Scraping Ulta Skin Care

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Posted on Mar 24, 2021

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Background

A normal skincare routine is important for maintaining healthy and youthful skin, regardless of age. Ulta Beauty is a specialized beauty store known for carrying affordable cosmetic, fragrance, and skincare products. Ulta differentiates itself from its competitors by carrying many mid-tier, drugstore brands, which is important for consumers on a budget or those that may be starting a skincare regiment. This web scraping project explores the skincare segmentation of Ulta Beauty and the products and characteristics of each category.

The products that make up a basic skincare routine include the following:

  • Cleansers
  • Moisturizers
  • Treatment (Toner) & Serums
  • Sunscreen

Skincare Categories

 

As seen in the graph above, moisturizer products come out just slightly ahead of treatment & serums among the products Ulta carries. Cleansers rank third, and then there is a significant drop off to the rest of the categories. As moisturizers have the highest inventory among the skincare categories, they also have the highest number of reviews, with an average of 300 reviews per product.

Category Ratings

Most products in each category, on average, receive a 4.0 rating or higher. Of the 5 most inventoried categories, suncare and eye treatments receive slightly lower ratings.

Affordability

A new categorical column, affordability, was created from binning the prices. Adjustments may be made to account for individual consumer preferences or market value average. For this analysis, affordability was based on the following bins:

  • Low-Cost: <$15
  • Fair: $15 - $35
  • Luxury: $35

Affordability Ratings

Luxury products appear to be rated higher than low-cost and fairly-priced products. In this case, if consumers place a high emphasis on customer feedback and ratings to determine what products to try, then they may be inclined to explore luxury brands.

Top 3 Categories

Price

Cleansers are notably lower priced than treatment & serums and moisturizers.

Size

Smaller amounts do not necessarily translate into lower prices. Treatment & serums and moisturizers tend to be packaged in smaller quantities (fluid oz.) than cleansers, despite having higher price distribution. Factors, such as ingredients, concentration, frequency of use, etc., may contribute to packaging and pricing.

Affordability

Cleansers are commonly priced at low-cost and fair values. Treatment & serums have almost equal amounts of luxury, fairly-priced, and low cost products. Moisturizers are commonly priced at fair and luxury values. Therefore, depending on which step of skincare a consumer is buying for will depend on its pricing.

Skincare Brands

Top Inventory vs. Top Reviewed Brands

Taking a closer look at Ulta’s top 3 skincare categories–cleansers, treatment & serums, and moisturizers–Clinique products have the highest inventory, followed by Mario Badescu and Pacifica. As a result, Clinique contains the most reviews, followed by Neutrogena and Estee Lauder. However, Neutrogena and Estee Lauder received more reviews than Mario Badescu despite having fewer products than Mario Badescu.

Top Inventory (Product-Count) Brands

  • Low-Cost Products: Pacifica, Neutrogena, REVOLUTION SKINCARE
  • Fairly Priced Products: Clinique, Mario Badescu, Kiehl’s Since 1851
  • Luxury Products: Dermalogica, Lancome

The top inventoried brands are rated similarly with two notable exceptions. Though its products tend to be priced on the higher end, Lancome products tend to have a higher average rating. The more cheaply priced REVOLUTION SKINCARE products tend to garner lower ratings on average. 

Ulta Skincare Summary

There are many factors to consider when choosing a brand for skincare. The number of reviews is one important metric to consider when choosing a product. According to “15 Online Review Stats Every Marketer Should Know”, 91% of young consumers trust reviews, and reviews influence decisions on more expensive purchases. In light of that, more research should be done on Ulta’s expensive luxury brands, common among treatment & serums and moisturizers (Clark). It also makes it likely that brands with a high number of reviews, like Neutrogena, Philosophy, Olay, and Estee Lauder, would attract more consumers because of their wide exposure across consumers of varying skin types. In addition, if a brand’s catalog is an important factor because of its horizontal differentiation among other brands, then consumers have the ability to choose from extensive skincare lines within Clinique, Neutrogena, and REVOLUTION SKINCARE.

Opportunities for Ulta

  • REVOLUTION SKINCARE received the smallest number of reviews and had the lowest rating, yet they inventory ~54 skincare products.
    • Consider why this brand received little attention among users and determine if holding inventory will remain profitable.
  • Pacifica received less than 500 reviews with ~86 skincare products but falls in the low price range with a 4.5 average rating.
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851 contains ~75 skincare products but didn't even get 500 reviews
    • The pricing range is slightly higher than some brands like Neutrogena (which is priced lower and has more reviews).
    • Consider why this brand also received little attention among users and determine if holding inventory will remain profitable.

Reference

About Author

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Kristin Teves

Kristin has a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Analytics from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor's in Biological Science from University of California, Irvine. She is excited to combine previous business domain knowledge...
View all posts by Kristin Teves >

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