New study reveals online, mobile activities of skin care enthusiasts

NEW YORK — Skin care and sun lotion enthusiasts are more inclined to engage in online and mobile activities, and they are more influenced in their beauty purchases by online ads compared with the average consumer, according to new research by Interactive Advertising Bureau.

“The ‘beauty’ of the report’s findings is that it spotlights a tremendous opportunity for marketers to use interactive advertising in new and exciting ways to reach this audience,” stated Sherrill Mane, SVP research, analytics and measurement for IAB. “Frequent purchasers of skin care and sun care products are heavily immersed in digital media across devices, indicating a crucial need for advertisers to make sure digital is a major part of their media mix.”

“The IAB Summer Skincare Digital Report” includes insights from the Media Behaviors & Influence Study, which polls some 19,000 respondents once a year. The report is the second in an ongoing series of consumer research studies that IAB is producing in conjunction with Prosper Insights.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Purchases, in general, are regularly researched (61% versus 42%) and made online (50% versus 29%) by frequent skin care buyers, compared with the general population;
  • When it comes to overall purchase decisions, digital ads inspire 1-in-3 skin care devotees to search, and they are much more influenced by sponsored search results than the average adult (36% versus 10%);
  • Shopping is their top online activity, and they outpace the general population when it comes to this pastime (63% versus 51%);
  • Skin care purchasers are more likely than the general population to surf the web (94% versus 86%), use web radio (55% versus 25%) and participate in social media (75% versus 53%); and
  • Regular suntan lotion buyers are more apt to visit the Facebook page of a retailer to find special offers versus the general population (52% versus 34%).


The report also showed that frequent skin care buyers leverage mobile screens more as well:

  • Skincare enthusiasts are heavier mobile app users than the typical population, with 76% purchasing apps versus 57% of the general population, and entertainment apps being the most popular (72% among frequent skincare buyers compared with 56% for average adults);
  • 25% research beauty products on a mobile connected device, while 8% do so within the general population;
  • Similarly, 20% have purchased beauty products on their mobile device, in contrast to only 6% among average adults; and
  • Frequent skin care buyers’ purchase decisions are "greatly influenced" by digital (50% versus 27%) and mobile (32% versus 11%) coupons, and many use daily deal sites (71% versus 52%).


“Mobile devices have increasingly become a vital component to our lives, and certainly this research points to it having a deeper impact on those who frequent the skin care aisle and beauty specialty stores,” added Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director of Prosper Insights. “Health and beauty brands would be wise to include mobile in their advertising strategy, if they want to influence this highly targeted and extremely valuable consumer.”

The report found that skin care aficionados are similarly zealous about digital video. They are more likely to subscribe to premium video sites. Half (49%) regularly watch digital video on their desktop or laptop computer, while more than one-third (37%) regularly watch digital video on their smartphones or tablets. In comparison, 22% of the general population regularly screens digital video on online platforms and 12% do so on mobile devices.



IAB used data from Prosper Insights to look at consumer behaviors among a representative group of 19,774 representing the general U.S. adult population and was compared with a representative sample of 428 frequent skin care buyers ages 18 years and older. The Prosper Insights survey was conducted online in January 2013.

Click here to read the full report.

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