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The landscape of business has been changed by the advent of social media, because social media changes the way companies communicate with customers and influences the way consumers make the purchase decision. Also social media empower to the consumers; consumers no longer passively accept information but also create conversation to companies. Social media refers to the internet-based application which enables people to share, discuss and look for information, opinion and experiences (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010) as well as to communicate and build up relationship with others (Ab Hamid et al., 2013). Due to the omnipresence, cost-effectiveness and influence of social media, companies increasingly put more effort on social media (Ab Hamid et al., 2013). In addition, electronic word of mouth generated via social media sites is treated as a main guideline by consumers when making their purchasing decisions (Kalpaklioglu and Toros, 2011), because it represents as a non-commercial information passed between people regarding to about a product, a service, a brand and even an experience (Wu and Wang, 2011); in other words, it is believed to be less biased. Since more and more consumers hold the negative attitude toward traditional advertising, such as feeling of being boomed constantly by advertisements, preferring not to purchase a product with too aggressive advertising and doubting that advertisement is a good way to understand a product (Kalpaklioglu and Toros, 2011), consumers turn to social media sites look for information and rely more on electronic word-of-mouth. Today, people turn to social media sites for almost everything. People ask for the advice on Facebook, search for information about the product they are interested in from blogs, like Facebook page of their favourite brand, post their complaint on the forums and create their experience of using the product on Twitter, and even upload a video about how to use a product on YouTube. In other words, consumers look for information when making purchase decision and generate statement about their purchase experience afterward on social media sites. In other side, companies strive to interact with customer via social media to build relationship with target customers, create brand awareness and brand loyalty. The highly influence of social media on consumers' purchase decision making results in that more and more companies start to take social media into account in their marketing strategies. This trend is partially applied to the cosmetics market. Some consumer behavior has changed the cosmetics market due to introduce of social media but others haven't. The aim of this essay is to discuss how social media changed why and how consumer purchases cosmetics products. Firstly, background information of the cosmetics market is provided. Secondly, the consumer buying decision-making process and brand loyalty are used to discuss how and why social media affects the way people consume cosmetics. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn about the impact of social media on the cosmetics market. Background Cosmetics has been existing in human history for more than 6,000 years; the tattooing and scarification and the use of woad in ancient African cultures are some forms of cosmetics (Draelos, 2007). The global market size is increasingly growing because people pay more and more attention to the appearance and beauty (Khraim, 2011) even in recession. The worldwide annual expenditures for cosmetics are estimated at U.S. $18 billion, while UK cosmetics market maintain as a lucrative market with an estimated value of ? 1.46 billion. In addition, 52% of female use more than 7 different types of cosmetics product in the past 12 months and 41% of them like to try new cosmetic products (Mintel, 2013). The bricks-and-mortar stores still dominate cosmetics market because consumers prefer to try the product before buy it. However, online sales witness a growth due to consumer's belief that the best prices can be found online (Mintel, 2013). Although the major of marketing promotion budget still are spent on press activity, television and outdoor advertising in cosmetics market in UK (Mintel, 2013); some brands start to engage more into social media to promote their products. For instance, Est?e Lauder cooperates with the fashion and beauty blogger, Emily Schumann to post on brand's website about her favorite products (Mintel, 2013). NARS create Facebook app to interact with customers (Making The Right Impression, 2013). Due to one of the characteristic of social media, cost-effective, small brand cosmetics companies with limited resources start to emphasize their marketing effort on social media compared with other form of promotion (Polla, 2013). In terms of the trend of cosmetics market, the global demand for the organic cosmetics product is boosting, because consumers' increasing awareness of harm of chemicals in cosmetics products and green consciousness (McDugall, 2013). Consumer buying decision-making process There are five stages of consumer buying decision-making process, which are problem recognition, information search, information evaluation, decision and post-purchase evaluation. How social media changed people consume cosmetics will be discussed through each stage of consumer buying decision-making process in the following paragraphs. Problem Recognition Stage Problem recognition is the first stage of consumer buying decision-making process, referring to that people realises there is a problem need to be solved by purchasing a goods or service (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). Before the emergence of social media, problem recognition could be initiated by noticing that one of cosmetic product is running out of. In addition, problem recognition could also be triggered by more psychological factors and defined as when people perceive the current situation is not the desired one and seek to solve this problem by a purchasing action (Bruner and Pomazal, 1988). In other words, problem recognition refers to people realize that there is a gap between the desired state and the actual one and decide to fix it with a purchasing behaviour (Ii and Pomazal, 1993). For instance, seeing the launch of new season cosmetics product from TV, magazine, people feel that the cosmetics products she owns are out of fashion and decide to buy some new cosmetics. Social media makes problem recognition more frequent in cosmetics market. Professional bloggers blog about the experience of using a new cosmetics product, cosmetics brands share the new trend of eye makeup and friends talks about the latest cosmetics product used by the celebrity on Facebook. People exposed to information from a variety of social media sites, constantly feel that they might need to buy or at least to try the new cosmetics product to catch up the trend, get involved in the conversation of their friends on Facebook, or follow her favor idol. In other words, social media generates awareness of a brand and provides more triggers for consumers to think about whether or not they are satisfied with their current cosmetics products and whether a new cosmetics product would make them more socialised after receiving so much information via social media sites. For example, NARS creates a Profile Makeover app on Facebook allowing people to change their Facebook profile photos using the NARS Andy Warhol Collection. Customers first upload their photo on app platform than they can choose different colour from NARS Andy Warhol Collection to create their own unique Facebook profile photo. The app generates 5,268 images and 161,276 page views during the activity (Making The Right Impression, 2013). This activity on Facebook, generate awareness of NARS and its new collection of cosmetics and may trigger consumer to think if they should get a new color from NARS. Information Search Stage Consumer goods are classified into four categories, which are convenience goods, shopping goods, specialty goods and unsought good (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013) and cosmetics products are belong to shopping goods. Choosing of cosmetics products represents how you want to be seen and the message you want to deliver to others in terms of personality, states and taste of fashion; therefore consumers would normally more involve in the purchase decision-making process. It means that there will be some time and effort on information search and evaluation before one actually buy the cosmetics product, and consumers may be enjoy the purchasing process; in addition, there will be some post-purchase evaluation involved (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). In terms of information search, people used to search information from word-of-mouth, internet, retailers and unbiased expert sources such as fashion and cosmetics magazine (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). Social media changed how people seek information before making a purchasing decision (Themba and Mulala, 2013). Before emergence of social media, customers rely on traditional advertising, in-store sales assistants, and word-of-mouth from acquaintances to search information. Now customers turn to professional blogger, electronic word-of-mouth passed on social media sites or just post questions on Facebook asking for advice, when they search information for making purchase decision. As traditional advertising lost its power; the recommendations, suggestions, advices of friends, acquaintances, family are viewed more important in buying decision process of consumers. With the introduction of internet technology, traditional word-of-mouth has evolved in to a more fast-spread, long-lasting form - the electronic word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth refers to the oral conversation between people regarding to non-commercial information about a product, a service, a brand and even an experience (Wu and Wang, 2011), while electronic word-of-mouth refers to any non-commercial positive or negative comments of a product, a service or an experience from actual or potential users via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, the forums and Youtube (Henning-Thurau et al., 2004). Electronic word-of-mouth different from traditional word-of-mouth that only passes around acquaintances such as friends and family, electronic word-of-mouth reaches far more people around the world via social media sites. It is generally accepted that word-of-mouth is likely to be less biased (Kalpaklioglu and Toros, 2011), therefore people tend to reply on electronic word-of-mouth when making purchase decision (Wu and Wang, 2011). Here are some examples of how social media influence the stage of information search. Retailers reports that they are asked by customers for cosmetics products of smaller brands that they saw on social media (Mass Retailers Look To Social Media For Niche Teen Brands, 2013). Est?e Lauder cooperates with the fashion and beauty blogger, Emily Schumann. Emily Schumann will be invited to post the article and video to talk about her favourite Est?e Lauder products on brand's website (Mintel, 2013). Despite preference of trying the cosmetics product in-store and asking the professional opinion from sales assistants when buying a cosmetics product, consumers also rely heavily on the electronic word-of-mouth and the convenience of information search via social media sites (Mintel, 2013). Information evaluation stage In order to evaluate all the information collected from the previous stage, a consumer need to form a list of criteria for product comparing; also consumer also will rank all of the criteria in terms of the importance in consumer's heart (Dibb at el., 2012). Marketers of course try very hard to influence consumers in this stage. Two major approaches are used by marketers to influence this stage which are making products familiar and emphasising product attributes (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). Before social media is introduced, traditional marketing promotion is used to make cosmetics products familiar, such as fashion magazine, television advertising, out-door advertisement and press activity (Mintel, 2013). Since the advent of social media, it creates huge publicity for cosmetics product and the brand. For example, there are 6 million people like MAC Cosmetics Facebook page and 55 thousand people talk about this and there are 1.1 million people like NARS Cosmetics Facebook page and 11 thousand people talk about this. Since consumers increasingly contribute more of their internet time on visiting social media sites, more familiarity and awareness of cosmetics products are generated via social media to influence consumers in the evaluation stage. Therefore, it is evident that more and more companies start to take social media into account in their marketing strategies in order to make the brand and the products more familiar to the customers (Rapp, Beitelspacher, Grewal and Hughes, 2013). Decision stage In this stage consumer executes the outcome of evaluation stage which is to buy the product that stands out from other alternatives after evaluate all the alternatives against consumer's criteria list. A consumer needs to decide where to buy the product and how they want to pay for the products in this stage (Dibb at el., 2012). Dissatisfaction from payment terms and delivery time offered by retailers, long queue in the store and unfriendly sales assistants, could change consumer's mind to buy other products instead (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). The bricks-and-mortar stores still dominate cosmetics market because consumers prefer to try the product before buy it (Mintel, 2013). However, online sales start to gain market share due to social media engagement, trial sample delivery (Hamilton, 2012) and customer's belief that the best prices can be found online (Mintel, 2013). Taking Birchbox, an online shop earn more than 12 million a year with over 100,000 subscriber /customers in the U.S. as an example, consumers pay a small amount to Birchbox online shop to receive a box of samples of cosmetics brands, so that they can try it at home without visiting a real store on high streets before purchasing online. The content of the box are different every month, it consists of not only the major brands but also some small or new brands products which is a good way for small brands to reach more customers with relatively low cost. Those boxes create buzz on social media sites. Many customers of Birchbox upload their photos or videos on YouTube, Facebook or Blogs, and in result, more people know about Birchbox and buy the cosmetics products from them online (Hamilton, 2012). Online cosmetics shop takes advantage of social media's wild coverage and influence to let consumer adopt a concept that you can try the cosmetics you are interested in at home without visiting a really shop then you can place your order here as well after your trial. Another example of how social media change consumer's purchase behavior in cosmetics market is that in the old time, consumers choice the cosmetics product from what is available in the store, but since the introduce of social medial, consumers ask retailers to stock the bands that they saw on social media sites (Mass Retailers Look To Social Media For Niche Teen Brands, 2013). Post-purchase evaluation Consumer buying decision-making process does not end at the movement that transaction is made. Due to the time and effort consumer spent on information search and evaluation, consumer tend to do some level of evaluation to make sure whether or not their expectation toward a products or service is made (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). In the past, when the post-purchase evaluation is negative, consumers may only passively decide not to buy this product again and generate negative word-of-mouth which only passed around acquaintances. Nowadays, unsatisfied customers generate electronic word-of-mouth and it could be passes fast and reach thousands of people. In addition to help the companies, receive social benefit, search purchase advice, reach self-enhancement and get economic rewards, customers also use electronic word-of-mouth to gain power over companies, express the positive and negative feelings and emotions and treat electronic word-of-mouth as an easier way for compensation (Henning-Thurau et al., 2004). In other words, social media empower to consumers. The positive or negative electronic word-of-mouth generated from the post-purchase evaluation stage could influence the purchase decision of others via social media. Therefore, social media not only change consumer purchase behaviour before they actually buy a product, but also change their behaviour after the products are purchased. For example, in only two year, Est?e Lauder website collects more than 200,000 customer reviews since this function are created in 2009 (Bartholmess and Robinson, 2011) Brand loyalty Being engaging in social media, brands create positive influence of product and brand image on customers, improve the relationship with customers and boost customer loyalty (Baltazar, 2013; Laroche et al., 2013). Loyal customers skip stages of information search and information evaluation and directly reach the purchase stage. A recent research show that nine out of ten customers will recommend a brand that they interact with on social media sites and four fifths of respondents claim that they tend to more products from the brand they interact with in the future (O'Reilly, 2013). In addition, more than 80 per cent of customers indicate that they will at least go for trail the brand's products after being exposed to a brand through social media and through consistently engaging with a brand's social media presence can turn customer to be more loyalty to the band (O'Reilly, 2013). Instead of focus on promoting products, social media is more used by companies to make conversation with customer on the emotion level. The closer customers feel about their relationship with the brand the more loyalty they could be. Take Benefit Cosmetics as an example, at twitter Benefit Cosmetics replies almost every tweet from costumers like the way they reply to their friend. Customers not only tweet Benefit Cosmetics to asking or complaining but most of time they tweet for sharing and caring; that means customers are transforming from a buyer to a loyalty customers. Conclusion Cosmetics market is lucrative globally and keeps growing even in the economic recession. With more and more people engage in social media and the time they spent on social media is keeping increasing, cosmetics companies are strive to engage in social media in order to communication with actual and potential customers. Small brands even more keen to put their marketing effort on social media because it is cost effective compared with many other form of marketing promotion. As people get tired of being passively exposed to the aggressive traditional advertising created by cosmetics companies to promote the products, social media provide a good alternative for consumer to seek and provide information for purchase decision making. Although it is unlikely to say that social media totally change the way people consume in female cosmetics market, but in fact social medial actually causes many changes in terms of consumer purchase decision making. After introduce of social media, consumers have more chance to realise that they are in need of a new cosmetics products. By browsing conversation of friend's Facebook about some cosmetics brands or products or noticing their friend "like" some cosmetics brand or checking their friend's tweet about the experience of using some cosmetics products. When search information, consumers rely heavily on electronic word-of-mouth generated from social media, because it is generally believed that its nature of being unbiased. For example, professional cosmetics bloggers, customer reviews, cosmetics forums all are good sources to gain information about cosmetics products. Customers can even just post their question on Facebook inviting their friend to give some feedback. Through social media brand have more chance to build up a relationship with their customer and customer can have a say via social media. A good relationship plays a key role of making customer loyalty and a loyalty customer will tend to buy more cosmetics product from the brand. Finally, social media enable unsatisfied consumers change their part from passively refuse to buy that products again to actively make negative electronic word-of-mouth via social media to influence other's purchase decision. Reference Ab Hamid, N. R., Akhir, R. M. and Cheng, A. Y. (2013). Social media: an emerging dimension of marketing communication. Journal of Management & Marketing Research 12, pp.4-11. Baltazar, A. (2013). Digital Delivery. Chain Store Age. 89 (1), pp.30-31. Bartholmess, K. and Robinson, R. O. N. (2011). Learning Social Media's Lessons. Global Cosmetic Industry 179 (8), pp.26-29. Brassington, F. and Pettitt, S. (2013). Essentials of marketing, 3rd ed. Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall. Hamilton, A. (2012). Special Delivery. Time International (Atlantic Edition) 179 (8), pp.39-40. Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K. P., Walsh, G. and Gremler, D. D. (2004). Electronic word-of-mouth via consumer-opinion platforms: what motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the Internet? Journal of Interactive Marketing 18 (1), pp.38-52. Kalpaklioglu, N. U. and Toros, N. (2011). VIRAL MARKETING TECNIQUES WITHIN ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORK. Journal of Yasar University 6 (24), pp.4112-4129. Kaplan, A. M., and Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons 53 (1), pp.59-68. Khraim, H. S. (2011). The Influence of Brand Loyalty on Cosmetics Buying Behavior of UAE Female Consumers. International Journal of Marketing Studies 3 (2), pp.123-133. Laroche, M., Habibi, M. R. and Richard, M.-O. (2013). To be or not to be in social media: how brand loyalty is affected by social media? International Journal of Information Management 33 (1), pp.76-82. Making the right impression. (2013). WWD: Women's Wear Daily 205. (33), pp.16-11. Mass retailers look to social media for niche teen brands. (2013). WWD: Women's Wear Daily 205 (64), pp.7-1. McDougall, A. (2013). North America organic cosmetics drive booming global market. [Online]. Available at: http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/North-America-organic-cosmetics-drive-booming-global-market (Accessed: 10 November 2013) Mintel (2013). Colour Cosmetics - UK - July 2013. [Online]. Available at: http://academic.mintel.com/display/638122/?highlight=true (Accessed: 10 November 2013) O'Reilly, L. (2013). Report: 'even the smallest social media post drives ROI'. Marketing Week. (Online Edition), pp.4-4. Rapp, A., Beitelspacher, L., Grewal, D. and Hughes, D. (2013). Understanding social media effects across seller, retailer, and consumer interactions. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 41(5). pp.547-566. Wu, P. C. S., and Wang, Y. C. (2011). The influences of electronic word-of-mouth message appeal and message source credibility on brand attitude. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics 23 (4), pp.448-472.
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Business and social media essay
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Business And Social Media Essay

Words: 3487    Pages: 13    Paragraphs: 24    Sentences: 246    Read Time: 12:40
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              The landscape of business has been changed by the advent of social media, because social media changes the way companies communicate with customers and influences the way consumers make the purchase decision. Also social media empower to the consumers; consumers no longer passively accept information but also create conversation to companies. Social media refers to the internet-based application which enables people to share, discuss and look for information, opinion and experiences (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010) as well as to communicate and build up relationship with others (Ab Hamid et al. , 2013). Due to the omnipresence, cost-effectiveness and influence of social media, companies increasingly put more effort on social media (Ab Hamid et al. , 2013). In addition, electronic word of mouth generated via social media sites is treated as a main guideline by consumers when making their purchasing decisions (Kalpaklioglu and Toros, 2011), because it represents as a non-commercial information passed between people regarding to about a product, a service, a brand and even an experience (Wu and Wang, 2011); in other words, it is believed to be less biased. Since more and more consumers hold the negative attitude toward traditional advertising, such as feeling of being boomed constantly by advertisements, preferring not to purchase a product with too aggressive advertising and doubting that advertisement is a good way to understand a product (Kalpaklioglu and Toros, 2011), consumers turn to social media sites look for information and rely more on electronic word-of-mouth. Today, people turn to social media sites for almost everything. People ask for the advice on Facebook, search for information about the product they are interested in from blogs, like Facebook page of their favourite brand, post their complaint on the forums and create their experience of using the product on Twitter, and even upload a video about how to use a product on YouTube. In other words, consumers look for information when making purchase decision and generate statement about their purchase experience afterward on social media sites. In other side, companies strive to interact with customer via social media to build relationship with target customers, create brand awareness and brand loyalty. The highly influence of social media on consumers' purchase decision making results in that more and more companies start to take social media into account in their marketing strategies. This trend is partially applied to the cosmetics market. Some consumer behavior has changed the cosmetics market due to introduce of social media but others haven't. The aim of this essay is to discuss how social media changed why and how consumer purchases cosmetics products. Firstly, background information of the cosmetics market is provided. Secondly, the consumer buying decision-making process and brand loyalty are used to discuss how and why social media affects the way people consume cosmetics. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn about the impact of social media on the cosmetics market.
             
             
              Background
             
              Cosmetics has been existing in human history for more than 6,000 years; the tattooing and scarification and the use of woad in ancient African cultures are some forms of cosmetics (Draelos, 2007). The global market size is increasingly growing because people pay more and more attention to the appearance and beauty (Khraim, 2011) even in recession. The worldwide annual expenditures for cosmetics are estimated at U. S. $18 billion, while UK cosmetics market maintain as a lucrative market with an estimated value of ? 1. 46 billion. In addition, 52% of female use more than 7 different types of cosmetics product in the past 12 months and 41% of them like to try new cosmetic products (Mintel, 2013). The bricks-and-mortar stores still dominate cosmetics market because consumers prefer to try the product before buy it. However, online sales witness a growth due to consumer's belief that the best prices can be found online (Mintel, 2013). Although the major of marketing promotion budget still are spent on press activity, television and outdoor advertising in cosmetics market in UK (Mintel, 2013); some brands start to engage more into social media to promote their products. For instance, Est? e Lauder cooperates with the fashion and beauty blogger, Emily Schumann to post on brand's website about her favorite products (Mintel, 2013). NARS create Facebook app to interact with customers (Making The Right Impression, 2013). Due to one of the characteristic of social media, cost-effective, small brand cosmetics companies with limited resources start to emphasize their marketing effort on social media compared with other form of promotion (Polla, 2013). In terms of the trend of cosmetics market, the global demand for the organic cosmetics product is boosting, because consumers' increasing awareness of harm of chemicals in cosmetics products and green consciousness (McDugall, 2013).
             
              Consumer buying decision-making process
             
              There are five stages of consumer buying decision-making process, which are problem recognition, information search, information evaluation, decision and post-purchase evaluation. How social media changed people consume cosmetics will be discussed through each stage of consumer buying decision-making process in the following paragraphs.
             
              Problem Recognition Stage
             
              Problem recognition is the first stage of consumer buying decision-making process, referring to that people realises there is a problem need to be solved by purchasing a goods or service (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). Before the emergence of social media, problem recognition could be initiated by noticing that one of cosmetic product is running out of. In addition, problem recognition could also be triggered by more psychological factors and defined as when people perceive the current situation is not the desired one and seek to solve this problem by a purchasing action (Bruner and Pomazal, 1988). In other words, problem recognition refers to people realize that there is a gap between the desired state and the actual one and decide to fix it with a purchasing behaviour (Ii and Pomazal, 1993). For instance, seeing the launch of new season cosmetics product from TV, magazine, people feel that the cosmetics products she owns are out of fashion and decide to buy some new cosmetics. Social media makes problem recognition more frequent in cosmetics market. Professional bloggers blog about the experience of using a new cosmetics product, cosmetics brands share the new trend of eye makeup and friends talks about the latest cosmetics product used by the celebrity on Facebook. People exposed to information from a variety of social media sites, constantly feel that they might need to buy or at least to try the new cosmetics product to catch up the trend, get involved in the conversation of their friends on Facebook, or follow her favor idol. In other words, social media generates awareness of a brand and provides more triggers for consumers to think about whether or not they are satisfied with their current cosmetics products and whether a new cosmetics product would make them more socialised after receiving so much information via social media sites. For example, NARS creates a Profile Makeover app on Facebook allowing people to change their Facebook profile photos using the NARS Andy Warhol Collection. Customers first upload their photo on app platform than they can choose different colour from NARS Andy Warhol Collection to create their own unique Facebook profile photo. The app generates 5,268 images and 161,276 page views during the activity (Making The Right Impression, 2013). This activity on Facebook, generate awareness of NARS and its new collection of cosmetics and may trigger consumer to think if they should get a new color from NARS.
             
              Information Search Stage
             
              Consumer goods are classified into four categories, which are convenience goods, shopping goods, specialty goods and unsought good (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013) and cosmetics products are belong to shopping goods. Choosing of cosmetics products represents how you want to be seen and the message you want to deliver to others in terms of personality, states and taste of fashion; therefore consumers would normally more involve in the purchase decision-making process. It means that there will be some time and effort on information search and evaluation before one actually buy the cosmetics product, and consumers may be enjoy the purchasing process; in addition, there will be some post-purchase evaluation involved (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). In terms of information search, people used to search information from word-of-mouth, internet, retailers and unbiased expert sources such as fashion and cosmetics magazine (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). Social media changed how people seek information before making a purchasing decision (Themba and Mulala, 2013). Before emergence of social media, customers rely on traditional advertising, in-store sales assistants, and word-of-mouth from acquaintances to search information. Now customers turn to professional blogger, electronic word-of-mouth passed on social media sites or just post questions on Facebook asking for advice, when they search information for making purchase decision. As traditional advertising lost its power; the recommendations, suggestions, advices of friends, acquaintances, family are viewed more important in buying decision process of consumers. With the introduction of internet technology, traditional word-of-mouth has evolved in to a more fast-spread, long-lasting form - the electronic word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth refers to the oral conversation between people regarding to non-commercial information about a product, a service, a brand and even an experience (Wu and Wang, 2011), while electronic word-of-mouth refers to any non-commercial positive or negative comments of a product, a service or an experience from actual or potential users via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, the forums and Youtube (Henning-Thurau et al. , 2004). Electronic word-of-mouth different from traditional word-of-mouth that only passes around acquaintances such as friends and family, electronic word-of-mouth reaches far more people around the world via social media sites. It is generally accepted that word-of-mouth is likely to be less biased (Kalpaklioglu and Toros, 2011), therefore people tend to reply on electronic word-of-mouth when making purchase decision (Wu and Wang, 2011). Here are some examples of how social media influence the stage of information search. Retailers reports that they are asked by customers for cosmetics products of smaller brands that they saw on social media (Mass Retailers Look To Social Media For Niche Teen Brands, 2013). Est? e Lauder cooperates with the fashion and beauty blogger, Emily Schumann. Emily Schumann will be invited to post the article and video to talk about her favourite Est? e Lauder products on brand's website (Mintel, 2013). Despite preference of trying the cosmetics product in-store and asking the professional opinion from sales assistants when buying a cosmetics product, consumers also rely heavily on the electronic word-of-mouth and the convenience of information search via social media sites (Mintel, 2013).
             
              Information evaluation stage
             
              In order to evaluate all the information collected from the previous stage, a consumer need to form a list of criteria for product comparing; also consumer also will rank all of the criteria in terms of the importance in consumer's heart (Dibb at el. , 2012). Marketers of course try very hard to influence consumers in this stage. Two major approaches are used by marketers to influence this stage which are making products familiar and emphasising product attributes (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). Before social media is introduced, traditional marketing promotion is used to make cosmetics products familiar, such as fashion magazine, television advertising, out-door advertisement and press activity (Mintel, 2013). Since the advent of social media, it creates huge publicity for cosmetics product and the brand. For example, there are 6 million people like MAC Cosmetics Facebook page and 55 thousand people talk about this and there are 1. 1 million people like NARS Cosmetics Facebook page and 11 thousand people talk about this. Since consumers increasingly contribute more of their internet time on visiting social media sites, more familiarity and awareness of cosmetics products are generated via social media to influence consumers in the evaluation stage. Therefore, it is evident that more and more companies start to take social media into account in their marketing strategies in order to make the brand and the products more familiar to the customers (Rapp, Beitelspacher, Grewal and Hughes, 2013).
             
              Decision stage
             
              In this stage consumer executes the outcome of evaluation stage which is to buy the product that stands out from other alternatives after evaluate all the alternatives against consumer's criteria list. A consumer needs to decide where to buy the product and how they want to pay for the products in this stage (Dibb at el. , 2012). Dissatisfaction from payment terms and delivery time offered by retailers, long queue in the store and unfriendly sales assistants, could change consumer's mind to buy other products instead (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). The bricks-and-mortar stores still dominate cosmetics market because consumers prefer to try the product before buy it (Mintel, 2013). However, online sales start to gain market share due to social media engagement, trial sample delivery (Hamilton, 2012) and customer's belief that the best prices can be found online (Mintel, 2013). Taking Birchbox, an online shop earn more than 12 million a year with over 100,000 subscriber /customers in the U. S. as an example, consumers pay a small amount to Birchbox online shop to receive a box of samples of cosmetics brands, so that they can try it at home without visiting a real store on high streets before purchasing online. The content of the box are different every month, it consists of not only the major brands but also some small or new brands products which is a good way for small brands to reach more customers with relatively low cost. Those boxes create buzz on social media sites. Many customers of Birchbox upload their photos or videos on YouTube, Facebook or Blogs, and in result, more people know about Birchbox and buy the cosmetics products from them online (Hamilton, 2012). Online cosmetics shop takes advantage of social media's wild coverage and influence to let consumer adopt a concept that you can try the cosmetics you are interested in at home without visiting a really shop then you can place your order here as well after your trial. Another example of how social media change consumer's purchase behavior in cosmetics market is that in the old time, consumers choice the cosmetics product from what is available in the store, but since the introduce of social medial, consumers ask retailers to stock the bands that they saw on social media sites (Mass Retailers Look To Social Media For Niche Teen Brands, 2013).
             
              Post-purchase evaluation
             
              Consumer buying decision-making process does not end at the movement that transaction is made. Due to the time and effort consumer spent on information search and evaluation, consumer tend to do some level of evaluation to make sure whether or not their expectation toward a products or service is made (Brassington and Pettitt, 2013). In the past, when the post-purchase evaluation is negative, consumers may only passively decide not to buy this product again and generate negative word-of-mouth which only passed around acquaintances. Nowadays, unsatisfied customers generate electronic word-of-mouth and it could be passes fast and reach thousands of people. In addition to help the companies, receive social benefit, search purchase advice, reach self-enhancement and get economic rewards, customers also use electronic word-of-mouth to gain power over companies, express the positive and negative feelings and emotions and treat electronic word-of-mouth as an easier way for compensation (Henning-Thurau et al. , 2004). In other words, social media empower to consumers. The positive or negative electronic word-of-mouth generated from the post-purchase evaluation stage could influence the purchase decision of others via social media. Therefore, social media not only change consumer purchase behaviour before they actually buy a product, but also change their behaviour after the products are purchased. For example, in only two year, Est? e Lauder website collects more than 200,000 customer reviews since this function are created in 2009 (Bartholmess and Robinson, 2011)
             
              Brand loyalty
             
              Being engaging in social media, brands create positive influence of product and brand image on customers, improve the relationship with customers and boost customer loyalty (Baltazar, 2013; Laroche et al. , 2013). Loyal customers skip stages of information search and information evaluation and directly reach the purchase stage. A recent research show that nine out of ten customers will recommend a brand that they interact with on social media sites and four fifths of respondents claim that they tend to more products from the brand they interact with in the future (O'Reilly, 2013). In addition, more than 80 per cent of customers indicate that they will at least go for trail the brand's products after being exposed to a brand through social media and through consistently engaging with a brand's social media presence can turn customer to be more loyalty to the band (O'Reilly, 2013). Instead of focus on promoting products, social media is more used by companies to make conversation with customer on the emotion level. The closer customers feel about their relationship with the brand the more loyalty they could be. Take Benefit Cosmetics as an example, at twitter Benefit Cosmetics replies almost every tweet from costumers like the way they reply to their friend. Customers not only tweet Benefit Cosmetics to asking or complaining but most of time they tweet for sharing and caring; that means customers are transforming from a buyer to a loyalty customers.
             
              Conclusion
             
              Cosmetics market is lucrative globally and keeps growing even in the economic recession. With more and more people engage in social media and the time they spent on social media is keeping increasing, cosmetics companies are strive to engage in social media in order to communication with actual and potential customers. Small brands even more keen to put their marketing effort on social media because it is cost effective compared with many other form of marketing promotion. As people get tired of being passively exposed to the aggressive traditional advertising created by cosmetics companies to promote the products, social media provide a good alternative for consumer to seek and provide information for purchase decision making. Although it is unlikely to say that social media totally change the way people consume in female cosmetics market, but in fact social medial actually causes many changes in terms of consumer purchase decision making. After introduce of social media, consumers have more chance to realise that they are in need of a new cosmetics products. By browsing conversation of friend's Facebook about some cosmetics brands or products or noticing their friend "like" some cosmetics brand or checking their friend's tweet about the experience of using some cosmetics products. When search information, consumers rely heavily on electronic word-of-mouth generated from social media, because it is generally believed that its nature of being unbiased. For example, professional cosmetics bloggers, customer reviews, cosmetics forums all are good sources to gain information about cosmetics products. Customers can even just post their question on Facebook inviting their friend to give some feedback. Through social media brand have more chance to build up a relationship with their customer and customer can have a say via social media. A good relationship plays a key role of making customer loyalty and a loyalty customer will tend to buy more cosmetics product from the brand. Finally, social media enable unsatisfied consumers change their part from passively refuse to buy that products again to actively make negative electronic word-of-mouth via social media to influence other's purchase decision.
             
              Reference
             
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