When you open up your makeup bag, there's a good chance you'll find an array of beauty products from a number of brands. Gone are the days when women would shop all their beauty goods from one makeup line. Also becoming a thing of the past is the reliable beauty counter associate; in her place, shoppers have started relying on their favorite beauty blogs and vloggers for advice on what to wear and how to wear it. These changes are causing department stores to reassess the current beauty counter experience and rethink how to cater to the beauty-blogger-obsessed culture.
Nordstrom is one of the first department stores to tackle this challenge head on. After surveying their customers, Nordstrom decided to roll out an entirely new beauty department — instead of shopping by brand, customers will be able to shop by product.
"Between magazines and the Internet, there is so much information out there for shoppers," Debra Hartley-Triesch, Nordstrom's national beauty and fragrance director, told Racked. "Creating this environment to shop several ways makes [it easier] for customers to discover individually."
Similar findings from a survey conducted by Ernst and Young's 2013 Luxury and Cosmetics Financial report supported Nordstrom's new marketing method. Researchers found that the number once concern for the beauty market is loss of brand loyalty, thanks to the Internet.
Nordstrom isn't alone in their mission to conquer the new generation of cosmetic customers. Barneys New York has chosen to remove vendor-produced images to create a more universal look in their beauty department. Saks Fifth Avenue launched a fragrance bar where customers are able to play around with more than 25 different brands of perfumes.
While the number of people who shop for their beauty products online will no doubt continue to grow, I hope that in-store beauty departments stay strong. Even though I may be guilty of buying a majority of my makeup online, nothing can replace walking through the maze of makeup counters at the mall, eyeing all the beautifully-packaged goodies and bringing one home with me (with a gift with purchase, no less).