Recent market research findings reveal that Australians are as a nation are getting more fragrant by the year, since a growing number of Australian consumers are buying women’s perfume and/or men’s aftershave/cologne in any given four-week period. According to the relevant figures the number of Australians over 14 years old, buying women’s fragrances in an average monthly period grew by a remarkable 32%, to 1,509,000 people from the previous 1,140,000, while the increase in the number of people buying men’s fragrances in the same given period rose to 1,345,000 people in 2015 from the 1,192,000 people that it was in 2013).
The growth recorded in both categories was equally driven by both male and female consumers and this reveals that more men are also buying women’s perfumes (obviously as gifts) and more women are buying men’s aftershaves/colognes.
This finding is in line with another statistic which showed that those who are married or in a long term relationship are more likely than their single/unmarried counterparts to buy fragrance for the opposite gender. Besides marital status, another element that influences the behavior of Australian consumers towards the purchase of fragrances is their attitude, since market experts point out that men who buy aftershave/cologne and women who buy perfume are “more likely than the average Aussie to believe that ‘it’s important to look fashionable’ and ‘wear clothes that will get me noticed’. “
The upward trend in the sales of men’s and women’s fragrances in Australia since 2013 has been good news for the country’s retailers, although online shopping for these products is also on the rise. In fact, it was the awareness about the price differentials of local and international prices, which resulted in consumers turning to the online channel for lower prices, with many online perfume selling sites gaining huge popularity.
However, benefiting from the distribution of popular fragrances from Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs in Australia and also due to the fact that it owns brands across the mass and premium market segments and carries numerous celebrity fragrances in its portfolio including those of Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker has helped Coty Australia retain its leading position in the Australian market, with over 10% in value share.
Competition in the market is strong due to parallel imports, online retailing and aggressive price promotions, meaning that Australian consumers are able to buy premium fragrances at largely discounted prices. In fact those offering premium fragrances at mass prices have gained significant market share as consumers are and will continue to be price sensitive.
Fragrances and perfumes are no longer considered a luxury, nor the prerogative of the rich and privileged. In fact they have become so widely available and affordable that even teenagers are now making up a significant portion of the market.
As perfume consumers, and especially women, are spoiled for choice their consumer habits have changed and it is now not uncommon for a woman to use several different perfumes on a regular basis, instead of sticking to one signature scent.
With the reference to the Australian fragrance market in particular, analysts point out that: “While some brands remain very expensive and exclusive and can only be purchased in department stores and perfumeries, there are many affordable perfumes on the market, which are widely available everywhere from pharmacies to discount stores, supermarkets and online retailers. This fairly recent ‘democratisation’ of fragrance means that even teenage girls can now treat themselves to the latest celebrity scent. Considering how often 21st-century celebrities release their own fragrance lines, only to lose their lustre as another shining starlet takes their place in the popular imagination, this represents a potentially lucrative market for the savvy retailer.”
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