Natural skin, undone hair, and a swipe of red lipstick. Over the years, the core of French beauty has mainly stayed the same. However, the way French consumers are shopping for beauty products is changing, thanks to digital.
“Traditional” has long typified the average French consumer’s beauty product preferences and shopping habits. But while the majority of beauty-related transactions are completed offline, the share of purchases made online is rising. E-commerce in France grew 13% last year, while mobile commerce increased by 22%, according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. Mobile sophistication will be crucial for retailers as consumers continue to seek greater convenience.
Tradition also sums up the selling features for beauty brands’ mobile and desktop sites, which haven’t changed much over the years—sometimes to a fault. Though interactive product finders are the most widely adopted guided selling tool in the business, only 53% of tracked brands offer them. Similarly, though they’re easily found on desktop sites, 30% fewer brands have interactive product finders on their mobile sites. With 60% of traffic stemming from mobile devices and m-commerce on the rise in France, failing to mirror your desktop site on mobile is a crucial misstep.
But not all tradition should be tossed. The French approach to beauty still places a greater focus on skin care, rather than makeup (skin care amasses 26.7% of overall sales, while makeup garners just 9.4%), so brands should prioritize the former when deciding where to apply digital boosts. By refreshing the focus on skincare via e-commerce and m-commerce, French beauty brands will have a better chance of aging well alongside their evolving consumers.