Net-a-porter Shares Beauty Shopper Trends and Insights

Timed to the fifth anniversary of the launch of Net-a-porter’s beauty business, the e-tailer shared insights on its ultra-luxury beauty customer at a New York press event on Thursday.Most of Net-a-porter’s fashion-buying set is also shopping the beauty vertical — 70 percent of Net-a-porter’s customers buy in both categories, said beauty director Newby Hands. She noted that a recent order for just two items — a $17,000 Cartier watch and a $20 nail polish — made by one of the e-tailer’s “EIP” customers, or “Extremely Important Persons,” is a typical example of this cross-buying behavior. EIP customers, according to Hands, make up about 3 percent of Net-a-porter’s clientele, but account for 40 percent of total sales.Most EIPs are concentrated in several high-volume markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Texas, London, Dubai and Hong Kong. They often buy multiples of products, said Hands — in certain cases, that’s “one for each boat.”Top-selling categories and products differ for by region, Hands said. In New York, it’s Diptyque candles, ingestible supplements like The Beauty Chef’s Hydration Inner Beauty Boost and serums such as Vintner’s Daughter. Face cream — including La Mer’s range and Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream — is the top-selling skin-care category. London is heavy on skin care that is about “speed and results,” said Hands, who noted that supplement sales have surpassed serum sales in that market. WelleCo’s Super Elixir ­— Elle MacPherson’s alkalizing green powder — is a bestseller in London, along with luminizing products like Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonder Glow. Supplements are also big in Los Angeles — along with crystal-infused skin-care and luxe makeup by Christian Louboutin. Texas is a high-growth market for Net-a-porter, and consumers there are “obsessed with all things beauty,” said Hands — particularly Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford products. Dubai is similar to Texas in that the consumer is a serious beauty enthusiast. “They go to doctors I’ve never even heard of — they literally shop the world,” Hands said. “They love a finished look, so we sell a lot of brushes and Beauty Blenders.” The top-selling product in Dubai, said Hands, is Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince lipstick. In Hong Kong, beauty shoppers snap up skin-care tools like Nurse Jamie’s Uplift face roller, Chantecaille mascara, Oribe shampoo and Artis brushes.Hands noted a few overarching trends across markets — in particular, sales in Net-a-porter’s “clean beauty” category, which includes brands such as Vintner’s Daughter, Tata Harper, Kjaer Weis, RMS Beauty and Kypris, have increased 400 percent year-on-year. Brands founded by female doctors, such as Dr. Barbara Sturm’s self-named skin-care line and a brand from naturopathic doctor Dr. Nigma Talib, were up 200 percent, versus brands by male doctors, which were up 53 percent. Supplement and ingestible sales have spiked in the last eight months, Hands said. Products for sleep — like This Works Deep Sleep Spray and Slip silk pillowcases — are consistent sellouts. “This sums up our beauty customer — beauty is literally down to the silk pillowcase she uses so her skin’s not so dry and her hair is smooth in the morning,” Hands said.Top-selling products regardless of market include Le Labo’s discovery set, Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical serum, Slip’s silk eye masks, Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream and Matte Revolution lipstick in Pillow Talk and Elle MacPherson’s Super Elixir.“Money is no object for the Net-a-porter consumer,” said Hands, who ticked off various big-ticket items — a $1,100 Tom Ford beauty kit and a $1,500 Retrouvé skin-care set — that sold out recently. A $1,600 111Skin kit sold out as it was uploading, Hands said.

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