Changing Consumer Preferences on the Digital Shelf
Dec 27, 2019
Current consumer search behavior shows that shaving and hair removal is one of the most gendered categories in the personal care space. In fact, from April 2018 to March 2019, 74% of search volume in the shaving & hair removal category includes a gender modifier, outpacing other categories such as sexual wellbeing, incontinence, and deodorants and antiperspirants. So what happens when a unisex razor comes onto the market? Is it a disruptor?
In June 2019, BIC launched Made For YOU, an Amazon-exclusive unisex razor and unexplored territory in the shaving space. According to Mary Fox, General Manager of BIC North America, “[BIC] developed the Made For YOU brand to disrupt the grooming category and redefine how consumers shop for personal care products.” From its beginning, it’s been smooth shaving for Made For YOU. BIC positioned itself for success by leveraging Amazon Vine reviews of free products and created high-quality content on its product pages featuring both male and female use cases. Made For YOU made it to the top 100 best sellers in both men’s and women’s disposable razor categories within a week from its first appearance in those categories in June. Within six months since its launch, Made For YOU has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, achieving a 4.2 rating from over 400 reviews, and climbing up to the #23 spot in Amazon Best Seller in the women’s disposable razors category—implying a higher acceptance to the unisex razor concept among women than in the men’s segment, where it hasn’t been able to sustain its Best Seller Rank so far.
The success, albeit uneven between men’s and women’s segments, is noteworthy; but the question remains: is this scalable across platforms, specifically brick and mortar retail? In the recent past, few CPG brands have recognized the challenge of translating e-commerce optimized products to a physical store. As part of their online assortments, Tide and Seventh Generation introduced redesigned laundry detergent packages that are lighter and smaller than their traditional packaging to reduce shipping weight and improve unit economics. Despite the same capacity as its bulkier counterparts, “A small bottle sitting next to a bigger one on a store shelf may be a tough sell since shoppers have been trained to think a larger bottle means more washes.” Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein notes.
Just as consumers have been trained to think bigger bottles equals greater value, men and women are often on autopilot mode while shopping for razors in their own men’s or women’s shaving aisles in brick and mortar stores. In this move towards a unisex razor, BIC is strategically exploiting the advantage of boundary-less digital shelves to appear in both men’s and women’s categories. Made For YOU is on a path to set a new trend and change consumer preferences when shopping for razors online, but scalability—at least across other e-tailer platforms, if not brick and mortar stores—will be critical to long term growth.