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Beauty Matter | 14 July 2021

Hair loss is not a new concern, but the category has witnessed growth, with online searches for hair loss rising by 8% in the last year. Hair loss is currently a $7 billion market, and according to hair loss provider Kerastem, alopecia patients are split almost evenly among both genders (55% female, 45% male). Despite this factual evidence, the market had always catered towards men. A 2020 Fortune Business Insights report identifies the female sector of the market as a substantial component in the North American industry’s growth. Given the fact that 80% of women experience significant hair loss by the age of 60, 95% of which is a result of hormonal changes like perimenopause, pregnancy, or menopause, it has been a surprisingly nascent realm of the industry.

One reason is that certain procedures, be they pharmaceuticals or hair transplants, are either not available or unsuitable for female hair loss sufferers. Another is the higher social pressures on female appearance, as well as the visual markers of long, luscious hair as a trait of femininity. While male hair loss sufferers undoubtedly struggle too, it is the hushed nature of female hair loss, versus male hair loss being embraced by certain men who can easily shave off all their hair and wear a bald look with pride, which has made it a difficult market to cater to. “For women in particular, the issue feels loaded, shrouded in shame. It could be because we attach so much meaning to hair; it’s an indicator of status, style, profession. Good hair is both a security blanket and a confidence boost. So, is it any wonder that it falling out can leave many falling apart?,” asks journalist Abha Shah. As hormonal health among women continues to be discussed more openly alongside the rise of feminine wellness brands, it is also shining a light on one of the possible culprits of hair loss. Increased stress as a result of the pandemic, and COVID-induced hair loss, has seen a rise in afflicted individuals overall.

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Walmart teams up with DTC brand Bubble in bid to tap Gen Z market

Retail Dive

Vying for Gen Z’s attention, DTC skincare brand Bubble are now available on the aisles of 3,800 Walmart stores nationwide and on Walmart.com, the companies announced separately.

The partnership is a strategic decision on both Walmart and Bubble’s part. By carrying Bubble products, Walmart is expanding its reach to a younger consumer group. For Bubble, this retail partnership makes its products more accessible to its target audience. More than 90% of Americans live within 10 miles from a Walmart location, said Walmart beauty merchant Julia Turley.

Accessibility is a key part of why several DTC brands have sought partnerships with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Casper, for instance, has partnered with retailers like Nordstrom, Target and Sam’s Club. Walmart has formed several DTC partnerships of its own, including with healthcare DTC startup Ro and feminine hygiene brand Lola, which sold over 10 million products through the retailer in half a year, Retail Brew reported last September. Additionally, retailers have increasingly seen value in tapping into the Gen Z market. Nordstrom acquired a minority stake in Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands earlier this month. Etsy recently completed its acquisition of apparel resale site Depop for $1.63 billion.

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Beauty’s hottest trend is all about the customer

Vogue Business | 20 July 2021

Customers are opting in to take surveys and questionnaires to get better personalized products and experiences in beauty. Now the brands have to deliver.

Zero-party data refers to data collected consensually, unlike third- or first-party data, which is extracted and used to customise products, services and experiences to the shopper. Brands are jumping on customers’ willingness to share their personal information for the right outcome, by creating quizzes, surveys and questionnaires that build zero-party data profiles of their customers with their buy-in.

“There’s been discussion about personalization in beauty for years, but the early stages of it were very generic.” Early attempts to personalize beauty included addressing marketing emails to a customer’s first name and monogramming products, which Awa says didn’t do much to actually serve customers’ needs. These early inroads, however, were enough to stoke consumer demand for greater personalization and customization, according to Audrey Depraeter-Montacel, global beauty lead at Accenture. Standards this time are higher, meaning more and better data is needed. While concerns about privacy and cybersecurity are still important, if consumers believe they’re entering a legal agreement and receiving something in return, they’re usually happy to hand over data, says Lokesh Ohri, retail and consumer products lead at Deloitte Digital.

Experts say this level of personalisation is becoming a new minimum expectation for the industry. “Beauty brands have to think about these concepts and ask themselves how they can do more and do it better, and push the envelope towards a more advanced and personalised service,” says Depraeter-Montacel.

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Beauty & Wellness Briefing: The experts are in

Glossy | 20 July 2021

Now that Covid-19 has loosened its grips, the mass return to salons, spas and services is expected to be fast and furious — especially in the U.S. Some businesses, namely cosmetic aesthetic providers, started to see signs of recovery as early as July 2020, but that doesn’t mean consumer behavior hasn’t permanently shifted. After 16 months at home, many beauty consumers globally have decided they want — and need — at-home solutions along with their professional service routines.

Consumers continue to have an insatiable appetite for beauty, but where they find beauty content has changed. According to Terakeet’s latest market research report, released on Tuesday, traditional beauty brands and retailers are losing share to publishers and digital upstarts. For instance, Allure.com had the highest market share for skin care in Google organic search volume, at 12.4%, followed by Byrdie, New York Magazine, Good Housekeeping and Sephora. The latter accounted for just 4.7% of volume; in 2019, Sephora had the second-highest skin-care search volume. While product searches will continue to be important, Terakeet found that sites with more robust, longer-form content are seeing bigger online gains.

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Is Stratia The Next Paula’s Choice?

Beauty Independent |

This skincare brand started in direct-to-consumer distribution has fervent fans and serious skincare formulations built on proven ingredients. The description fits Paula’s Choice, but, in this case, Stratia is the subject of it. Launched with $3,000 by Alli Reed, an ardent skincare tinkerer and Redditor, in 2016, more than 20 years after Paula’s Choice, it shares many of the assets that made the preceding brand attractive to Unilever, which revealed last month it’s acquiring Paula’s Choice: affordability, community and transparency.

Stratia is far from the size of Paula’s Choice—it’s on track to surpass $4 million in sales this year, up from roughly $2.5 million last year, compared to closing in on an estimated $300 million in 2021 sales—but it’s beginning to take steps that Paula’s Choice took (retail expansion and external investors are possibilities) to become a significant beauty industry player. Reed is keenly aware those steps could have downsides for Stratia. “The worry I have—and it’s something that gets reflected in a lot of horror stories from people that have taken on investment—is that the investor doesn’t get it, that they seem like they get it and they really don’t,” she says. “My biggest fear is bringing on someone who will push for Stratia to lose its soul.” Beauty Independent talked to Reed further about fundraising, rejecting major retailers, operating in a crowded skincare segment, marketing effectively and why she’s rooting for a parabens comeback.

What do you want Stratia to look like in five years?

I think it would look a lot like how it does now, but bigger. We would continue our cadence of one or two products a year. So, it would still be a pretty streamlined product line, but it would maybe expand into other areas of skin like body care or scalp care, but still focused on the skin because that’s the only organ I know. I could see a version where we are strictly DTC, and I could see a version where we are strategically partnered with retailers to reach people who don’t shop online. I also would really like Stratia to be an educational resource, to be a place where people learn about skincare ingredients, how their skin works and what they can expect from their skincare. But, at the end of it day, it would look like a scaled-up version of what we have today.

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