APRIL 13, 2015

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Fashion/Beauty
Mintel: More Consideration for Seasonality in Beauty Category

Seasonality in beauty purchases is a rising global trend according to a new report from Mintel. Beauty companies are offering season-specific products that offer emotional and cosmetic defense against weather conditions and other seasonal considerations. In 2014, seasonal products were 11% of all beauty and personal care launches. Consumers around the world are also increasingly attentive to these new products during specific times of the year. Some examples of seasonal products include: skincare with additional moisturizers and mood-boosting scents in the winter and, for summers, a heat-activated, leave-in conditioner that intensifies its protection in the sun. Four in five Germans think their skin has different needs throughout the year. About half of Chinese female skincare users buy products from different brands according to the season and 37% of French women who use body care products change their products each season. In the winter, 44% of American women look for extra moisturizing products. 

So what?

In response to harsher winters and hotter summers, consumers are paying more attention to beauty products that help combat the elements of each season. As consumers are buying different products and brands throughout the year, it is important for product development and marketing teams to understand seasonal trends, and use messaging that appeals to consumers’ cosmetic and emotional needs within that time period. 

> Click here for report
Mobile/Tablets
Reliance on Smartphones Continues to Grow, Especially Among Young Adults

In its annual report tracking smartphone usage in the United States, the Pew Research Center finds that 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, and smartphone ownership is especially high (85%) among young adults, ages 18-29. Young smartphone owners are a main focus of the report, as they are much more likely to rely on their phones as a key entry point into the online world. Young adults are avid users of text messaging, and are also more likely than older smartphone owners to access the internet and communicate via mobile email. Social networking, watching video and listening to music and podcasts are disproportionally popular among this group. One of the reasons that these immersive activities are so popular among young adults could be the purpose for which they turn to their phone. Much more than their older counterparts, young adults like to use their phone to prevent boredom and to avoid other people. Their smartphones make them feel happy and grateful, though sometimes they find them to be distracting and frustrating.

Pew_smartphones

So what?

Among many Americans, especially the younger generations, smartphones are now the de-facto device of choice. There is no doubt that the shift to mobile will continue in the coming years, and it is important to stay attuned to the needs, motivations and preferred mobile activities of smartphone users, and ensure that Condé Nast’s digital content caters to them and speaks their language.

> Click here for report
Retail/Shopping/Commerce
PwC: Retail in an Age of Disruption

In a study that included 19,000 responses to surveys fielded in 19 countries, as well as a number of in-depth interviews with key executives in the retail category, PwC set to gain a better understanding of current consumer behaviors around the globe. The study identified key trends for those in the retail space to be mindful of:

  • Brick-and-mortar locations will need to offer more unique and defining experiences. While shopping experiences in physical stores are still more common than online experiences (36% of respondents reported shopping in a store in the previous week compared to 20% that used a PC or 11% that used a mobile phone), online shopping continues to grow at physical stores' expense. Retailers will need to find creative ways to add value to the in-store experience.
  • Mobile should inspire. While mobile sales are quickly growing, transactions on smartphones still represent a relatively small share compared to other channels. With that in mind, retailers should ensure that their mobile presence serves as an effective way to inform and engage consumers to inspire them to either transact on their device or at another touch point.
  • Socioeconomic changes around the globe will force retailers to rethink their key markets. As countries like Japan and many of the European markets long identified for heavy consumption rapidly age, many retailers will find opportunities to drive growth in markets with emerging young and middle-class populations, like India.
So what?

Retailers constantly need to evaluate how their physical and digital touch points work together for consumers. While digital continues to gain revenue share, the brick-and-mortar location is still tremendously important. Many retailers might find more success in employing a more traditional path to purchase strategy that starts with discovery or promotion on mobile and a final transaction in-store, rather than simply trying to drive conversions on mobile.

> Click here for report
Quick Takes
Michael Kors Captured the Most Social Activity Around New York Fashion Week

Rankings based on total social actions, which include post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Fashionweekcomparison

Source: Shareablee
African-Americans and Hispanics More Likely to Use Mobile Payments Than Whites
Mobile_payments

Source: Federal Reserve Study
Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Contributors:
Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights