MAC vs. Sephora Audience Differences

MAC vs. Sephora Audience Differences

MAC and Sephora are two of the most well-known cosmetic brands. While Sephora has established itself in the marketplace as a retailer that carries a myriad of cosmetic brands, we thought it would be interesting to examine the parallels and differences that exist between Sephora and MAC loyalist. Examining these distinctions provides opportunities for both brands to gain a better understanding on purchase and consumption behaviors.

Using Hitwise data, we placed Sephora and MAC audiences into two buckets – the MAC Loyalist, who visits MAC.com and not Sephora.com, and Sephora Loyalist, those that visit Sephora’s website and not MAC.

The Age Gap

The data confirms that Sephora loyalist are a much broader audience than MAC – with the Sephora having a projected online audience of 2,136,616 people over 4 weeks, compared to MAC’s audience of 165,353. Beyond size, the data reveals key distinctions in age.

While both groups are less likely than the average population to be comprised of age 65+, Sephora loyalist largest age group is aged 25-34, while the largest group for MAC loyalist is aged 35-44.

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Both MAC and Sephora loyalist are primarily female, and a third of their audience composition is male. Having 1/3 of both audiences comprised of males presents a unique opportunity for MAC and Sephora to tap into this market that has been most likely underutilized. It also presents an interesting question- are male consumers less likely to visit the physical store?  Should MAC and Sephora increase efforts to target males online?

MAC Loyalists More Mobile

MAC loyalist have a higher percentage of total visits to websites coming from smartphones and tablets, versus desktops and laptops, while Sephora loyalist exhibit the converse — 56% of total visits to websites from Sephora loyalist occur on a desktop and 44% coming from smartphones and tablet. This finding is particularly interesting given the overall age for MAC skews older.

This mobile tendencies of MAC loyalists applies to advertising as well. It turns out MAC loyalists are more likely to be receptive to mobile advertising than Sephora loyalists.

MAC Loyalist are 21% more likely than the average online population to purchase products they see advertised on their cell phone, and 24% more likely than the average online population to be interested in receiving advertisements on their cell phones. Sephora loyalists are 11% less likely than the average population to have these sentiments.

Green State of Mind

Both MAC and Sephora loyalist have eco-friendly mindsets which impact their consumption and purchase behaviors.

68% of MAC and Sephora loyalist believe that companies should help consumers become more environmentally responsible. They are 12% more likely than the average online population to purchase a product or service from a company that is environmentally friendly and are 6% more likely than the average population to agree that packaging for products should be recycled.

These parallels in sentiments reveal opportunities to capture consumers for both MAC and Sephora.

In some ways, these findings suggest that Sephora has established itself in the marketplace as the “every woman” brand, with a broader and younger following. Meanwhile, MAC has found its niche amongst a smaller, slightly older crowd who are surprisingly mobile savvy.

Note: This data was expanded into a longer article for Global Cosmetic Industry magazine.

For more on cosmetics trends, check out our Health & Beauty Industry Report.

Source: Demographic and mobile data for MACcosmetics.com website visitors and Sephora.com website visitors pulled using Hitwise’s AudienceView tool, measured over a 4-week period ending 1/21/2017.