Blogs top influencer of beauty purchases, finds survey

BlogHer, in collaboration with DeVries PR, conducted a survey about women's shopping behaviors and the influence of media on that behavior, as related to beauty and personal care products.

BlogHer, in collaboration with DeVries PR, surveyed women about their beauty and personal care shopping behaviors, and the type of media that influences those behaviors.

The report, which refers to the significance of the beauty category - women spend approximately $7 billion per year on cosmetics and beauty products in the US annually - shows that blogs are 63% more likely than magazines to have inspired a beauty product purchase over the last six months. It also found that women tend to research online and buy offline, and they're just as likely to trust the beauty product advice from a parenting (43%), health (42%) or lifestyle (37%) blog, as from a beauty and fashion blog (43%).

"For a while we had this hypothesis that in the beauty space, bloggers other than self-defined beauty bloggers were likely having a lot of influence on the purchasing behavior of readers in the beauty category," said DeVries president Stephanie Smirnov.

Though she explained that the results won't impact the agency's perception of the high level of influence of the traditional beauty editor, she said, "This will inform our planning approach for sure. We'll invite [beauty] clients to look with fresh eyes at how much PR activity they're allowing us to devote not only to the [general] blogging community but also the lifestyle blogging community."

"We like it when community members see these surveys and the manifestation of their influence and what it means to the market. It's not just about customers and clients but communities," said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder and COO of BlogHer. The organization is promoting the report via social media channels, its partners and clients, and its own site.

The initial survey sampled 1,074 female respondents in October. The 48% majority included 18-34-year-olds; 31% were 35-44; and 13% were 45-54.

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