For over a year, Spotify has collaborated with online retailer Merchbar to allow fans to purchase merchandise related to musicians directly from their profile pages. However, until now, the items offered had yet to delve into the realm of beauty and grooming.

Today, a visit to the bottom of singer Maggie Lindemann’s artist page on Spotify displays several beauty products created by popular make-up brand Pat McGrath Labs. The items on offer include a liquid lipstick, two lip pencils and two eyeshadow palettes.

The collaboration will allow listeners to easily buy the ‘look’ of many influential artists that they look up to or seek to emulate, a form of next-generation shopping already common on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. This move hints at the possibility that shopping for products directly through popular applications will become more prevalent in the future, as services such as Spotify become retail channels in their own right.

The Spotify cosmetics customer

Consumers most likely to buy into this new business model are those who are already engaged and familiar with the world of online shopping. According to GlobalData’s 2017 primary consumer research, over a third (36%) of global consumers currently purchase beauty and grooming products online directly from brands, while 34% of global consumers purchase these products online from a retailer. These statistics rise to 41% and 39% for each channel respectively when looking at millennials, highlighting this consumer demographic as Spotify’s ideal target audience, given their high levels of digital and social media engagement.

Recognising the already prominent influence of social media influencers online, Spotify’s latest launch appears a move in the right direction to connect with digital-savvy millennials.

However, unlike Instagram, Pinterest, or other image-based platforms, which also have click-to-shop features, users at present do not visit Spotify for influence about what products and services are best to use, or to discover new beauty trends. This poses as a key constraint that Spotify will face in connecting with the broader beauty consumer, beyond those who are fans of the artist in question.

Online integration

This launch does, however, mark an important shift taking place in the retail landscape, whereby online channels are growing in prominence and becoming more integrated with consumers’ lives. The future of Spotify’s venture is uncertain, though it does give artists the opportunity to market their products on the platform, while allowing users to engage more closely with their favourite musicians beyond their music.

Spotify’s launch shows that in attempting to balance competing consumer demands for both convenience and enhanced shopping experiences, brands in the beauty and grooming category – and across the FMCG landscape more broadly – should optimise their omni-channel strategies. Working across multiple offline and online platforms will enable brands to more easily capitalise on consumer interest, while providing instant shopping gratification.