Assurances needed: Concerns of makeup tester hygiene still heavy among Singapore’s beauty consumers – Watsons
While the COVID-19 measures have been lifted, the heightened concern for safety has endured among consumers in Singapore. At the same time, the use of makeup is on the rise again as mask-wearing rules were lifted completely since February.
“As Singapore walks out of the pandemic, shoppers are beginning to return to their usual lifestyle where daily use of makeup is more common and the sale of makeup is seeing a surge,” said Irene Lau, managing director of Watsons Singapore.
“Since the opening up and mask off from mid-February, we have seen a surge in cosmetics sales; a high double-digit growth compared to last year and it’s more noticeable in the lip category.”
However, consumers still face some obstacles towards purchasing. While makeup testers are back on the shelves, Watsons observed that consumers were still hesitant about using them as they are conscious about safety.
“This, along with the unavailability of testers when purchasing makeup online, has resulted in more instances of unsuitable or incorrect purchase of makeup products,” said Lau.
This month, the retailer partnered with insurance firm FWD to launch Retailssure, a makeup exchange assurance programme.
Under this programme, Watsons' shoppers can exchange unsuitable makeup products bought in-store and online, even after it has been opened and used.
Customers would be able to make the exchange within seven calendar days. One makeup product can be exchanged for another within the same makeup category and Watsons stores island wide.
This programme is free and exclusive to over one million Watsons’ members.
“Retailssure is Watsons’ way of answering to members’ woes and addressing the pain points of purchasing the wrong colour shades or unsuitable makeup products. To improve the makeup shopping experience of our shoppers and meet the rising need for makeup, we felt it was time to pilot a makeup exchange programme for the first time in Singapore.” said Lau.
With Retailssure, Watsons aims to foster a worry-free shopping experience for makeup buyers, which it hopes would increase their confidence to experiment.
“We aim to increase shoppers’ confidence in purchasing their makeup essentials and experiment with purchasing new makeup products that they have been wanting to buy but were hesitant to.”
The returned items are expected to be donated and Watsons will refrain from simply disposing them.
“We are seeking relevant organisations to put the products to good use and those keen on accepting makeup donations are invited to reach out to us. Disposing of the products will be a last resort and Watsons continues to explore environmentally friendly ways to manage the disposal of products that are unsuitable for donation,” said Lau.
The pilot programme would also give Watsons the chance to review if it could be extended further.
“This will also give us the opportunity to finetune it accordingly to provide the best service possible. We hope to continue with Retailssure and expand the exchange programme to include more product offerings.”
Lau concluded: “With close to 30 reputable makeup brands from all over the world to choose from, and many exclusive to Watsons, we hope that this first-of-its-kind, consumer-oriented programme will increase our shoppers’ top-of-mind-recall and elevate Watsons’ position as the go-to, accessible retailer for makeup products in Singapore.”