Survey finds U.S. beauty shoppers prefer Amazon to shop online

A new survey has found that seven out of ten beauty shoppers in the United States (71%) prefer Amazon to shop for beauty products, surpassing Ulta.com at 54%, Sephora.com at 54%, Walmart.com at 47%, and Target.com at 36%.

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According to the 'Stella Rising Glimmer Report – Searching for Beauty', two-thirds (65%) of polled beauty shoppers said they use Amazon to search for specific beauty brands, while 63% said they use the e-commerce site to search for specific beauty categories like makeup. This marks another major category win for Amazon, with the company also earning the title of the most-shopped apparel retailer in the U.S.

The shoppers surveyed said that they favored digital platforms overall, because of their end-to-end beauty shopping convenience, with 61% saying they enjoyed being able to shop at any time, and 50% reporting they enjoyed the ability to find better prices online than in stores. 

"In addition to a wide variety of products and the convenience of services such as free shipping, consumers place a high value on the product reviews and the ability to easily and quickly comparison shop on these sites," said Andrea Van Dam, chief executive officer of Stella Rising.

Notably, retailers shouldn't underestimate this consumer drive to find the best price: while nearly half (48%) said they research and buy on the same website, three out of five (60%) of beauty consumers buy products on another website that offers lower shipping costs.

When it came to sourcing beauty info, those polled said social media is the top source for learning about new products (67%), topping friends and family (50%), in-store browsing (48%) and online reviews (46%). However, the report found that friends and family (46%) remains the most trusted source.

"This seismic shift in how consumers research, recommend, and purchase beauty products has created a tremendous opportunity for independent as well as established beauty brands to connect with new generations of consumers," said Van Dam. 

Among other key findings, the report found that 41% of respondents are planning to spend more on beauty products this year versus last year, while half (50%) expect to spend roughly the same; only ten percent expect to spend less. 

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