Beauty During a Pandemic: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Cosmetic Industry

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Gardner, Katelyn
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Purpose - The cosmetic industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that has taken a financial hit in 2020 due to COVID-19. The drop in cosmetic usage leaves the industry in question for future consumer intention and behavior. By the summer of 2020, revenue had dropped by 7.4%, and employment dropped by 3.91%. With dwindling numbers in revenue and jobs, marketers must grasp the changes in consumer behavior and attitudes so that new strategies can be implemented. With updated strategy and priorities, marketers can pull the cosmetic industry back to pre-COVID-19 numbers. Methodology - Data were collected from 1,715 female Middle Tennessee State University students using a survey, conducted through Qualtrics. The survey was broken up into three sections to analyze changes in behavior and attitudes pre- and mid-COVID- 19, as well as future intentions. The results from each question were broken down into individual tables to examine differences in means and responses. Results - The research questions developed were answered by examining the differences between behaviors and attitudes pre-, mid-, and post-COVID-19. Results indicate significant differences that consumers will go back to pre-COVID-19 usage post- COVID-19. Mid-COVID-19 results showed that participants reduced their usage of each cosmetic type (face, eye, lip, and skin) compared to their pre-COVID-19 levels. Eye, lip, and skin cosmetics will return to previous usage post-COVID-19. The exception here is face cosmetics, which indicated that consumers wore more face cosmetics pre-COVID- 19 than they intend to post-COVID-19. The most important cosmetic category was skincare, which had the highest levels of usage pre-, mid-, and post-COVID-19. Price maintained a high priority in pre-, mid-, and post responses. Convenience was not as essential pre-COVID-19 but became extremely important mid-COVID-19 and is shown to continue a high level of importance for post intentions. Although these findings may be surprising, it is positive news to the cosmetic industry that consumers relatively intend to go back to old buying habits.
College of Business, Cosmetics, Cosmetic Industry, COVID-19, Beauty, Recommendations, Marketing, Usage, Convenience