A total 48% of consumers are now concerned about the safety of product packaging during the pandemic period, according to GlobalData’s COVID-19 Weekly Tracker Survey, published on 3 June. As Australia gets a glimpse of what the post-pandemic retail experience will entail, personal care shoppers in particular are likely to notice the difference. In order to maintain vigilance, many beauty retailers are understandably removing testers, which can be a breeding grounds for germs. However, doing so potentially detracts from the sensory and experiential appeal of the in-store shopping experience.
Katrina Diamonon, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Although consumers acknowledge the importance of such hygiene measures, the withdrawal of testers will nonetheless take a significant degree of fun, engagement and confidence out of the personal care shopping experience, which retailers must address.
“Retailers should explore emerging packaging innovations in ‘single-dose beauty’ – contactless packaging solutions that allow shoppers to test cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances in safe, single-application formats. Digital technologies will also prove instrumental in reimagining consumer engagement with personal care products.”
Online platforms have already proven to be an important source of product information and branded content. In fact, 35% of consumers are spending more time reading online reviews or blogs about products and trends during the pandemic.2 More brands are experimenting with augmented reality, to allow consumers to virtually test cosmetics before making a purchase. One such brand is MAC Cosmetics, which has been rolling out its AR tool to country-specific sites since March this year. The virtual try-on feature enables users to sample products on uploaded photos or live videos of themselves, bringing a valuable element of the in-store experience into consumers’ homes.”
Diamonon concludes: “Adoption of virtual makeup testing will accelerate as a result of the pandemic. Technologies such as automatic facial recognition will no longer be seen as novelties, but rather necessities in a post-pandemic shopping landscape.”
 GlobalData Coronavirus (COVID19) Tracker Survey Week 10