Our Digital IQ Index: Beauty | UK report found e-commerce capabilities of beauty brands in the U.K. lagged behind their U.S. counterparts, despite a strong demand for online shopping in the region. Online and mobile sales in the U.K. are projected to reach 16.7% by 2017. Yet, only 55% of prestige beauty brands in the U.K. have direct-to-consumer e-commerce sites, compared to 80% in the U.S. 26% of mass brands have their own U.K. stores and 57% hand off to third party retailer sites such as Boots, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, and Tesco. A fifth of brands fail to direct consumers to a checkout point.


Many brands do not have consistent e-commerce investments across various countries. For example, Neutrogena, La Roche-Posay, Vichy and Shiseido offer e-commerce only in the UK and China.


Filling the gap for prestige beauty brands are online retailers, Boots and eBay, which are the destination for 26%, 16% and 14% of online beauty and personal care purchases respectively. Amazon’s U.K. Luxury Beauty site is dominated by local brands and ignored by L’Occitane and Burberry, both with an Amazon presence in the U.K., 57% of Index brands have a customized storefront on Boots, which sells a mix of prestige and  slightly higher percentage than brands with e-commerce enabled brand sites.

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