Marché de la beauté, un maintien de l’activité grâce au digital

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The beauty market has shown a sharp drop in sales and turnover since the start of the crisis. While digital is saving the business for certain parts of the sector, the overall results remain relatively austere. Thus, according to an Asterès study for the Federation of Beauty Companies (Febea), the entire cosmetics sector has suffered a drop of around 10% in sales. However, within, the realities are very disparate. On the one hand, the business of hygiene products increased by 50%; on the other hand, that of beauty products contracted by 25% with 37% of sales down. Figures resulting in particular from marketing methods and restrictive measures to combat Covid-19.

Beauty market, varied economic situations

Despite a well-known beauty sector, small industrial enterprises are experiencing the crisis particularly hard. Their sales fell by %, compared to an average of 35% for larger manufacturers.

On the other hand, the situation seems to have to continue. Indeed, according to the scenarios of Asterès, it will be necessary to wait until 2022 to recover a pre-crisis situation. However, this estimate depends on our ability to manage the health situation well. A parameter that we still only control moderately.

However, the study lists the factors in favour of the beauty market. First, it welcomes the support for consumption under several government schemes. Which should be in favour of cosmetics, in a context where one seeks to have fun without violating the rules of hygiene.

On the business side this time, they can take advantage of THE ESP and an incentive to invest in equity. Schemes to both support cash flow and enable the investments needed to overcome the crisis. In addition, the cosmetics industry will also benefit from lower production taxes. Thus, French companies will regain some competitiveness compared to those of countries with lower taxes.

On the other hand, Asterès draws attention to the very mixed interest of relocation in this sector. Firstly, because production is already largely national. Instead, he suggests betting on the modularity of production, which has already proven its worth with the conversion of production lines to urgently manufacture hydroalcoholic gel.

beauty market impact digital covid-19

Digitalization of the beauty market, the miracle solution?

The impact of digital technology on the beauty market seems to be widely interpreted. Asterès and Opinion Way agree that online sales increased from 38% to 40% in the first half of 2020. However, the conclusion reached is not necessarily enthusiastic. For good reason, according to Asterès, the weight of digital in this market is still too small to lift the whole sector. In this context, it is difficult to say whether the fault lies with consumers who prefer in-store consumption patterns; or companies that still do not all offer satisfactory digital solutions.

In addition to the increase in internet sales, digital technology has also led to an increase in online appointments. On the other hand, the digital shift is becoming easier to take. While having its own strategy like Seasonly,including website, campaigns, online store, automatic agenda management, requires serious investments, third-party solutions are developing more and more. If they are not as complete and flexible, they allow you to adapt quickly.

This is the case, for example, with the Planner and Deliver tools produced by Linkeo. Which allow you to make an appointment online and order, respectively. For good reason, according to Linkeo, 77% of French people book on the Internet and 35% of bookings take place outside of opening hours. In addition, the system would reduce absenteeism by a quarter.

cosmetic beauty digitalization

As for click and collect, the French remain of general opinion that the solutions are not optimal. According to France Num, 85% believe that click and collect services should be strengthened. For businesses, this system also has significant advantages, which are also valid outside the crisis period. Saving time, additional sales, managing in-store flow and therefore complying with restrictive measures…

Funding for digitisation, national and local aid for businesses

In order to encourage companies in all sectors to finally pass the digitalisation threshold,the State and local authorities are redoubling their efforts. These aids mainly apply to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are particularly vulnerable.

Thus, the government offers the Clique Mon Commerce platform to rapidly develop an online business. Delivery, online payment, communication… These are all issues that usually hinder individual initiatives due to a lack of sound advice.

In addition, there is financial and strategic aid provided by France Num. Digital cheque, diagnosis, online training modules, loan guarantee… Enough to support companies willing to undertake a real digital strategy, built.

In addition to government aid, the regions also offer support. New Aquitaine, for example, issues Digital Transformation Checks and e-commerce cheques. Help for start-ups, for digital prototypes, for recruitment… The devices cover wide issues and its regularly updated.


  1. “Thecosmetics sector, uneven resilience in the face of the Covid-19 crisis”,study Asterès Febea 2020
  2. “The French beauty market is being maintained thanks to digital technology”, Linkeo, press release of 16 March 2021
  3. Covid-19: Help for the digitisation of companies, BPI France
  4. What are the financial aids for digitizing your business in your area?France Num
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