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New study by NetBase suggests the top retailers aren’t who you think

New study by NetBase finds non-traditional cosmetic retailers are rising, the “selfie” has impacted perceptions of beauty and what this means for you.

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NetBase reveals that the top retailers aren’t who you think

A new study by social media analytics company, NetBase, contains an in-depth analysis of social media perceptions among beauty and skincare brands. NetBase used their own proprietary social analytics technology to review two years of conversations on various brands across social networks, review sites, blogs, forums, and news sites worldwide and their findings may surprise you.

The company analyzed more than 200 million social conversations between February 2013 and January 2015, and identified the Top 30 beauty and skincare brands in the world. The report also highlighted cosmetics brands, retailers, and other brands that consumers associated with beauty and skincare.

Surprising findings

Pernille Bruun-Jensen, chief marketing officer of NetBase, stating the reason for conducting the study was to discover how effectively brands are connecting with consumers as “establishing a strong emotional connection with consumers is vital in today’s fast-paced, social-driven market. It requires a deep understanding of how consumers interact with a product or brand, and social data offers a wealth of insight that helps brands understand their target consumer and what drives and influences them.”

One of the surprising findings: non-traditional cosmetic retailers such as eBay, Etsy, and Amazon ranked first, third and seventh place respectively, as the top brands identified in the study. Nike also made the list as a recurring brand found in social conversations about beauty, either within the context of feeling beautiful, or as a complement to beauty products. This suggests that social media has a larger impact on beauty choices and buying preferences than we perhaps previously thought.

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In addition to identifying which retailers consumers associate with beauty products, the study found that the “selfie” is impacting the way women, particularly Millennials, think of beauty. Surprisingly, this is multifaceted: celebrities and the “no-makeup selfie” challenge the status quo and encourage women to abstain from makeup in order to feel beautiful. At the same time, the selfie and other social photo opportunities, drive Millennials to pursue “always-on” beauty, through makeup and cosmetics.

Etsy started from the bottom, now they’re here

Again, surprisingly, high-end beauty products such as Gucci, Lancome, and Estee Lauder were found closer to the bottom of the list than the top. This study also found there are five common attributes consumers typically associate with beauty and skincare brands that they love and use: great scent, natural looking, great moisturizer, value, and anti-aging. Additionally, whereas Amazon, eBay, and etsy are at the top of the list; Target, Walmart, and Walgreens were at the bottom. This says something about the former triad’s marketing efforts. eBay is up to number one from ranking number 12 last year, leading us to believe that they are having some very serious conversations with consumers, as these rankings are based on the number of mentions a brand has across social media.

What do you think? Were you surprised by any of the findings? I was a bit surprised that the high-end beauty products were so far down on the list, but, if one of the contributing factors to a purchase was “value,” it makes a bit more sense as those brands are pricey. I also think that it speaks to social media as a whole: consumers are using social media to discuss, discover, and review products more now than ever before and if brands want to reach consumers more effectively, they need to step up their social media game.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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