Women prefer direct-to-consumer beauty brands that are environmentally conscious and use diverse representation, according to a survey by commerce marketing cloud provider Yotpo.

Yotpo surveyed 1,875 women who indicated that they do at least half of their shopping online and prefer to purchase beauty products directly from the brand. A majority of respondents (1,000) hailed from the US, while the rest were from the UK. Generation groups consisted of a 500/500/500/373 split of Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers, respectively.

A majority of those surveyed indicated an affinity for brands that use diverse models both in ethnicity (75 percent) and body type (84 percent).

A majority (65.8 percent) also bought beauty products directly from the brand via its ecommerce site even though it was available through third-party retailers. When asked why, respondents indicated a better selection, better price and convenience.

When selecting a brand to purchase from, the most important factors were that the product was organic/clean, eco-friendly and that the brand used diversity/inclusion in its marketing. Overall nearly half (49 percent) of respondents prefer brands that were founded by women. This is especially important among Millennials (aged 23-38) and Gen Z (aged 14-22) and among US respondents.

At 46.6 percent, reviews are listed at the most influential in making purchase decisions, followed by referrals and word of mouth at 43.7 percent. The next most effective channel is brand emails at just 18.8 percent. Influencers weren’t as influential as third-party referrals in the minds of consumers, with only 12.6 percent listing them as a motivating factor.

Yotpo’s findings are similar to a 2019 study by Atlantic Re:think that found approximately 55 percent of Gen Z consumers (aged 14-24) said they use products recommended by a friend. However, the study found a bit more (36 percent) used products advocated by an influencer.

Just over a third (36 percent) listed positive reviews as the top purchase motivator for products they “don’t really need.” The two youngest age groups, Gen Z and Millennials, preferred customer-posted photos and video content over owned channels.

Yotpo found that a majority of its beauty consumer respondents belonged to one or more loyalty programs. Amazon Prime was the most common, followed by “other retailer,” “beauty retailer” and “beauty brand.” Only 16 percent did not participate in a loyalty program of this kind.

In January, Sephora announced an update to its Beauty Insider program that gives members more perks, especially for their birthdays. The global beauty market is predicted to grow to $750 billion by 2024, according to Inkwood research, giving brands even more motivation to keep existing customers happy.