• Market Research

Getting to the Root of the U.S. DTC Men’s Shaving Market

Team InMobi
4 min read
Posted on September 30, 2019

Does this guy look familiar?

How about this guy?

Chances are good that either you or lots of people you know now have some sort of beard or facial hair. This may be great news to the beard aficionados among us, but it’s bad news for the makers of men’s razors.

While men used to shave 3.7 times a month on average, that has recently fallen to 3.2 times a month, according to Gillette. As a result, between 2014 and 2018, the men’s shaving market contracted by more than 11%. In August 2019, Gillette was forced to take an $8 billion writedown as a result.

But amidst this change in grooming habits, a new breed of men’s razor brands have emerged. Led by the likes of Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) model has upended the men’s razors market in the U.S.

These two major brands are much newer than the established stalwarts, but they have already managed to snap up 10% of the men’s razors market in the U.S. No wonder both were purchased by major brands in the last few years.

Who in particular is using these DTC razor brands, and are they really capturing a market that’s decidedly different than those using legacy brands like Schick and Gillette? To find out, we turned to InMobi Pulse data.

We analyzed the mobile websites of Schick, Dollar Shave Club and Gillette, along with the apps from Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club and Philips Norelco (Grooming: shaving and styling). Using our carrier-verified, high-quality data, we can see what makes their customers tick.

InMobi Pulse builds a holistic understanding of consumers across data sources ranging from the InMobi ad exchange, which reaches 1.6 billion users globally, to permissively-sourced deterministic first-party carrier data to stated feedback directly from the customers. So what does the data reveal?

Overview of Our Findings

Upstart DTC Brands

  • Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s do comparatively well with wealthier individuals (those making $100,000 or more annually).
  • People with the Dollar Shave Club app on their phone are likely to have pizza apps from Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Little Caesar’s on their phone.
  • A significant portion of those with the Harry’s app on their phone are classified by Experian as Jet Set Urbanites. Their app audience is clustered in and near major urban centers throughout the country. Many of these app owners also have the Sweatcoin and Hilton Honors apps on their phone, and a significant percentage are employed as business executives.
  • According to Apptopia, from April through September of this year, the Dollar Shave Club app was downloaded over 410,000 times in the U.S., and the Harry’s iOS app was downloaded more than 62,000 times.

Legacy Brands' Websites

  • It should come as no surprise that these properties are overwhelmingly male, although over 70% of the people who come to Schick’s website are female. This shows how the bottom lines of brands like Schick are becoming dependent on female razor sales amidst changes in male grooming habits.
  • Legacy brands like Schick do better with older individuals 56+.
  • The bulk of their web audiences make under $75,000 annually.
  • Over half of those going to the websites of Schick and Gillette are Non-White.
  • People who visit these sites are likely to have the Facebook Messenger and Wish apps on their smartphones.

Legacy Brand App

  • The Philips Norelco lifestyle app has close to 38% of its audience aged between 26 and 35 years old.
  • App audiences are majority White for all brands.
  • 36% of their audience is employed in clerical/office positions.
  • The Philips Norelco app has the highest percentage of app owners with some college, at 40%.
  • Compared to the other properties, this Philips Norelco app has a greater share of its app owners classified as college students, news junkies, “young and free” millennials and people currently planning a wedding.

Summary of Findings

So what does our data reveal? Shaving apps, including apps from older brands like Philips Norelco, have successfully cultivated an audience among wealthier, White male millennials living in major urban centers, while the websites of Gillette and Schick skew older and are Non-White.

Interested in learning more? Reach out today to talk with one of our experts.

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