Battling Covid and Disruptors - the beauty sector needs to digitally transform fast
To say the beauty industry has hit a stumbling block is an understatement. With real world access denying customers the chance to try and test products in store with or without guidance, and new digital disruptors like Glossier challenging previously held assumptions, many beauty product buyers are condensing their entire path to purchase into an online experience on their mobile and tablet devices.
But are brands responding fast enough to these new customer behaviours? How can they best ensure their digital properties genuinely find the sweetspot between their customers’ needs and their own business goals?
1. Use data to personalise
Making sense of the wealth of data accumulated from your online customer interactions can lead to the definition and delivery of a more achievable set of KPI’s.
Remember that turning the magnifying lens of data onto the key areas of onsite behaviour can reap massive rewards, with the resulting tweaks in UX delivering real incremental value to your bottom line.
For example, just look at the realities of your basket flow. Are you understanding the customer drop off, are you using personalised messaging in your e-CRM to nudge towards repurchase or purchase completion?
Ask yourself, is your data-driven KPI framework focused on tracking and measuring the correct events so that you can achieve real learnings?
2. Make personal recommendations
Personalising product pages allow for optimised customer journeys. Your time challenged customer can directly enter a page which is useful and relevant to them, and clear, designed with your goals in mind CTA’s will direct them not only onwards down the funnel but reduce bounce rates taking them to purchase products that they are interested in.
Personalise pages with first names, celebrate their birthdays and send them their favourite products once they’ve signed up to a subscription.
Being able to tailor offers to your customers depending on how they have arrived at your site, their onsite behaviours and their previous purchases is essential to growing your online beauty sales. You will automatically see an increase in engagement when you are showing your customer tailored products and offers.
3. Test, Learn and Test again
To genuinely understand if your efforts are achieving the very best results you need to adopt an energetic and focused test, learn and test again mindset. This should be part of your continuous process of improvement, and without it you will be stumbling around in the dark. It would tantamount to assuming that your digital platform was “finished”.
Your platform can always be optimised - and you will always need to stay ahead of the game, and your competitors and keep up with speed of your changing customer behaviours. The surest way to do this is to test! Create hypotheses and challenge them...constantly. Listen to the truth that lies in your customers’ behaviours.
Brands like Glossier know the extreme importance of listening to what their Users want and aligning this to their brand identity of being a people-powered beauty ecosystem. Are you listening to your Users and aligning this with your strategy?
4. Win the SEO battle
Customer testimonials add content to your site, and they help you look more valuable and more believable to those who are exploring your site for the first time.
Testimonials, along with reviews and ‘trust ratings’ can add that extra value and support when a customer is unsure whether to buy a product or even shop from you as a brand. They can go into more detail and can go that extra mile rather than a thumbs up or thumbs down review.They create a deeper, more emotional appeal for your product and brand. Positive testimonials help you trust a business significantly more, it resolves any objections and increases that final push of confidence in the buying process.
Testimonial statistics show that using reviews and testimonials can improve search engine optimisation (SEO) and win more search traffic. In an annual Google Local Rankings Survey, they found that reviews accounted for 15.44% of how Google ranks a local business. This shows the power of consumer opinions.
5. The power of relevant content
The power of social has changed how we shop beauty. Beauty brands are hugely active with influencers on Instagram or YouTube. Clearly there are learning to be had and apply some of those to the onsite experience.
Beauty-related content on Youtube has risen from 59 Billion views in 2016 to 200 Billion views in 2020. Consumer’s love the directness, the personality and the informative content. Use this understanding on your site. Users spend 88% more time on a website that has video. This is where the digital world takes brands to a higher, more connected level.
Tying your brand to those step by step guides in social or onsite can aid understanding and be a useful engine for up-selling.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your Customer Journey personalised to your customer?
- How are you ensuring they return after the first purchase?
- How are you promoting Diversity and Inclusion throughout your brand and is that translating on your website?
- Do you understand who your customer is and do you have real insights on their behaviours?
- Are you keeping your finger on the pulse of how your consumers are shopping and are you adapting your site accordingly?
If you answered YES! to all of them you are doing better than most. If you are struggling to find the answers and the sweetspot where your customers needs align with your business goals, you should talk to the experts.
The industry has shown tremendous growth, with a projected market value of $805.51 billion in sales by 2023. One reason for such rapid growth? Cosmetics consumption — and new innovation ideas — are now born out of digital-first spaces.