Pharmacies top list for beauty seekers

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Apr 13, 2007 - Page 12

Pharmacies and drugstores have become the most popular channels for Taiwanese to buy health and beauty products, a survey released yesterday by The Nielsen Co said.

Seventy-four percent of survey respondents said they visited pharmacies and drugstores when shopping for beauty and health products. Forty-four percent visit department stores, while 39 percent shop on the Internet, 28 percent shop at specialty stores and 25 percent at shopping clubs.

The survey found that local consumer preferences differed significantly from those of consumers in other countries, where supermarkets are the favorite source for health and beauty products.

A survey of 25,408 people in 46 markets last year showed that 58 percent of consumers visited supermarkets when buying health and beauty products, while 54 percent visited pharmacies and drugstores, followed by department stores with 38 percent.

The survey results reflected the extent of Internet penetration in Taiwan, as the percentage of local consumers who purchase beauty and health products online was second highest of all countries polled. South Korea had the highest percentage of online shoppers at 68 percent.

The percentage of local consumers who buy products via shopping clubs came in third globally after Portugal (41 percent) and Lithuania (36 percent).

Fifty-three percent of local respondents said that getting a recommendation from a friend was the top factor in deciding where to shop, while 64 percent said price was the more important factor.

Around 60 percent globally said price was the main factor in their decision on where to shop, followed by what products promised (49 percent) and the brand of the product (47 percent).