How The Beauty Industry Can Reach Gen-Z

Gen-Z teens now spend more on beauty than apparel or accessories.

Female members of the Gen-Z cohort spend an estimated $368 on beauty products annually, up 18 percent year-over-year according to a new report from trend forecaster WGSN — an amount that reportedly sees Gen-Z teens spending more on beauty than apparel or accessories.

According to WGSN’s research, skincare is a leading driver of this spend, though social media-hyped cosmetics collections (think Fenty Beauty from Rihanna) play a role as well. Likely so does the prevalence of YouTube “how-to” videos from influencers on the platform, who spotlight everything from eyeshadow tutorials to their daily skincare routines.

Seeing as YouTube launched in 2005, and the first YouTube celebrities appeared several years later — at a time when many Millennials were already past their teens — it stands to reason that this platform would have the most significant impact on the consumption habits of Gen-Z, even as older demographics do turn to it for DIY tips.

Put The ‘You’ In YouTube

So, what actions can skincare and cosmetic brands take to better reach this audience? The first is to allocate partial spend towards influencer marketing, making strategic partnerships with social media influencers (especially on YouTube) to mention or include their products in a way that feels more organic to these digital natives that traditional ads.

The second is to make their physical stores — or simply displays within a larger retailer, like the Gen-Z-beloved Sephora — particularly social media friendly. No, social media isn’t the be-all end-all for teens, in spite of the alarmist headlines. But it remains true that customers today come into stores for something they “can’t get on Amazon” — which means that extras like a photo-worthy backdrop, free styling services, and more make a big difference in the bottom line.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.