How do Millenials shop for Beauty Products?

Millennial marketing is critical for beauty brands. This generation (born between 1980 and 2000 have cash and are eager to spend on themselves. Surveys by Mintel and Sephora found they buy as much as 10 different kinds of beauty products a year. Asian aesthetic medicine trends also show theyre getting more treatments — and they’re not ashamed to say they had something done, either.

However, millennials are a more skeptical consumer. Traditional advertising and retail strategies don’t work on them. Here are ‘beauty shopping habits every brand should know to create a solid millennial marketing strategy.


By the time a millennial walks into your clinic or store, she’s read up on her skin condition, several beauty reviews, and probably has a short list of brands that offer similar benefits. This is especially true for skincare. Millennials start taking care of their skin fairly early, and the Korean trend has turned many Filipinos into big fans of masks, serums, and early anti-aging.

Where do they get their info? The internet. Digital content is critical for millennial marketing. Studies show that consumers usually need 5 to 7 interactions with a brand before they walk into a store. And by the time they’re serious buyers, they may know more about your SKUs than your sales representative. Which leads us to the next point.


Many beauty forums show entire threads of complaints from customers who hate the customer service they receive at a clinic or store. “They didn’t answer my questions — it’s like she doesn’t know anything!” “When I asked her which of the anti-aging masks she’d recommend for my acne prone skin, she said to just get both.” They are also turned off by hovering sales personnel who simply push the latest product without asking what they need. Many of them prefer to be left alone while they browse and try products, but expect sales personnel to give more detailed information when (and only when) they ask.

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Filipinos are one of the most social-savvy people in the world. Our Facebook use is unparalleled — we check Facebook several times each day, and considering crazy Edsa traffic and internet data providers’free Facebook use, you’ll get millions of commuters who are checking social media while they’re stuck in traffic.

But here are the facts: Filipino social media use is done on the phone, in less-than-perfect internet conditions. What messages are you sending to them? Can they view it? Can they find information quickly? A token Facebook page is not enough. The average internet consumer gives you 30 seconds to give critical brand information before they give up and go to another site. If they don’t see you (and like you!) in that short span, you’ve lost a potential sale.


Millennials are rarely loyal to a brand’s entire product range. Their vanities are often a mix of well-known brands, indie and local products, cult favorites and products they’ve purchased on a whim. So the good news is that there is plenty of opportunities for brands to convert a millennial: give her a good reason to try, and she will. However, repeat sales are the biggest challenge. Brands need to invest in post-sales customer service and marketing. How do you get them to try a serum after they buy a mask? How do you continue customer contact so you can connect to them after they walk out of your store?

For brands, this means a more comprehensive millennial marketing campaign that addresses the entire customer experience and sales funnel. Too much advertising goes to getting a new customer to try a product. Very little goes into converting a casual customer into a loyal customer.


Sampling is the future of beauty marketing. Savvy millenials have access to hundreds of brands, which they can buy in the store, online, or through gray markets. Many products and services offer identical claims. Pricing is an issue: how does a premium or masstige brand prove that their ingredients are more effective? Beauty industry insiders understand the science — formula, stability, user experience. But this is something an average consumer can only feel and know after they have sampled something firsthand.

Sephora, Ulta, and Beauty Insider’s Singapore sampling program have responded to this concern by creating beauty boxes where key influencers and beauty subscribers can try a product and then post a review. This is one way for beauty clinics and products to create a user experience. The sampling program actually brings in sales: After setting up trial stations and beauty boxes, Ulta had 41% increase in buyer purchases, and Sephora reported a 25% increase in buyer penetration and a 32% in regular buyer purchases.