Beauty and personal care e-commerce worldwide - statistics & facts
The United States and China are neck-and-neck for the title of the world's most successful online beauty and personal care market. When it comes to revenue, the United States takes the top spot in both the beauty and personal care e-commerce segments, generating nearly 11 and 10 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. The country is also the leading market for the online beauty and cosmetics industry by website traffic. However, China generated the second-most revenue in both market segments and is currently experiencing the fastest traffic growth. In 2023, it was estimated that the global market was worth around 119 billion U.S. dollars, and it is forecast to hit 184 billion by 2028.
In 2023, online marketplaces were the most favored e-commerce channels by beauty shoppers. Digital marketplaces provide a one-stop shopping experience with a wide selection of products, from both first-party and third-party vendors. When shopping for beauty products online, consumers often turn to these platforms for inspiration and product research. Shoppers also prefer to purchase their beauty items via leading marketplaces such as Amazon, Tmall, and Mercado Libre. In 2022, Alibaba came out on top in sales among the leading health, beauty, and personal care e-tailers. The company was estimated to generate nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars in sales, and this figure is forecast to almost double by 2027.
In terms of retailers exclusively specializing in the sale of beauty products, Sephora, known for its high-quality cosmetics both in-store and online, topped the global list of digital beauty stores. Sephora’s primary retail site, sephora.com, amassed over three billion U.S. dollars in e-commerce net sales in 2022. Ulta Beauty’s website, ulta.com, earned approximately 1.9 billion U.S. dollars globally in the same year, solidifying its position as another major player in the industry.
Beauty thrives on social media
Social networks have revolutionized how people shop for beauty and personal care products online. Almost every beauty niche has dedicated content creators who review and promote products, as well as foster engaging communities that follow trends and stay abreast of the latest developments. Given the popularity of apps, it is no surprise that mobile devices make up the largest share of visits to health and beauty online shops from social media referrals. Consumer data from the United States shows that TikTok is the most popular social app for beauty purchases, followed by Instagram and Facebook. Globally, TikTok's beauty and e-commerce sales are primarily driven by live sales, a trend in online marketing featuring live-stream videos with purchase links and live chats that encourage consumer participation.
Celebrity beauty brands perform exceptionally well on social platforms. Huda Beauty by Huda Kattan is the most-followed cosmetics brand on TikTok, with over eight million followers. Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez has the highest number of hashtag views among cosmetics brands on the app, with a whopping 7.7 billion views. On Instagram, Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics holds the most followers among the leading celebrity beauty brands, with more than 26 million followers. Kylie Skin, Jenner's skincare line, comes in second with close to six million Instagram followers. However, follower count and fame may not always translate into sales, as Kylie Cosmetic e-commerce net sales have plummeted since 2017.
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