“Take a good look at your customer’s fingers”
Skyrocketing Nail Care Market Post-Pandemic
L’Oréal group launched a new Virtual Try On service with Essie, L’Oréal’s nail care brand. You can upload photos or take photos with a smartphone camera to test-drive a nail product on your virtual self and place an order on the spot. Was there a similar attempt at the OTC market? Not yet to our knowledge. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that nail items take a relatively small portion of the product offerings available at beauty supplies. However, if you are a perceptive retail business owner, you must have noticed the trend. The small share is becoming larger and larger.
Through the pandemic, demands for self nail care went up, and the nail care products are gathering a lot of customer attention and demand and are considered a rising market. Nails may be an item necessary for a brighter future for your beauty supplies.
PART 1. Big potential with small items! Growth potential for nail care industry
Nail artists often compare fingernails to a small canvas. Just look down and you will always find 10 canvases. In these small areas of possibility, people add colors, shapes, and sparkles to express themselves. Widely known as the First Lady of Nails, OPI’s Weiss-Fischmann once said, “wearing nail polish is the period at the end of a sentence.” In other words, wearing nail polish completes your look.
During the pandemic, many parts of the beauty care industry stumbled while the nail care customers increased in number. Many customers who could not visit nail salons looked away and found self-care options, and they often became a great pastime activity for entertaining your mind while many of your daily activities were restricted. Social media also drove the growth of the nail care market. New nail care tips and trends are continuously introduced on social media such as Instagram, and the nail product sales and marketing campaign online is on the rise.
Nail art is a very cost-effective fashion that generates high satisfaction at a small cost. Also, it allows bold and drastic changes in their appearance, squarely aligning with the fashion preference of many Black consumers. In fact, many beauty supply customers who are sensitive to beauty trends are wearing longer, bolder, and drastic nail arts. This trend is probably to last for years to come.
Market research institution Transparency Market Research (“TMR”) published a report, Nail Care Market Outlook 2031, where they estimated the global nail market to reach 23.1 billion dollars mark by the end of year 2031 from 10.9 billion dollars in 2021. According to the report, the global sales of nail colors, nail care, and other nail accessories should increase by 8.0% annually from 2022 to 2031. In fact, the nail product market has been repeating year-over-year growth in America.
Now, it should be obvious that you should pay attention to your customer’s nails. Currently, most consumers purchase nail care products at beauty salons, drug stores, beauty supplies and online stores. African American customers often grab their nail care items on their regular visits to local beauty supply stores. However, free shipping, convenience of payment, and variety of products are increasing the share of online retail in the market.
Where can you find a strategic advantage in nail care items over online retail business? We sought advice from a company which launched a nail brand early on for the OTC market and have continued developing nail products.
How to improve your nail product sales
➢ Product offering: it is quintessential that you carry a wide range of products including nail polish, nail care tools, nail art supplies, and nail extensions. You need to update your product offering based on new trends and from popular brands and set your store as a trend-setting market leader.
➢ Visual merchandising: lighting fixtures, signage boards, and well-organized display racks can direct customer’s eyes to nail products. You can place complementary products side by side in a section.
➢ Staff training: employees with adequate knowledge in nail products can assist customers with finding right products and provide consultation if desired. Employees wearing nail products make twice more credible recommendations.
➢ Promotion and sales events: to motivate customers who are facing economic uncertainty, you can regularly hold promotional events, sales and bundle deals for the nail products.
➢ Free samples: you can provide free samples when a customer makes purchase to expose them to new products and generate organic sales.
➢ Social media: you can reach your customer base via social media through promotional posts, influencer marketing, new product updates, tutorials, and beauty tips.
➢ Product demos: you can offer nail art sessions through on-site professional nail artists, and these demos and promotional events can go so far as you get loyal nail care customers although it takes some time and effort.
(Expert contribution from Laflare)
Virtual nail art experience
L’Oréal’s Essie on hand provides a virtual try-on experience through web (https://www.essie.com/virtual-try-on) and mobile app (search ‘essie on hand’). Even if you don’t carry the same branded items, once your customer finds colors and styles they like, you can recommend similar colors and styles from what you carry. We’re hopeful that a dedicated application will be soon developed by brands available at beauty supplies.
PART 2. Essential nail products for beauty supplies
1. Nail colors
A traditionally major category in the nail care market, the nail colors come only second to the nail polish by market share. Nail tips that come with arts and are simply put on your nail are recent comers to the market, but the convenience and variety of design is gaining popularity especially among the younger people. As nail design diversifies, accessories such as stickers and nail stones are gaining popularity as well.
Nail polish, the start of nail art
Many simply call them manicures, but manicure technically refers to the act of “curing” one’s “manus” (hands in Latin). While you can easily find desired colors from various brands at an affordable price, it dries slowly and does not last long.
Companion item for nail polish
Base coat You apply a base coat before nail polish to moisten the fingernail and improve adhesion of nail polish on the nails.
Top coat You apply a top coat after nail polish to create a barrier against the environment for protecting color and shine while improving durability.
Rhinestones Popular nail accessory that can be attached on nails. You typically apply base coat and nail polish first, then apply rhinestones followed by top coat.
Gel nails for a lasting look
Instead of applying in liquid form and letting it dry like typical nail polish, the gel type formula can be applied on nails followed by curing via UV light. It provides better shine than nail polish and lasts three to four weeks, but it is expensive and requires relatively complicated procedures.
Lately, there are gel nails that can be cured with an activator instead of UV light for added convenience, and they are great for beginners to try.
Press and be done with it! Nail strips and tips
Among DIY nails, it is by far the most simple and fast method. Typically, nail stickers made with a thin sheet are called nail strips while nail tips are usually made of thicker, heavier material such as plastic, nylon, and ABS polymers. Depending on application method and nail condition, it may last up to two weeks.
Nail strips are applied along the nail tip and can be trimmed into desired shape with nail buffers. They stick to nails very well, and you can get complex designs and patterns instantly instead of painting it with nail polish.
Nail tips that are very popular in today’s market allow you to wear professional-looking shape, ratio, and length nails whether or not you have adequate shape and length of nail. You can choose from a variety of colors and designs, so you can simply decide the length of the tip and apply it to your fingernail. Especially for people who have short nails, nail tips are must-haves for nail arts, and extra-long length and tapered stiletto shapes are especially popular nowadays.
2. Nail care
Nail care industry has a small share in the nail products market, but it is likely to grow quickly. Younger customers tend to desire nails that show their personality and in trend while older customers look for products that promote healthy nail growth. As a result, you need both colors and care products to have a solid product offering.
Fall 2023 the hot nail trend
You should try closely looking at the nails of your customers. Soon, you will realize that many customers wear extra long nails that are seemingly impractical for daily activities. In fact, you must have experienced observing your employees who press the POS buttons with a dangerously sharp stiletto fingernail. Regardless of the season, today’s nail trend is all about extra long length, and it would likely last. How about styles? Here comes the nail trend suggested by Laflare and KISS for this fall, you can use it to create eye-catching displays.
Typically, autumn is the season of various red and yellow colored leaves that inspire warm and rich colors. Burgundy, emerald green, sapphire blue, and other gem colors are the classic, and chocolate brown, olive green and other neutral colors go well with any fall fashion. You can add metallic accents or leopard patterns to your nail for an attractive looking fall season nail, and bold lines, patterns, and abstract design are all modern and trendy.
Fall is all about the back-to-school and holiday seasons. For the back-to-school items, Bare-but-Better and Salon Acrylic French Nude in natural colors are great choices.
For the upcoming Halloween season, you will likely see a lot of pink largely inspired by the hit movie Barbie in addition to the traditional Halloween themes. KISS’s GoldFinger exclusive to beauty supplies offers nail tips in wild designs for this fall.