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Selling Beauty Products Online 

The global beauty and wellness market is on fire, making now an exciting time to open an online store selling beauty products.

In 2022, the global cosmetics market grew by over 16% from the previous year.  According to Statista, here in the UK the beauty and personal care market is worth around £13bn and is expected to continue to grow by around 2.17% each year.

Whether you have dreams of developing and selling your own unique beauty products, creating a beauty subscription box service, or reselling beauty products made by popular brands, opening an online store is a simple, convenient, and accessible way to do so.

In this article, we’ll explore why now is such an exciting time to build a health and beauty eCommerce store and what you need to consider to successfully get set up to begin selling cosmetics or beauty products online.

Why sell beauty products online?

When compared to setting up a brick-and-mortar store, opening an eCommerce beauty or cosmetics store is simple, affordable, and convenient.

The beauty industry is a fun, exciting, and forward-thinking market to be in and you’ll find it’s an industry where there are plenty of benefits to be had from selling online.

The rise of mobile shopping and social media has meant that beauty brands have had to adapt and evolve if they want to continue to thrive in an increasingly digital market.

According to stats from GlobalData, 55% of global consumers say that they buy beauty and grooming products online and data from Statista estimates that 44.2% of total revenue in the UK’s beauty and personal care market will be generated through online sales in 2023.

Beauty product being poured into a hand from a glass bottleConsumers now not only expect every beauty and cosmetics brand to have a website and online store but an active social media presence too.

Whilst consumer behaviour has been shifting from in-store to online shopping for some time now, the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically sped up the process. The closure of brick-and-mortar stores not only forced consumers to change their shopping habits, but it also prompted forward-thinking beauty brands to quickly step-up and enhance their online marketing and digital shopping experience.

There has also been a shift in the way that consumers expect to interact with and be marketed to by beauty brands. The rise of social media offers beauty retailers endless opportunities for marketing their products. Many consumers enjoy connecting with beauty brands, influencers, and vloggers on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, presenting beauty brands with opportunities to creatively market their products, reach more consumers, and drive more traffic to their websites.

Benefits of selling beauty products online

  • Low startup costs
  • Low overhead costs
  • High margins
  • Wide reach
  • Targeted marketing
  • Access to customer data
  • Scalable
  • Convenience for customers
  • Wide range of platforms to choose from

Which beauty products are most in demand?

The UK beauty market is constantly evolving, with microtrends now appearing and disappearing quicker than ever thanks to social media. However, the most in-demand product types tend to stay consistent for the most part.

Understanding what the most popular products are on the market today can help new businesses to align their range of products with what is currently in demand.

Top beauty product categories

We did a little research to find out what the top three most popular product categories currently are in the beauty industry and the percentage of the global cosmetics market that each accounted for. They are:

  • Skincare – 41% of the market.
  • Haircare – 22% of the market.
  • Makeup – 16% of the market.

Other popular product types included perfumes, toiletries, nail care, and deodorants.

Selection of beauty products against a peach backgroundMost searched for beauty products

We also investigated which beauty products people searched for on Google the most in 2022. According to money.co.uk’s Beauty Index 2022, the top 10 most searched for beauty products in the UK in 2022 were:

  1. Gucci Guilty (perfume)
  2. Clarins Double Serum (serum)
  3. Pixi Glow Tonic (toner)
  4. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser (BB/CC cream)
  5. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (foundation)
  6. Bareminerals Powder Foundation (powder)
  7. The Ordinary Squalene Cleanser (makeup remover)
  8. Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (face mask)
  9. Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops (fake tan)
  10. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (concealer)

Ethical beauty brands

There is also growing demand for ethical, vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly beauty products. A study conducted by the Benchmarking Company found that 64% of consumers say sustainability is very important when considering the purchase of a beauty product. The global vegan cosmetics market is also forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6% between 2022 and 2028 as consumers become increasingly conscious of the impact of their choices on the environment and animal welfare.

How to start selling beauty products online

Ready to begin building your online beauty empire? Here’s how to get started.

Start with your vision 

When beginning any new business venture, you should always begin with a vision. Identify what your niche is and what you are setting out to achieve or offer that is different to other online beauty retailers. 

Develop your product range 

Depending on whether you plan to be a reseller or sell your own original beauty products, you may also need to find a manufacturer or supplier and start a product packaging design project with a branding agency.

Do plenty of research 

Understanding your target audience inside out can help you to create products and branding that align with their values and that they are more likely to connect with. Make sure you also do plenty of research into who your competitors are and what they are offering, so that you can bring something new to the table.

Define your brand 

Once you’ve got a good understanding of what your eCommerce business wants to achieve and sell, it’s time to develop your branding , a step that can be key to its success. Your brand mission, values , visuals, and voice are what will help to set you apart in a crowded market.

Build an eCommerce website and online presence 

Once everything is set up behind the scenes, you’ll need an online platform from which to sell your products. Most beauty brands sell through multiple online channels, primarily their eCommerce website, social media, and online marketplaces like Etsy.

Shopify Support from Create8

Most beauty brands enlist the help of a web design agency to help them to build and maintain a professional eCommerce website. Whilst it may be possible to cobble together a functioning website without the help of a web developer, it may not set your new beauty business up for success. When you use a web design agency  like Create8, you benefit from a whole team of experts building your eCommerce website, including web developers, content writers, SEO experts, and graphic designers, ensuring every aspect of your website is set up strategically to improve user experience and performance, to encourage more sales.

Welcome to Shopify email on smartphone screen to start selling beauty products onlineWhat are the best platforms for selling beauty products online? 

Choosing the right platform to sell your beauty products on can be key to its success, so no pressure!

We’ve put together a list of the top five platforms for building an eCommerce website.

  • Shopify – Shopify sits at the top of our list for good reason. It’s super simple to use and offers ultimate versatility in the form of thousands of plugins, apps, and templates to build and customise your online store.
  • WooCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows users to turn their WordPress websites into online stores.
  • Wix eCommerce – Wix eCommerce is a user-friendly drag-and-drop eCommerce website building platform. It offers a range of templates and apps to help small and medium-sized businesses build online stores.
  • BigCommerce – BigCommerce is an eCommerce website builder that features multi-channel selling tools geared towards larger high-growth retailers.
  • Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce (previously Magento) is an eCommerce platform that offers advanced customisation for large businesses with more complex eCommerce requirements. It is less user-friendly than other eCommerce website builders and usually requires a web developer.

Your eCommerce website is likely to be your beauty brand’s bread and butter, but don’t underestimate the power of multi-channel selling. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, and online marketplaces like Etsy can also be great platforms for promoting and selling beauty products online.

Shopify websites for beauty brands

Here at Create8, we believe that Shopify is one of the best eCommerce website builders out there – that’s why we’re Shopify Partners! 

Its flexible range of plans makes it suitable for beauty brands of all different shapes and sizes, from startups to multi-million-pound businesses. Shopify offers an extremely user-friendly interface, over 1,600 themes, and over 7,000 apps, allowing users to create completely bespoke online stores.

To demonstrate what’s possible with Shopify, take a look at the eight beauty brands listed below, all of which built their online stores using Shopify.


ColourPop is an affordable American beauty brand famous for its collaborations with pop culture phenomena like Disney, Harry Potter, and Sailor Moon.

ColourPop launched its Shopify store selling cruelty-free makeup and skincare products in 2014 and now has an annual revenue of over $50m. They sell their products in over 14 different countries and have become experts at using social media and influencers to market their products online.

Nails on Poiint

Nails on Poiint came to us in need of a Shopify store to showcase their range of professional gel nail polishes.

We built the Nails on Poiint website on Shopify’s Prestige theme and accentuated the brand’s colourful personality using a colour palette as bold as their nail polishes. Website visitors can also toggle between different nail polish shades in the ‘Our Looks’ section on the homepage, which helps show off their most popular products!

Selection of beauty product nail polishes against a white backgroundElf Cosmetics

Elf Cosmetics is an international beauty brand known for its minimalistic style, 100% vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics, and affordable price tags.

Elf cosmetics first opened its Shopify store in 2004 and following its success, it began selling offline as well as online. As of 2019, they decided to close all their brick-and-mortar stores to invest exclusively in selling online again. They are ranked as the number one cosmetics brand in the Gen Z demographic.

Truth About Makeup

Truth About Makeup is an ethical skincare brand with a love for beauty and a passion for the environment. They sell vegan, ethically-sourced, and 100% cruelty-free skincare products. 

We built the Truth About Makeup website on Shopify’s Symmetry theme and added a header video of the ocean to create a homepage that feels as clean and natural as their products. Since they are an ethical brand, we also displayed their brand values prominently on their homepage beside some custom-made icons.


Lumin is a relatively new and highly successful men’s skincare brand that joined Shopify in 2018. Their eCommerce website has an elegant and fresh design and intuitive navigation.

Lumin sells personalised skincare products and regimes for men which are available as either one-time purchases or on a subscription basis.

Kylie Cosmetics

Kylie Cosmetics is a cosmetics and skincare store run by well-known American model and influencer Kylie Jenner.

Jenner first set up her Shopify store in 2015, at the time, her online-only brand would sell out products within minutes of listing them online. Within three years of opening her Shopify store, Jenner became a billionaire. The brand now sells products both on and offline and has since become one of the most popular beauty brands in the world.

Women pumping face cream beauty product onto her hand Bexy Glow

Bexy Glow is a powerful female-led brand that came to Create8 in need of a Shopify website to show off their selection of bold, energetic, and experimental acrylic nail supplies.

We made best use of Shopify’s Showcase theme and added custom-built features including scrolling marquee sections and text sections with large headings so that their products could take centre stage on their website.

Fenty Beauty

Another celebrity that launched their beauty business on Shopify is Rihanna. Rihanna founded Fenty Beauty in 2017 and the brand joined Shopify Plus in 2021.

The Fenty Beauty brand is known for producing cosmetics that promote inclusivity across all skin tones and gender. Vogue even went as far as to say that Fenty Beauty ‘completely changed the beauty industry’.

eCommerce web design for beauty brands

Whether you’re a beauty startup that needs an eCommerce website built from scratch or you have an existing website that you need revamping or migrating, our team of experts here at Create8 are here to help. Contact us today to start an eCommerce web design project for your beauty brand.