturizers, shampoo/conditioner, face wash, deodorant, and acne products.
The fastest-growing beauty products through LTK Creators include the Dibs Beauty Duo Brush 15, Tangle Teezer’s The Ultimate Detangler Plant Brush, Tarte’s Maracuja Juicy Lip trio and IT Cosmetics Nude Glow Foundation SPF 40, demonstrating an interest in beauty tools and accessible beauty products. Meanwhile, products like Patrick Ta Contour & Powder Duo, Dyson Airstrait, Global Healing Oxy Powder, REFY Brow Tint Eyebrow Gel, and Benefit Cosmetics BADGal Bang! Mascara are among the top items purchased through LTK Creators for both Millennials and Gen Z shoppers.
Beauty and personal care: Recession-proof shopping
Despite 74 percent of women believing we are in a recession, the majority (61 percent) plan to maintain or even increase their spending on beauty and personal care. Shoppers tend to splurge on items they value, with 43 percent of the general population admitting to this behavior. Interestingly, Gen Z is more likely to shop for drugstore products (52 percent) and look for less expensive versions of luxury items (47 percent). Across the board, quality seems to trump price as the determining factor for a beauty purchase among all generations.
The impact of creators on beauty
The beauty sector has shown remarkable growth on LTK’s own platform, outpacing other categories. Hair styling, GRWM (get ready with me) makeup videos, skincare routines, and wellness tips are the most viewed content from creators as shoppers find the content both educational and relatable, contributing to their popularity.
The study also highlighted the power of video in commerce-guided shopping. Posts on the firm’s site with video content result in a 64 percent higher retail sales per post to those with static images.
“As more people turn to creators as a trusted source on beauty and personal care products, advice and inspiration, creators have become the best way for brands to reach their customers in an authentic and impactful way,” said Ally Anderson, director of strategy and insights at LTK, in a news release. “Brands that lean into the authenticity and trust creators have built with their communities are winning across an array of metrics that are leading to meaningful business growth.”
The reported data is from a survey conducted in May 2023 among 1,044 participants, reflective of the US population with 97 percent confidence.