Swarm Explores Beauty Retail - Monthly Picks, March.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2018 the global beauty and cosmetics industry was growing at 5.5% per year, accelerated by economic growth and investment into innovations. Over the last year, the market is predicted to have declined by 20%–30% due to lockdown and lifestyle changes. This month we explore the trends and opportunities that will reignite the beauty retail experience to bring back the shine to the promising retail sector. 

Beauty pop-up stores promising in the post-COVID world says retail experts
Beauty has weathered waves of uncertainty during the ongoing pandemic, and pop-up stores or curbside pick-up locations could be the key to a much-needed business boost, say two retail experts. Pop-ups are able to offer that ‘real life’ connection to brands that e-commerce can’t, and equally are able to provide a low-risk testing lab for new customer experience concepts.
Read more about the potential of pop-ups in Cosmetics Design Europe, here. 

What does the future hold for the beauty retail experience?
CEO of Glossier, Emily Weiss suggested that any post-pandemic return to physical retail would be underpinned by elements that cannot be replicated online. “As a digital-first company, we have always viewed our offline experiences as a channel for connection and community, and that mandate has not changed,” she said. “We will keep working to find new formats for bringing joy to our community in this current environment while reimagining Glossier retail for the future so that we can reopen with renewed creativity, energy, and scale when it is safe to do so.”
Read more about how retail beauty brands are preparing to emerge from lockdown stronger than before in econsultancy, here. 

The future of the beauty business
The pandemic has turned grooming routines and beauty behaviours upside down. This article explores how the new consumer priorities, technological innovations and products will inform the beauty retail market as we emerge from the pandemic. 
Read more about the future of the beauty business in the Financial Times, here. 

L'Oreal betting big on domestic beauty industry
L'Oreal has reported "spectacular" sales in China, propelling their investment of a torrent of new store openings in the country, supplemented by the acquisition of market-leading South Korean beauty brands. In Shanghai, L'Oreal rolled out China's first "Super Lab" featuring 3D and VR technologies by its SkinCeuticals brand. With the aid of Chinese tech startup ArchiFiction, L'Oreal presents a seamless space where customers can touch and feel products and immerse themselves in vivid brand storytelling and product introductions without needing wearable gadgets. customers are then redirected to a QR code, allowing instant purchases and immediate home delivery.
Read more about L'Oreal’s Chinese success story in China Daily, here.

The shop floor as an experience hub
Westfield, in its How We Shop: The Next Decade report unveiled that 59% of shoppers expect the majority of retail space to be dedicated to offering up experiences by 2025. The estimated figure rises to 75% by 2027. A towering 81% of customers globally said they’re willing to pay more for experiences, proving the retail tipping point will drive revenue growth for experiential retailers in the future.
Read more about how the key to high street survival could be the transformation of the shop floor into experience hubs in Retail Focus, here.         

What to expect from the fashion industry in 2021
As digital consumption of fashion brands continues its dominance and growth in 2021, and shoppers demand ever-more sophisticated digital interactions, fashion players must develop more engaging and social experiences to encourage consumers to connect, both in the digital and physical worlds. 
Discover the key trends predicted to define the global fashion industry in 2021 and beyond in Luxury London, here. 

Design in 2021 – what will retail design look like?
Alasdair Lenox, executive creative director, Landor & Fitch explains how designing retail through a Physical, Human and Digital lens (or PHD as we call it) enables holistic thinking about every point a brand meets their customer, so as to create a seamless experience.
Read more about Alasdair’s insight into the future of retail design in Design Week, here.

At Swarm, we develop the strategy, ideas and tools to bring ‘customer-first’ experiences to life across digital and physical environments.

We scrutinise the total customer journey to identify moments of engagement. With a mix of considered design, proven psychology and authentic technology we deliver solutions that not only drive brand love and create memorable moments, but also support sales advocates to achieve business objectives. Our agile business structure brings together the best resources and specialists at the right time. Our collective wealth of experience and innovative thinking combined with relevant technology enables us to achieve extraordinary results. 

Our unique combination of skills, design, technology and management makes Swarm the complete brand experience partner.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your next extraordinary experience.