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Looking Good with Mobile: Trends in the Beauty Purchasing Habits of African American Women

73% of African American Women use mobile for beauty product discovery and purchase decisions.

WASHINGTONMay 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — A new study shows that African American Women actively use their mobile phones to research new beauty products, find deals and share their experiences. 73% of African American Women versus 64% of the total population surveyed use mobile for beauty product discovery and purchase decisions..


More likely than the total population to use mobile to find deals:

  • 41% versus 32% compare prices
  • 39% versus 31% look for deals on mobile

Over-indexing on using mobile to research products:

  • 35% versus 27% use mobile search
  • 23% versus 18% ask friend for advice
  • 29% versus 24% check reviews for a product
  • 15% versus 11% check social profile for product

More interested in engaging with brands on mobile:

  • 40% versus 33% want to use mobile site
  • 31% versus 22% want mobile deal alerts
  • 27% versus 22% are interested in downloading a brand’s app

Have a higher likelihood to purchase via mobile:

  • 21% versus 11% use mobile to purchase

African American Women drive household purchasing decisions and most spending. Here are some key findings about their beauty shopping habits: 

Women are predominately the household shoppers:

  • 84% of African American women purchase most of the personal care and/or beauty products

Many are frequent shoppers:

  • 45% shop at least once a week

Most are spending significant amount of money on a monthly basis:

  • 43% spend $100 or more
  • 74% spend at least $50 a month

A majority are willing to try new products:

  • 74% are willing to try a new beauty product at least sometimes

Three categories of products were the most tried in the last three months:

  • 55% tried a new hairstyling product or brand
  • 54% a new perfume
  • 41% a new nail polish

More than half of the women shoppers prefer specialty and department stores for products that meet their unique needs:

  • 56% shop for hair products
  • 53% shop for body care products
  • 42% for make-up
  • 49% perfume

Many regularly buy body care products:

  • 46% regularly purchase body lotions and body wash products

Many consider hair styling products and lip products most important to their beauty routine:

  • 68% identify hair sprays, gels, etc
  • 54% lipstick/lip gloss to be most essential part of their daily routine

Many participate in reward programs:

  • 59% participate in reward programs at drugstores or supermarket stores

“The findings from this study underscore the significance of beauty & grooming to the AA Market and the need to connect with them wherever they are. Furthermore it cements the mobile platform as a leading “passion” channel to sustain conversations, share information and be a platform of expression for this dynamic community.” Deidre Smalls-Landau EVP Managing Director, Identity

“The study highlights that multicultural consumers are mobile first for beauty product discovery. Mobile marketing offers a mostly untapped opportunity to craft targeted campaigns that resonate, engage and meet the needs of multicultural consumers. Companies that use mobile effectively will have the advantage with this consumer segment. Its time to lead with mobile versus using mobile as an add-on.” Julie Diaz-Asper Founder, Social Lens Research.

“The percentage of people using and trusting their mobile devices to not only research products but also purchase products continues to get higher. This is a great opportunity to capitalize on this behavior by creating a mobile and social friendly brand experience across all mobile and tablet devices. Consumers will always like to be recognized in a relevant way. Brands will see greater success with their social media efforts when they build trust with their target audience through relevant conversations, rewards and information” Tom Dorf VP of Advertising Sales, MocoSpace

Clear opportunities exist for personal care manufactures and/or retailers to better reach African American women via mobile marketing campaigns.  The top opportunities are:

  1. Offer compelling deals that are easy to find on your mobile friendly site and via social channels.
  2. Leverage social channels to build trust with target audience and create positive conversations on featured products.
  3. Look at opportunities to engage influencers to build relevant, useful and mobile ready tips on how to use your product.
  4. Reward social sharing with Fan recognition and exclusive deals.

The mobile-optimized survey was fielded via the MocoSpace platform over a seven day period, recruiting 9,209 without an incentive. African American women (1,874) were 20% of the respondents.

For more about the study visit:

MocoSpace is a leading social media destination on the mobile Internet, with over thirty-five million registered users. Every day, users spend more than one million hours finding new friends, chatting, listening to music, watching videos, joining Fan pages and playing games from all web enabled devices. For a trendy, multicultural, on-the-go generation, MocoSpace is the mobile community of choice. Launched in 2005, the company is based in Boston, Mass., and is backed by General Catalyst and Softbank Capital. For more information, visit

Identity, part of IPG: At Identity, we pride ourselves on being marketing and media enthusiasts who design blueprints of the consumer experience that drives culture. These blueprints highlight cultural shifts, embrace emerging media, drive media innovation and use robust analytics to activate real business outcomes. We are the IPG Mediabrands solution when clients seek to grow their business with the multicultural and influential segments of African-Americans, Hispanics and Tastemakers. Our underlying philosophy of integration and innovation enables us to execute Total Market plans with cultural nuances that drive results.

Social Lens Research, based in Washington DC, helps companies make research a more social experience. It creates engaging research experiences that are social and mobile to better understand hard-to-reach audiences. Our proprietary social influencer panel, makes it easy to find and manage social media influencers who serve both as participants and recruiters for our research projects; allowing us to efficiently recruit niche, hard to reach and high quality participants. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Julie Diaz-Asper, Social Lens Research, 2025508099,

SOURCE Social Lens Research



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