All the number of beauty & pharma sector

The beauty sector predicts a turnover of EUR 16.5 billion in 2024, a growth of +9.8% compared to 2023. At Cosmoprof and Cosmofarma, key events for the cosmetics and healthcare industry, Calicantus and Bausch+Lomb underline the key role of e-commerce, which aims for a 12.5% growth in 2024 and a value of EUR 1.3 billion.

Cosmoprof e Cosmofarma 2024

The trade fairs Cosmoprof (Bologna 21-24 March 2024), the international expo for the entire beauty industry, and Cosmofarma (Milan 19-21 April 2024), the leading fair for the healthcare, beauty and all pharmacy-related services sector, have given rise to important reflections on the performance of the two sectors, which have been driving forces for Italian made products in recent years.

How the industry is doing and what are the 2024 forecasts

The Italian cosmetics industry is growing rapidly both in Italy and abroad. 2023 saw total industry sales reach EUR 15 billion (+13.3% compared to 2022), a figure expected to increase by another 9.8% in 2024, to reach EUR 16.5 billion. Exports have increased by 19.5% on 2022 with a further 12% increase expected for 2024. In Italy, consumption rose by 8.9% in 2023, with an 8.4% rise forecast for 2024.

The details on individual distribution channel performances, both in 2023 preliminary results and forecasts for 2024, show similarly positive trends – even ones in double figures. This is the case for e-commerce, +12.5%, which is therefore expected to reach EUR 1.3 billion.

The experts’ point of view

According to research by the B2C eCommerce Observatory B2c of the Milan Polytechnic, the beauty sector was found to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in eCommerce in 2023, with a growth rate of 11% – well above the market average of 8%. Online sales reached EUR 1.3 billion, accounting for 4% of total product e-commerce turnover. However, the overall penetration rate of total retail purchases (online + offline) was stable at 12%.

“Online sales in the cosmetics-pharmacy market will keep growing in 2024, and brands that don’t adapt to this trend will risk losing market share.” confirms Valentino Bergamo, CEO of Calicantus. “So it’s important that companies invest in effective omnichannel strategies that intercept consumers online and meet their needs. The MoR (Merchant of Records) comes to the aid of brands that lack the resources and expertise to manage online sales in-house but don’t want to miss out on business opportunities”.

Netcomm, the Italian Digital Commerce Consortium and leading association of Italy’s e-commerce sector, draws attention to data for the Pharma sector: 22.6 million Italians buy health products and medicines online with almost 70% of purchases being made online. Some 46% use online pharmacies and 41% generalist e-commerce platforms.

“For the Bausch+Lomb portfolio, in the last two years its e-commerce channel has reached 15% of the total sales, almost doubling its value compared to the previous year.” maintains Monica Taffara, Channel Manager at Bausch+Lomb “For a pharmaceutical company like Bausch+Lomb, having an e-commerce channel has certainly raised awareness, especially among end consumers.” and concludes “We aim to further develop an omnichannel approach to make it easier for people to recognise us and find us on all platforms, whether physical or digital, so we can keep offering a service to the public while always guaranteeing the quality and safety of our products.” 

The health and beauty industry is going through a strong digital transformation that is redefining how consumers shop, and leading them to seek greater availability and integration of online and offline shopping channels.

Calicantus is the Merchant of Records for important companies such as Flos, Elica, Pampers, Segafredo, Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano, Smemoranda, and Selle Italia, for which it takes care of all e-commerce operations: attending to the most delicate aspects such as customer care, logistics, shipments, returns and administration, all fully outsourced. In the last 15 years, Calicantus has developed a structured ecosystem of people, processes and technologies that simplify integration with pre-existing business systems, thereby accelerating go-to-market for omnichannel online brand sales.