Internet Shopping is En Vogue
Retail is dead? Not quite yet. But it is dying and virtual retail, online shopping as some would call it, is taking over. The internet and its convenience seems to be the culprit. Particularly in the Cosmetics Industry, I’ve noticed a progressive decline over the last 5 years in numbers and clout by brands that used to hold and set the bar. My field research stems mostly from the New York City market and more recently in the Central Florida market. For example:
- For one, makeup counters are actually in competition with the ecommerce version of the same brand and company. And employees have to compete with product sales the ecommerce store has that vary from the counter and host department stores. Paired with goal expectations rising in a shrinking market, I’d say this is a just cause in making the stress level for some workers at stores and counters sky high. Which inevitably snowballs into cut throat and deceptive behavior which often then leads to negative energy and a bad customer experience, furthering the challenge.
- Alongside are entrepreneurs as well as those tech-savvy-single mommy-types like myself with business mentalities who use their skills and resources to open online boutiques and shops via Amazon or Ebay; selling tangibles or other products and services just like the big dogs. And killing the need to even go to the store at all.
- Topped with the advertising costs or lack there of, due to social media outlets like Youtube and Instagram and it’s savvy influencers with millions of people tuning in worldwide, daily. They need but name drop a product or service and voila!
It’s a recipe for a new paradigm in shopping culture and it’s exciting. As it pertains to beauty, the most visible trend I see is that smaller cosmetics lines that may or may not have had the budget for expensive advertising agencies are now easily able to penetrate markets and submarkets through these influencers, thus expanding brand awareness and profit.
Whether they know it or not, these same influencers are responsible for stripping the ‘trendsetter’ status away from the major brands and back into the hands of the people. Which, I’ll admit is exhilarating and in some instances, scary. Either way, I can’t wait to see what’s next!