2022 Beauty Industry Trends & Cosmetics Marketing: Statistics and Strategies for Your Ecommerce Growth

Reilly Roberts

by Reilly Roberts

Jun. 25 2022

Long controlled by retail conglomerates, the beauty industry has turned online.

Once “challenger” brands like IPSY, Glossier, and Fenty are now household names — spanning geographies and demographics alike.

Entrepreneurs rush to greet a new wave of consumers seeking fresh norms and niche products. Clinging to enterprise status, CPG manufactures respond by either acquiring their independent counterparts, partnering with them, or launching private-label alternatives.

Did COVID-19 negatively affect sales? Yes. Does brick-and-mortar still dominate? Also, yes. But …

Is the beauty industry growing? Especially ecommerce cosmetics in 2021, 2022, and beyond? Absolutely.

Statistics, trends, and strategies guide the way forward. That’s exactly what this report will cover:

  1. Statistics: Beauty Industry Market Share & Growth in 2021
  2. Trends: Insight from 2022’s Top Cosmetics Brands & Companies
  3. Case Studies: Growth Lessons from Three Cosmetics Brands

Want a growth partner that understands the beauty industry? We’d love to chat with you:

Statistics: Beauty Industry Market Share & Growth in 2021

For the purpose of this report, we’ll divide beauty into three categories: skincare, color cosmetics (make-up), and fragrance. 

Beauty Industry Statistics and Market Research: Global & US

Globally, the industry is strong and only getting stronger.

How big is the beauty industry? Up from $483B in 2020 to $511B in 2021 — and with an annual compounded growth rate of 4.75% worldwide — it’s predicted to exceed $716B by 2025. And $784.6B by 2027.

The kindling? Rapid expansion through digital channels and the attraction of more customers willing to pay higher prices for higher quality.

As emerging nations grow in purchasing power and become globalized, they offer budding promise for international companies to enter — if they bring higher quality products than those available locally along with them.

By geography, Asia Pacific and North America dominated; accounting for more than 60% of the total.

How Big Is the Beauty Industry and Cosmetics Worldwide? Statistics from 2020, 2021, and Beyond

With shopping preferences differing from county-to-country, brands looking to rule on a global scale must follow a customer-centric model that intersects both digital and physical channels.

Much like the experiential home furnishings industry, offline shopping still rules — luring a whopping 81% of buyers. At the same time, offline’s share is declining while online climbs.

The State of the Cosmetics, Beauty & Personal Care Industry in the US

Though the distribution methods are evolving, traditional chains still play the largest role in the US. For anyone following ecommerce’s trending growth, that shift is hardly a surprise.

Most Popular Shopping Destinations for Buying Cosmetics in the US

Aside from superstores like Walmart and Target, the biggest vertical-specific players are Ulta and Sephora.

The same holds true on a worldwide scale.

For more than a century, production has been controlled by a handful of multinational conglomerates. The long-reigning legacies — L’Oréal, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Estée Lauder Companies — made up a whopping 81.7% of worldwide revenue in 2019.

In the US, all hopes turn to ecommerce.

Distribution of Cosmetic Retail Sales & Ecommerce Sales

Although ecommerce penetration has only increased slightly in recent years, the online share is predicted to surge to 48% in the United States by 2023.

While promising, mass-merchandiser and multi-brand platforms currently have a stranglehold on the market.

But, ecommerce offers something legacy beauty retailers do not: exclusivity.

The way into the winner’s club unites that desire for convenience with quality products. eMarketer reports that buyers who valued quality most were more likely to shop directly from a site (64%), while big-box stores won shoppers on price (28%).

Want to grow your beauty & cosmetics business? Let’s get on a call and talk about it:

Want to grow your beauty & cosmetics business? Let’s get on a call and talk about it:

Case Studies: Growth Lessons from Three Cosmetics Brands


Growth Lessons from Cosmetics Brands 1


ColourPop was founded in 2014 by siblings Laura and John Nelson. From there, the business grew organically, beloved for its affordable and colorful products.

ColourPop Cosmetics Case Study

With strong traffic and conversions coming from its limited-edition collaborations, the digitally native brand was content in keeping the organic momentum going.

Until, organic wasn’t enough.


Available exclusively online and in Ulta, its focus was on catching customer’s attention on social media instead of shelves. But, for a brand that was born organically on social media, it hadn’t paid any attention to paid social media efforts.

Neglecting this category in its business strategy, meant missing out on new visitors and higher returns since it lacked in-store discoverability. In order to grow and scale digitally, paid ads were the necessary next-step in its maturity.


Boost visitors. Increase returns. Build ROAS.

To do so meant amplifying ColourPop’s message to new prospecting customers by running conversion objective campaigns on Facebook.

A focus on conversions rather than awareness was strategic — the creative showed why the product was valuable, while the buying methodology to get that creative in front of an audience encouraged customers to take action on site.

The product was self-explanatory. Finding a way to show that it was still high-quality relative to the lower price point, was the creative unlock for the brand.

One messaging angle involved running ads about duped colors to its competitor audiences, who were selling similar products at higher markups.

ColourPop Facebook Cosmetics Ad

“The biggest contributor to success lay in our ability to make ColourPop stand out in a competitive market, without blatantly calling out the price of the product on the ad level,” said Growth Guide, Michelle Luo.

“Instead, we opted to show the product in use, so that you can really see the quality and color payoff of the products.”

After price, the major wins were ads that highlighted product quality. Whether it was up-close videos of putting lipstick on and not seeing it crack or user-generated content – the advertising focused on the color payoff and how good the product looked.

“It didn’t matter if the ad was pretty,” said Luo. “It mattered that it showed real people using the product.”

A website optimized for conversion rate completed the holy grail. By capitalizing on its audience with new creative and running conversion campaigns to get them onsite, it was the perfect trifecta to ensure purchases.

This culminated with ColourPop’s collaboration with Disney. Each princess launched her own makeup collection featuring limited edition products.

ColourPop Disney collection Facebook ad imageColourPop Disney Princess bright colored IG Story Eccomerce ad examples

Thumb-stopping creative run to a Disney audience, the ad campaign smashed, with a 15x return on 1-day-view, 1-day-click.

It was so successful that it capitalized by following up with a Disney Villains make-up line, reaping in wicked returns once again.

ColourPop Villains Collection

  • 5x return on prospecting campaigns
  • 7.5x return on remarketing efforts
  • 15x return on Disney campaigns

Ready to achieve results like ColourPop? Book a meeting today to start building your growth plan:

Bambu Earth

Growth Lessons from Cosmetics Brands 2


Bambu Earth is a clean-beauty brand that takes a holistic approach to skincare using all-natural products to restore skin to its natural state.

Amber Hawthorne founded the business over ten years ago, and in early 2019 was acquired by 4x400 — Common Thread Collective’s (CTC) in-house holding company that acquires and builds digitally native brands.

A win for everybody involved … until it wasn’t.


For the first few months, Bambu Earth struggled.

It was all the things you expect … low traffic and dismal conversion rate that no new creative or better-performing ad could fix.

And the reason was simple: they just weren't converting enough customers (a 2.14% conversion rate at a $64 AOV just won't cut it), which meant they couldn't afford to drive more traffic.

First, Bambu Earth needed a brand refresh, both visually and conceptually. So we rebuilt the website and clarified the brand pillars that were true to the core of Amber's long-held commitments to her customers.

Bambu Earth

From there, it needed new advertising that reflected that. Some new UGC and reshot product-focused imagery started to fuel real growth.

“Suddenly it was on the cusp of rocketship growth,” says Andrew Faris, CEO of 4x400 “and we could feel it. We just needed that one big push to really get us over the edge.”

At a start-up stage in its business, increasing every lever for growth ultimately matters for Bambu Earth. Yet, while it’s always iterating on driving and converting traffic that will affect AOV — because it’s a consumable product, lifetime customer value is the game.

Bambu Earth UGC Beauty Marketing

The team knew that customers who converted stuck around. So they had to do two things: solve the conversion rate issue, then validate the LTV assumption.


“LTV is the thing that has and will continue to turn Bambu Earth into a huge player,” says Faris. “At its core, we believe that’s possible because the product is so strong.”

Knowing its products’ strengths sets up the brand strategy to focus on increased spending of marketing dollars relative to its top-line revenue (and feel really good about the outcome).

It all starts with tracking LTV by first-product-purchased.

“If you don't know what you’re trying to track, you will never get good,” says Faris. “I think this is a really underestimated step, is that you can't really do a great job strategically without having the information on hand from the start.”

For example, if LTV on a moisturizer is strong, yet costs the brand a significant amount to acquire that customer in the first place — being a startup, Bambu Earth can’t front the cash flow over the long term for it to be worth it to the business.

On the other hand, if the LTV is not as strong on the toner, but Bambu can acquire that customer really cheaply — there’s profit to be made earlier.

While LTV is the main variable at play, the lesson is that you have to do that relative to the cost of acquiring the customer in the first place. This prep work isn’t complete without factoring in the margin to determine where the cost value is.

Within that, a singular strategy emerged to solve for LTV: a skin quiz.

Bambu Earth Skin Quick Ad and Landing Page

When visitors arrive, they’re kicked into a quiz on the homepage with questions about their skin health, lifestyle, and goals. After finishing the quiz, customers are then given a custom product recommendation based on their results.

Retention first and foremost is about having a great product that actually works for people.

“We want to make sure that we set people up for success,” says Faris. “We utilize the skin quiz as a way to serve our customers well by giving them a product they’ll love, which creates value for us because they want to keep coming back.”

Building on LTV doesn’t stop there. It means hammering away at every element:

  • The quiz itself 
  • The landing page
  • The ads that drive visitors
  • The post-purchase email flow

The team has personalized things even further. First, by adding customer service options relative to where visitors land. Second, by tracking what questions people ask about each kit and then putting those answers on each product page

Ultimately, it’s about developing a full-funnel approach to acquisition and retention … as opposed to just an ad strategy. It allows Bambu Earth to (at-scale) walk people into the best product for them and then sets the brand up to address that.

  • 25x revenue YoY (and is now a profitable business).
  • Customers who purchase through the quiz 2x value within 90 days and 2.5x AOV within 90 days.
  • For the month of February 2020, Bambu Earth had earned as much revenue from returning customers only as it did in total customer revenue overall for 2018. 

Cosmetics is a high-LTV business. Book a meeting today to atart taking advantage of that customer loyalty:


Growth Lessons from Cosmetics Brands 3


The Coola brand is the quintessential slice of California life and its products embody that ethos — from organic wellness to an outdoor, active lifestyle. Its skincare products are eco-conscious and sourced with a “farm to face” philosophy.

COOLA Case Study

CTC caught Coola’s drift and set out to achieve its goal of protecting and improving skin, utilizing paid media to increase purchases of its organic sun-care products.


Getting customers to your site doesn’t always come cheap. With CPMs for paid traffic higher than most, the difficulty is increasing visitors without breaking the bank.

Coola was no exception. As a brand that wasn’t digitally native, the hurdle was gaining traffic online, not just in-stores. With a significantly high conversion rate, the opportunity was there.

The goal became getting qualified traffic to the site for a lower cost. 

Alongside the obstacle of increasing visitors, was increasing AOV and LTV.

Before launching its paid media campaign, the CTC growth team conducted analysis and found that certain Coola products had higher AOV on Facebook (people would tend to bundle them with other products) at the top of the funnel.

As customers went down the funnel, they’d tend to buy more.

To capitalize on this meant finding ways to increase repeat purchase rate and the lifetime value of the customers that it was actually driving.


To combat high CPMs, it all came down to the creative strategy behind its social-media advertising.

For example, one of the top products for Coola is its “Sunless Tan” — but the challenge became adjusting the ad messaging angle during each season to produce creative that converts year-round.

In the winter, the focus was on keeping a bronze glow all year. In the summer, the messaging was about accentuating your current tan with the product.

To increase visitors, the team tested different creative variations for advertising — from still images to long-form makeup tutorials on YouTube. Through creative testing, they found a balance.

From a prospecting standpoint, long-form YouTube videos that showed people applying the product and illustrating its core benefits resulted in enticing content with a native-feel that led to engagement.

Then in remarketing, the team focused more on the actual product itself, with gifs and still-image product photography to further inform the consumer.

COOLA Beauty Product Ad Stills

After identifying winning creative combinations by marketing campaign stage, the team then began hyper-targeting audiences. This strategy went against the grain of CTC’s typical buying methodology of targeting broad audiences, but it was because of one important caveat …

The Coola product catalog is diverse, from lip balm and sunscreen to aging serums and BB creams.

“Instead of our normal broad prospecting and remarketing, we built specific funnels around key products that demonstrated high AOV,” said Growth Strategist, Andy Reese.

“Whether it was the sunless tan collection or the aging serum — each diverse product had its own funnel from top-to-bottom, so we could hyper-target those interested.”

By selling through individual product funnels, Coola offered customers the niche products they actually needed — making them more likely to convert — instead of putting them into a standard remarketing audience where they're getting ads for products they didn’t show interest in.

This became a layup for improving lifetime customer value. “We know that the replenish rate for the sunless tanner product is 60 days,” says Reese. “So anywhere from 45-60 days after they’ve purchased, to impact LTV, we’d target them with an ad to remind them to re-up on their product purchased.”

Running recent-purchaser campaigns by product funnel increased Coola’s repeat purchase rate by over 50%

It wasn’t just ecommerce that was reaping the benefits. Coola saw the results of Facebook advertising come through on other channels.

After running paid ads, there was a surge in in-store purchases of Coola products within retail locations at Ulta and Sephora. Digital strategy positively impacted the business holistically.

  • 140% YoY growth
  • +50% lift in repeat customers