Mena online beauty sales grew by over 20 per cent in 1H 2023, Admitad reveals


Mena online sales of beauty products have shot up by over 20 per cent YoY in the first half of 2023, even surpassing global activity levels, according to provider of marketing solutions Admitad.

This trend coincides with the global growth of the beauty industry as the sector increased by more than 15 per cent in the first half of the year, with an increasing proportion of sales generated online. 

The report analysed the sales of 450 brands worldwide and 185 Mena brands, including such well-known companies and marketplaces as Sephora, Alibaba, iHerb, Lancome, Yves Rocher, ICI Paris XL, BABOR, L’Occitane, Clarins, Calvin Klein and Kiehl’s. 

The calculations are based on more than 6.5 million orders worldwide and more than 400,000 orders in the Mena region, that were generated by network partners for beauty brands and retail sites.

Mena beauty sales look solid

While last year Mena’s buying activity in the beauty industry saw minimal growth, the first half of 2023 witnessed a rapid catch-up.

The number of beauty orders grew by 20 per cent, with five per cent more Mena shoppers showing willingness to splash out on cosmetics and self-care items.

Notably, the average order value for online beauty product sales in the region has slightly dropped, hovering around $92. 

The UAE and Saudi Arabia claimed top spots on the list of countries with the highest-order values in the beauty industry.

Wellspring of wellness trends

This year, the dominant keywords in online shopping for beauty products are “benefit” and “smart shopping”. Therefore, Admitad calculates that coupon and cashback purchases rank high worldwide. 

However, the recommendations of influencers and content creators still create orders for beauty brands – their share in the total number of orders is also markedly high.

On balance, Mena marketing trends in the beauty sector are mirroring global ones, albeit the role of affiliate stores in the country remains more prominent- this source of traffic in 2023 attracted several per cent more local purchases than the global average. 

Their influence continues to grow, with orders through this channel having surged by more than 30 per cent YoY.

Another unique feature of Mena shoppers is purchases based on recommendations in mobile apps, accounting for more than five per cent of local purchases. Their number doubled over the year, which confirms the rapidly growing mobile audience in the beauty industry.

When it comes to discounts, Mena residents increased their use of coupons by 15 per cent.

Mobile frenzy 

Mobile sales for the Mena beauty sector are still in their nascency, generating only around 25 per cent of all beauty and self-care purchases. All the same, the region is catching up with a global trend, which presents ample opportunities for local brands to compete for the growing mobile audience.

Forecasts are bright

Both global and Mena figures indicate that online sales in the beauty industry are poised for further growth. 

According to Admitad, 2023 may end up being more fruitful for Mena beauty brands than 2022. It is expected that the increase in their online sales for the entire year will hit 23 per cent.

Mena companies should focus on the most effective traffic sources and those customer acquisition channels that show most promise or have the highest average order value, the Admitad experts advise.

This will make them more attuned to trends and will reflect positively on order numbers alongside improving other crucial business indicators.