Shopper Insights – Cosmetics

Do you occasionally buy cosmetics gift packs as a present? If so, you are in good company and one of the vast majority of shoppers – 83% in this case. Just under half of shoppers also treat themselves to one of these attractively presented offers every now and then.

These numbers come from a representative consumer survey designed to provide shopper insights for cosmetics sales promotions. For this survey, commissioned by STI Group, 1,000 people in Germany from 16 to 70 years old were asked about their shopping behaviour when buying cosmetics gift packs.

In season all year

Seasonal events such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas all provide important motives for purchase. However, half the sales of cosmetics gift packs are actually for birthday presents, and one in ten shoppers likes to buy a gift set as a thank-you gift. This means attractively packaged cosmetics remain popular throughout the year.

Purchase decisions made in-store

Over half of all shoppers have no specific idea in mind when they set out to buy a gift. They will visit different shops to get ideas and often pick up something spontaneously, with two-thirds of shoppers admitting to making their purchase decision whilst in store. Products that succeed in drawing attention at the point of sale therefore have a good chance of ending up in more shopping baskets.

Packaging as a decision aid

Dr Christoph Melchers, Professor of Business Psychology at the Berlin Business School, worked with his team to conduct depth interviews to find out how packaging can facilitate purchase decisions at the POS when shoppers are spoilt for choice. The interviews identified six reasons for giving cosmetics gift packs.

A gift should generate joy and excitement, which in turn positively influence the relationship between giver and recipient. The right packaging design can assure a gift-giver of a successful outcome; but to be seen as ‘right’, the contents and gifting occasion must be clearly conveyed. For instance, if the packaging reads ‘Happy Mother’s Day!’ and the overall presentation reflects appreciation, the shopper will rediscover and reinforce his reason and personal motivation for giving. ‘The opening of a gift is something to be celebrated,’ explains Professor Melchers.