The beauty industry is a huge market worldwide, with the USA as the biggest player, followed by China and Japan. We are all familiar with the brick-and-mortar cosmetics stylish shops and their testing products, but what about beauty eCommerce? What are the must-have features of your cosmetics website that actually sell products? What are the challenges that come with it? Let’s discuss more the important aspects of a beauty eCommerce shop, ways to improve it and strategies to attract more customers.
According to an Ipsos survey, most consumers are satisfied with the products they currently use and are not looking to try out new beauty products. In this particular industry, brand loyalty and trust in its products are really hard to beat. New brands are always struggling to attract new customers.
Whether you’re a veteran or a new merchant in the beauty industry and you are flirting with the beauty eCommerce idea, keep reading. We’ve got great info for you.
Beauty eCommerce Insights
The eCommerce beauty industry faces some unique challenges when selling products online. It’s always harder to convince a customer to purchase a product without being able to test it first. At the same time, cosmetics consumers show an increased interest in buying beauty products online, adding pressure on brands to come up with new ways to improve the shopping experience.
Beauty eCommerce challenges:
- Showing how products work and their benefits without the possibility to test them
- Competing with other brands
- Convincing customers to come back
- Inspiring shoppers to believe in the brand
- Teaching customers to use the products
- Offering a user-friendly and improved shopping experience
- Promoting products online
Cosmetics are not the cheapest things out there, so it’s only normal that shoppers are reluctant to buy new products without being able to test them and see if they are good for them. Customers want to feel for themselves if a product is suitable for them or not. Although recently a lot of brands are implementing virtual try-on apps, it might still not be enough for consumers who are looking for hands-on experience before making a purchase. That’s one huge benefit of selling cosmetics in physical stores. Beauty eCommerce can’t beat that, but there are ways to provide this real experience to customers when you’re an online merchant. We’ll discuss this in the lines that follow.
Beauty eCommerce Solutions To Retain Customers
- Study customer behavior – keep an eye on the customers’ buying behavior, frequency and look for ways to keep them interested in your products.
- Offer free testing kits and samples to your customers – when you ship orders, make sure you include some free samples of featured products.
- Let your customers sell your products – use user-generated content to promote your products. Use tools like Photoslurp and Trusted Shops to help you with this strategy.
- Use online chat to increase customer engagement and be available for direct communication. You can use chatbots to streamline this process.
- Offer subscription & loyalty programs.
- Do something special and memorable for your customers – use a personal touch in your interaction with your shoppers. Tag them on social media, offer special birthday gifts, write a thank you note for their purchase, anything you can think of, do it. Your customers will appreciate it.
- Focus on customer service.
- Create videos to explain how your products work.
- Organize events where people can come and test your products.
- Promote the unique features of your brand – let you customers know what you stand for (cruelty-free products, recyclable products, organic, etc.)
- Emphasize the benefits of your products – show customers what your products can do, sell them the big picture and the way your products can make them feel. Insist on special looks, confidence, wellness, solutions to specific problems and so on.
- Survey your customers to find out what you need to work on and how you can improve your business.
- Address concerns, objections and questions your customers might have. Doing this helps boost the image of your company. Not doing it kills it.
- Create “Shop the Look” offers.
- Offer bundled products to increase the average order value and to promote new products.
- Make sure your product descriptions and categories are clear and focused on the needs and problems of the customers; differentiate similar products by adding additional information specific to each product, this way you avoid confusing the shopper.
- Use quizzes to define your shoppers’ needs. Sephora is a good source of inspiration, check them out here.
- Expand to multi-channel selling, like Amazon.
- Invest in AI-powered apps to offer your shoppers a unique shopping experience.
Beauty eCommerce Marketing
The cosmetics and beauty industry is the most affected by influencer marketing. Marketing strategies should not be limited to traditional likes and followers. Considering that roughly 80% of consumers stated they purchased cosmetics only after checking Instagram posts and reviews, it’s safe to say cosmetics merchants need to go in this direction to up their game.
Shoppers are mostly influenced by their close ones (family, friends) and they trust their opinion more than any commercial or advertisement. However, famous bloggers and vloggers also influence customers with various tutorials and review videos. They are considered a trustworthy source and followers tend to be influenced by their reviews. That’s the reason why most brands choose to work with influencers on social media, building a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
Beauty is personal, very personal. Brands try to build strong relationships with consumers from all walks of life and based on all sorts of needs. The more you focus on needs, the more you have to gain. Use social media channels as much as possible to raise brand awareness.
Don’t limit yourself to just Instagram and Facebook. Pinterest is a very popular channel with millions of visitors. Use videos to show what your product can do, promote featured products, create looks and paint the big picture to your visitors. A video has much more influence over people than a lengthy, detailed description. Create fun and engaging videos and encourage people to comment and share.
User-generated content (UGC) is valuable in any business, especially in the beauty sector. Statistics say roughly 67% of consumers search for UGC on social media before purchasing. Seeing how a product works on a person in real life has much more influence over consumers than seeing photos taken by professionals. Ads can be great, but a real-life experience is worth much more for a shopper.
Reviews also make a huge difference for shoppers. The younger the shopper, the more reviews they read before purchasing cosmetics. As a merchant, you can encourage your shoppers to leave reviews after they get the chance to test your product and reward their effort with free samples, products, discounts for the next purchase and so on.
The trend is to use marketing strategies that encourage personal recommendations, influencers, and unique experiences. Here are some beauty eCommerce marketing tips:
- Target your audience to promote products they like the most.
- Drive engagement by using Facebook live videos and make it fun!
- Build a community around your brand.
- Reward their loyalty.
- Attract new customers with special offers.
- Create competitions.
- Host giveaways events and promotions.
In a highly competitive industry, you need to stand out with excellent customer service, clear benefits and differences between your products, paint the big picture for your shoppers, and make them feel special. Always work on your blind spots, improve the website’s UX and performance, create appealing marketing promotions and constantly adjust to new technologies.
Ecomitize can help you build a top-notch beauty eCommerce website or optimize your current one. Our expertise in eCommerce makes us the perfect partner for your new adventure. Check out our work in beauty eCommerce and contact us to discuss your needs and great solutions for your Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce or Shopify website!