As retail slows and new businesses and brands emerge, nobody will be surprised if the resulting industry growth is escalating online. For cosmetics brands and beauty companies, the same trend can be expected.
The beauty and cosmetics industry as a whole, while growing on a global level is predicted to increase and reach under $863 billion by 2024. Over the next years, cosmetics and beauty brands will grow even more, but beyond an increase in rivalry and competition, they too will have their own industry challenges to face. A few years ago brands could get by a simple website that allows customers to buy products at an affordable price but today customers are more informed.
If you are in the beauty retailing business, here are 4 common ecommerce challenges you should know about.
Customers Are More Informed and Connected
You are probably reading this on your device, be it your computer, phone or tablet. It proves how connected the world has become. As a result of this strong connectivity, customers today have more access to information which means they will be able to compare, price shop, learn more about the products they purchase, and the benefits of using them.
Experiential Retail and Showrooms
As beauty retail stores continue to close, brands are starting to experiment with the gap left. For cosmetics and beauty brands, information is available about their products and many potential customers will want to try the products for themselves.
A great example is Sephora. The brand has embraced the new Tesla style showroom concept and allows shoppers free makeovers with $50 purchase and testers for every product. They recently launched their Color IQ facial scanning technology to help customers find the perfect skin tone match.
Modernizing Effects of Ecommerce
By monitoring trends in the beauty industry, experts knew that H2O + Beauty couldn’t return to relevance without a focus on online selling and ecommerce.
If you check H2O+ product page, you will notice that one of the center items are the ingredients in their products. They also use social media to show their products, explain how their products work, and the benefits of using them.
One of the biggest challenges to the beauty retailing industry is the creation of content. With so many beauty products being produced and so much content being shared, creating a brand voice that appeals to potential customers is the first component. After the content is created, being able to monetize it and turn visitors into customers is even more challenging.
When first searching for new retailing beauty products, customers turn to online outlets. Between the suggestions and recommendations from friends, to reviews on websites, and information regarding ingredients, Google is the first place people start looking. The second is YouTube.
YouTube is considered the second most used search engine in the US and the amount of beauty-related content there is impressive.
Tapping Into Bloggers and Influencers
For years, celebrities have been paid to put their name on a product or service and talk about it. These endorsements are one of the oldest and most effective marketing concepts around. With the rise in social media and technology, this has resulted in the shift of famous bloggers and influencers. While celebrities can easily become influencers, consumers who market their names as a brand have a huge list of followers and produce content that speaks to a specific niche. Fashion, cosmetics, and beauty brands are some of the largest areas for bloggers and influencers which in turn makes it a huge challenge for beauty brands. There is a large demand for influencers and not a lot of transparency around the whole concept.
It is easy to see how many people your beauty brand reaches with influencers based on the number of likes, followers, and shares.
To effectively track the success of influencer marketing, marketers need to determine clear goals around their campaigns. Beauty marketers need to define the KPIs that help them measure their results and success against these goals.
Free delivery? Free two-day shipping? I’ll have that! Thanks, Amazon! If Prime Shipping isn’t free, Amazon has set a precedent when it comes to shipping times and as a result, beauty brands will have to face the growing need for quick gratification.
For hair supplies, cosmetics, and beauty products, it is easy to walk to your retailer or store to get a product. Where does that leave online or ecommerce brands? You have two options – you can either compete with Amazon’s shipping approach or offer in-store pickup. It is all about the illusion or in other words, offering the appearance of free shipping while increasing the prices at the same time.
Compete With The Big Names
With so much content, competitors, and influencers online, where does that leave new beauty brands trying to enter the beauty retailing industry? Or brands competing with large companies and successfully established businesses? The short answer is that online customer experience needs to be better than the retailers and big brands.
Selling beauty products directly to customers has significant benefits, however selling products through retailers surely comes with its advantages. For example, Schwartz suggests using retailers to sell limited-edition products that will generate awareness around the store. Once you have customers hooked on the products you offer, providing exclusive content on the brand’s website provides them a good reason to visit your website over the retailer’s. If you sell products through Sephora, you could include messaging on the package that directs the customer to visit a landing page for extra tips and special offers.
Once the customer reaches the website, customizing the shopping experience to their specific needs is a good strategy to encourage return visits. You could also align product recommendations with other products they viewed or purchased.
There you go – the main ecommerce challenges beauty brands face and how to overcome them.
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