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Strong Growth for Online Cosmetic Sales

By: Fernanda Bonifacio
Posted: November 30, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

The boom in the Brazilian beauty market hasn’t been confined to brick-and-mortar retail doors or to direct sellers. According to research conducted by MercadoLivre (eBay’s Latin American partner), the e-commerce of beauty products in Brazil increased 47% in the first half of 2011, logging more than half a million items sold.

“More and more customers are migrating from traditional channels such as drugstores and hair salons to the online environment, which can be more convenient and cost-effective,” said Helisson Lemos, director, MercadoLivre Brasil. According to Lemos, the cosmetic category increased 50% more than the average for all other products—which also reflected the increasing number of women purchasing through e-commerce. The most popular products are nail polish (up 126% in the past year), makeup (+101%) and hair care products (+77%).

Estée Lauder’s Clinique wasted no time, and took advantage of the momentum to launch its e-commerce platform in Brazil. The company, which claims to lead online sales of cosmetics in the U.S., chose Brazil to debut its electronic operations in Latin America.

All products from Clinique’s portfolio are available through the website, with free delivery to the whole of Brazil. “We intend to reach customers who are far from the 63 points of sale located throughout the country,” said Clinique’s brand director Fernanda Calvet. “We also want to offer a unique online experience, with beauty tips, trends and exclusive applications.”

According to data from Nielsen, Brazilians who regularly access the Internet rank among the most frequent users of social media, with 86% of Internet users regularly accessing social networks and other media websites. In 2010, 23 million Brazilians purchased from websites, and the overall digital market is expected to grow 30% by the end of 2011.

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