August 28, 2018
As fast fashion prevails in the retail world, another market gap that has broadened due to the growing speed of all industries is fast beauty. With e-commerce and social media to credit for the instant gratification of consumer demands, the beauty industry has picked up speed over the recent years.
The increasing saturation of new fast beauty brands have caused quite a stir . Beauty conglomerates like Estee Lauder and Urban Decay that have conquered the displays of Sephora and Ulta, have gone through over 15 years worth of trial and error to stand where they are now. However, a new force in the industry looms overhead.
Colourpop, a relatively recent disruptor in the market founded by sibling entrepreneurs, Laura and John Nelson, emerged in 2014. Colourpop’s breakthrough into the beauty industry raised many questions due to its sudden initiation and triumph. What exactly was their secret or strategy to success?
The fast fashion model is centralised around the rapid demand of trends at a cheap price point, which was the reason behind its success. Noticing the lack of such a market in the beauty industry, Colourpop decided to adopt the fast fashion model as well. Being able to respond instantly to consumer demands, especially via social media, has become Colourpop’s forte.
While most brands launch new product ranges a few times annually, Colourpop has picked up the speed at which they produce and market new products, constantly launching new colours and variations of their existing collection by keeping a close eye on trending colours, textures and the overall package.
The lifespan of their products are equally short. New products are introduced to the market and made available for a few months before going on sale and eventually out-of-stock to make room for the next cycle, a similar process in fast fashion retail.
Colourpop has truly mastered catering towards a generation that currently comprises the mass market, which is undoubtedly the millennials. The data from the chart below is extracted from a random sampling of Colourpop’s 6 million followers on Instagram. From the handful of followers, it is evident that a majority of their followers are in the millennial age of 20-30. However, the higher penetration of millennial followers is not just subjected to Colourpop alone, but Instagram as a whole. The fast fashion and beauty model bodes well among millennials, which creates windows of opportunities for growing brands, something Colourpop was swift to capitalise upon.
Source: Colourpop Instagram
Boasting over 6 million followers on their Instagram, take a look at Colourpop’s Instagram proves why their digital marketing efforts were able to capture the fancy of the younger crowd. They portray their products in bright ,quirky visuals, and clever wit. They are also no strangers to collaborations with celebrities and famous internet personalities, branching out and capitalising a new digital fanbase.
Colourpop seems to be the perfect embodiment of what a millennial brand should be – social media savvy with a fast turnaround rate for their collections. However, another beauty brand is starting to step out into the fast beauty scene. And that is NYX Cosmetics.
While not exactly on par with Colourpop’s wide product range and high production speed, the subsidiary cosmetics brand of L’Oréal showcased a steady increase for new-in products on a monthly basis, as illustrated below. The influx of new items is a great difference compared to traditional brands that are not venturing into fast beauty.
What This Means?
Just like fast fashion, the rapid speed at which fast beauty is moving opens new doors for many. It is now more crucial than ever to pick up the pace given the increasing demands for quick fulfilment in retail and onslaught of competition everywhere. “The influx of new brands and products and fast-shifting trends is boosting overall spending on makeup, meaning there are more dollars to go around”, shared Karen Grant, a beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group. This also means that more market opportunities are being created, leading to more gaps to fill.
It’s all a race against time to maintain one’s relevance in such a competitive industry. This is when data is important to constantly monitor the flow of trend-driven products, given their fluidity in the ever-evolving retail scene. But there’s still time as the full impact of fast beauty is yet to be seen, and it’s up to brands and retailers to take up the challenge and acquire the bigger piece of the pie.
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