Swedish shop-now-pay-later giant, Klarna, handled US$35 billion in global sales in 2019 and launched in Australia in January 2020.

The company is now the largest fintech startup in Europe and just released a cross-generational report on the beauty preferences of Baby Boomer, Gen Z and Millennial shoppers.

A key takeaway centred on post-pandemic behaviours. Following the mass rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, Gen Zers said they were more likely to return to bricks-and-mortar stores, followed by Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers.

The study also highlighted the fact that 67 per cent of respondents preferred to buy beauty products in-store by contrast to online prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Skincare is the favourite beauty category across generations, especially amongst younger consumers.

Forty one per cent of Gen Zers and 40 per cent of Millennials revealed that skincare was the beauty category where they spent the most money. By contrast to 31 per cent of both Gen Xers and Boomers.

Buy-Now-Pay-Later services are instrumental in increasing e-commerce sales, notes the report. More than half of respondents said that flexible payment options are the biggest factor in improving the online experience.

An interesting insight for brands confirmed that Gen Z and Millennial shoppers are acquiring most of their beauty information from YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. While older consumers prefer to discover beauty tips on the dedicated mobile apps of the brands themselves.

Japanese giant Shiseido also believes that human interaction remains essential to increasing beauty sales. However, the company says that AI and AR tech tools greatly enhance the in-store experience.

Angelica Munson, global chief digital officer for Shiseido, notes that the integration of beauty tech is the future and will enhance the role of in-store beauty advisors.

“Sometimes there’s a little apprehension and we see AI and AR as taking jobs away or changing the way we work”, she adds. “But ultimately, what we see is that human touch and that service, that spirit can never be replaced. These are tools and enablers that augment that human touch within the digital channel and also in-store.”

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