Eric Fisher Academy

Looking Ahead: The Impact of COVID-19 on the World of Beauty Looking Ahead: The Impact of COVID-19 on the World of Beauty

What Beauty School Students Can Expect Long-Term from Esthetician and Cosmetology Careers

It’s certainly no secret that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our country in the past year, and will continue to cause much uncertainty across the board. In particular, any service-based business, and particularly those that rely on repeat business and long-term client relationships, took a particularly hard hit when everything shut down in April. As you can imagine, the beauty industry as a whole took a pretty big hit. With all of this in mind, you may be having second thoughts about becoming a cosmetologist or starting your esthetician career.

But it’s not all bad – since COVID first took its hold in the U.S., many businesses, salons and spas included, have done an excellent job pivoting the way they do business. Now, as we quickly approach a year with the virus as our not-so-welcome roommate, many professionals in the beauty industry are using their already-creative minds to come up with innovative new ways of offering their products and services, which bodes well for 2021 and beyond.

The Current Situation

As the beloved Nicholas Sparks once said, “It has to get ugly before it gets pretty,” and this was certainly the case for the beauty industry when COVID first hit. In the early months of 2020, before COVID reared its ugly head, the beauty market in the United States was up $78 million year-over-year.

And then COVID showed up and wrecked the party.

The second quarter of 2020 saw a $1.4 billion decline in the beauty sector, which was a 36% year-over-year drop in revenue. Ouch.

That being said, in the same quarter, online sales in the beauty industry spiked a whopping 90%, accounting for roughly 61% of total sales volume industry-wide. Since that time, revenue decline has slowed each quarter, and in general, both hair care and skincare best weathered the initial COVID storm, which is good news if you’re wanting to get your esthetician certification, or start your cosmetology career.

A Beautiful Outlook

As we mentioned, profit losses have slowed significantly since Q2 of last year, and in some markets, the beauty industry is seeing a slight uptick in revenue, which is a good sign. Online sales continue to dominate in terms of sales volume, so salons and spas that offer anything online (products, gift cards, etc.) are automatically going to be ahead of the curve.

What’s more, 55% of shoppers in a recent survey reported that they intend to purchase beauty products of some kind within the next month. In other words, people still care about their looks and the way they feel, and they’re willing to spend their dollars on looking and feeling great. And on that same note, in another survey, 54% of respondents reported associating beauty with health, which is even better news for us in the beauty industry. Plus, in the current economy, many consumers are much more willing to shop local in order to help small businesses stay afloat. This is good news for any locally-owned salon or spa, as well as estheticians and cosmetologists who run their own business.

Tips to Remain Successful

Through the craziness that was 2020, we’ve seen a lot of innovation. It’s because of some of these new business strategies that consumers are feeling safer, and, in turn, are more apt to venture out to receive esthetics and cosmetology services.

Some of the more obvious shifts in offerings include adding in-store products to an online store, or at least listing merchandise online and offering curbside pickup. And of course, nearly every salon and spa has come up with their own brand of hand sanitizer, if they didn’t have one already. Some shops are even selling an in-house brand of makeup brush cleaner – this way, clients can wash their own makeup brushes at home while they practice all the beautiful makeup looks you’ve taught them in the past.

And as for other, not-as-obvious ideas, one we’re big fans of sharing video tutorials on social media (think “How to achieve a salon-quality blowout at home” and “Give yourself a DIY spa facial”). This is a great way to virtually connect with your clients, maintaining those ever-so-important relationships, and is also a great way to promote products you’re selling online. Another great thing some salons and spas have done is to leverage the increasing emphasis on self care and mental health, presenting salon and spa services as a way to decompress and relax (which, as we all know, is totally true!).

Find a Cosmetology or Esthetician School Near You

Above all else, be creative! It’s why we all want to be in the beauty industry in the first place, right? If you’re ready to channel that creativity into a lasting and satisfying career, look no further than Eric Fisher Academy, one of the best cosmetology schools in Kansas. Contact us today to get started on the path to your dream career, and be sure to check out our upcoming program dates and take a virtual tour while you’re at it!