In a crew of traditional methods, the men’s beauty market stands out as a prospect for modernity. The market, though still growing, has already seen some aggressive players taking up top tactics to push men’s products to the public. Here’s how the market is faring amongst retail players, both big and small.
Alongside general market acceleration, specialty beauty retailers Sephora and Ulta saw traffic to their overall men’s category pages respectively increase by 30% and 23% from October 2017 to October 2018, according to Gartner L2’s insight report on the topic. However, consumer traffic to men’s fragrance pages on e-tailers declined yearly, likely due to shifting retailer priorities as other segments, like skincare, gain momentum more quickly. To this point, while Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sephora have the highest organic visibility against men’s fragrance terms fueled by historic SEM investments, site traffic leading to cologne pages declined substantially for all three e-tailers year over year.
Niche fragrance brands with limited distribution and a focus on direct channels, on the other hand, may have also contributed to e-tailer traffic declines in men’s fragrance. Such brands added an estimated quarter of a billion dollars to the global fragrance market over the past three years. This trend is no different for men’s fragrance, where brands like Le Labo, Commodity and Byredo have all grown brand.com traffic by 28%, 49% and 132% respectively, year over year. To attract e-commerce customers, these brands offer on-site merchandising that facilitates trial and monetizes sampling efforts. All three brands offer discovery sets that feature an array of samples at accessible price points. In contrast, heritage brands such as Tom Ford, Burberry and YSL Beauty primarily rely on sampling through e-tailers, supporting only basic sampling activation on DTC sites.
The time for growth could not be better for the men’s beauty market. Even prestige brands such as Gillette are re-thinking the way they advertise men’s products. That said, simply branching out into a new opportunity such as the men’s beauty market is no longer enough, labels should use the category as a chance to experiment and freshen up with modern methods.