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Just The Numbers: Accenture Holiday Beauty Shopping 2021

November 08, 2021 Kelly Kovack
November 08, 2021

Accenture has released its 15th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey. The survey found people are looking forward to the holidays this year, in-store shopping has returned, and face-to-face socializing is back. However, the rise of conscious consumption we saw in the wake of the pandemic appears to be sticking, with consumers mindful about the environmental impact of their shopping choices.

“Beauty and cosmetics brands will be hoping for a strong holiday season as consumers show increasing desire and comfort in returning to pre-pandemic activities. Given that consumer demand in beauty is closely linked to being out and about with other people, our findings are especially encouraging," said Oliver Wright, a senior managing director at Accenture and head of its Consumer Goods & Services industry group globally. "If beauty brands can take a longer view and use this moment as an opportunity to reset their capabilities across the business, they'll be ideally placed to capitalize on returning consumer demand throughout the holidays and beyond.”

After a year of living digitally, face-to-face socializing looks set for a return this holiday season.

  • 51% of people—rising to 59% of consumers under 32 years old—intend to go to parties or to meals out.
  • 44% plan to head out to festive events with others.
  • 59% are hoping to visit friends and family at home.

These social gatherings could lead to an increase in sales for brands.

  • 26% of people overall and 42% of Gen Z consumers plan to buy beauty and personal care products because they want to dress up and socialize this holiday season.
  • 32% of people—rising to 48% of young millennials (25-31 years old) expect to buy cosmetics and personal care products over the next six months.

The findings indicate that consumers are considering the environmental impacts of their shopping choices this holiday season.

  • 39% of consumers say that they will opt for cruelty-free beauty and personal care this year as they wish for their choices to cause no harm, compared to 35% who say that price, and 35% who say that attractive product packaging, would definitely make them buy beauty or personal care items.
  • 25% of consumers say they are worried about climate change and will opt for sustainable beauty and personal care products this year, rising to 33% of Gen Z consumers (18-24 years old).

“The pandemic is making consumers think more about the impact their purchasing decisions are having on the environment and society at large," Wright said. "In many ways, this pandemic has created an opportunity for companies to attract and engage with consumers in innovative new ways. Just as people are seeking to change for the better, so can beauty companies.”

Despite many likely to shop online this holiday season, the survey shows that in-store shopping is returning.

  • 54% of people overall and 70% of Gen Z consumers plan to do most of their holiday shopping in-store this season.
  • 54% of Baby Boomers (56-69 years old) anticipate doing most of their shopping online— perhaps another sign that the pandemic-induced acceleration in e-commerce adoption is not going away.
  • 24% of consumers overall and 41% of young millennials said that services to make the most of the shopping experience, such as a salon for beauty treatments, could entice them to shop in-store with one retailer over another.

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