Everything is different in 2020, and that includes spending habits and the hair and beauty purchase trends of the Australian and global consumer. Australian retail giant Oz Hair & Beauty has analysed these trends in their own online sales by state, by sector and more generally to see which retail trends have been on the up – and in short, it’s a lot of them.

The site is one of Australia’s largest and fastest-growing online stores for hair, beauty and skincare products, averaging 533,000 unique visitors a month. Now, the online retail giant has released its customer transaction growth figures from April through September, providing insight into consumer purchase practices through months of changing restrictions and lockdowns.

“As bricks-and-mortar retailers and salons around the country shut down or followed tight restrictions from late March, consumers turned to online purchases for convenience, to keep them safe from the virus, and to access products they could no longer get in person,” said Anthony Nappa, Founder and Managing Director at Oz Hair & Beauty. “We saw a surge in sales across hair colour products and male hair clippers. We also saw a significant increase in facemasks, candles and skincare as Aussies stayed in. In fact, bath and body products were our biggest selling category. I think consumers regard these kinds of self-care purchases – and self-care rituals – as a way to look after their mental health, not only their bodies.”

“We have generally seen growth across all categories, but it’s notable that demand for a few categories skyrocketed. We believe the growth will continue this year, although a little less strongly, if community transmission becomes negligible and people have more confidence to step into salons,” he continued.

Here are seven major hair and beauty retail trends that are soaring through 2020. Use these stats to know how and what to market to your retail-focused clients.

  1. Hair Colour

Unfortunately, with salons restricted and in Melbourne actually forcibly closed, clients looked to (shudder) at-home colour. While some salons helped their clients out with tailored home colour kits and YouTube or FaceTime tutorials, some clients turned to the non-professional bottle, with colour sales rising by 248 per cent compared to the same time period in 2019, particularly semi-permanent hues and root touch ups. We have a feeling quite a few Melbourne salons are cleaning up those messes in salon right now.

  • Hair Appliances

Men’s hair clippers went up 273 per cent and hair appliances in general grew by 217 per cent, or 248 per cent in just Victoria. This was probably a necessary purchase for many men but, again, a problem many salons are probably rectifying as we speak.

  • Australian Products

In a win for the local market, sales of Aussie brand products grew 198 per cent. We definitely advocate for supporting local businesses during this difficult time.

  • Body and Bath

With consumers spending much more time at home this year, self-care is all the rage and, let’s be honest, we deserve it. Bath and body products such as body lotion, shower gel, waxing kits, eye masks and essential oils saw a 294 per cent increase in online transactions this year. In Victoria, where consumers have been at home for longer than most places in the entire world, this figure was as high as 312 per cent.

  • Haircare

Many clients continued to buy haircare, style and treatment products from salons who still offered retail via delivery or click and collect but, for those who didn’t, hair product retail was up 178 per cent via Oz Hair & Beauty. This could be broken down into 207 per cent for VIC, 177 per cent for TAS and 170 per cent for NSW. It’s great to know clients are still investing in their hair and hair retail – ensure you’re offering them the products they need and marketing it to them well to corner that always-important sector of your salon’s bottom line.

  • New Clients

It would come as no surprise that more new clients turned to online purchasing over the pandemic period, with a 179 per cent increase in new customer purchases to Oz Hair & Beauty, which had to increase its business size to cope with demand. This is another interesting figure that salons can capitalise on, as you can offer retail on your website and via social media, to cater to clients that are more apprehensive about coming in store and prefer online shopping.

  • Skincare

Skincare sales were up 263 per cent, as broken down into 315 per cent for VIC and 278 per cent for NSW. Facemasks were a major winner in this category – again, self care!

  • Makeup

Makeup sales saw the smallest spike in transactions, as consumers who weren’t leaving their house probably saw little need for makeup products compared to the other categories. Still, it was up 142 per cent, speaking to the famous “lipstick effect”, where consumers purchase small indulgences in recessions, as typified by lipstick. Unlike the other categories, Victoria was the lowest sales region for makeup, at 130 per cent, which, given months of stay at home orders, makes sense.

Understand the modern consumer, market to them, cater to them and have your retail products flying off the shelves. To sum up, clients are focusing on self-care, Aussie brands and online purchase capabilities. Go, go, go!