Conquering the beauty ecommerce landscape in the new normal

By Kiran Patil|19th Sep 2020
With changing purchase patterns owing to the pandemic, the beauty and cosmetic industry has witnessed a marked increase in their sales by taking the ecommerce route and leveraging social media channels to lure more customers.
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In the midst of social distancing norms, limitations on in-person services and mask requirements, the beauty industry is undergoing a rapid transformation because of the pandemic. Customers are changing spending habits, inching towards products that mimic the salon experience at home and expecting assurance of safety in the buying process.


Some of the beauty brands initially reacted by catering to the immediate demand for personal hygiene products. As COVID is going to be around for some time to come, they need to consider various other strategies to sustain themselves in the new normal and prepare for it accordingly.


In this article, I examine the latest trends in the beauty industry and key ways to conquer it:

Growing prominence of ecommerce as a channel

L’Oreal, the global beauty brand witnessed an increase of 52% in ecommerce sales due to the pandemic.


Sellers who focused on a multi-channel strategy to target users surpassed their competitors who opted for just the offline route. Beauty brands struggling with lower brick-and-mortar sales need to leverage the power of digital marketing.


Personalisation of the website to cater to the unique interests of different users will significantly enhance the customer experience. Best practices for improving the customer experience include tracking beauty trends and leveraging keyword search to boost traffic and conversions.


Companies should make efficient use of augmented reality for testing and customisation to give the customers a virtual “in-store experience”.


Beauty businesses must use various ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart (US), and Flipkart (India), to sell their products. Smaller brands have also been exploring FB Shops as a medium to reach their target audience. Selling beauty products in such places will give them a bigger platform to lure customers and sell products.




Personal hygiene products are the near future

Categories of precautionary products such as soaps, sanitisers, and wet wipes are going to be in high demand even after the pandemic. Due to constant hand-washing, skin care products like hand creams and moisturisers will also observe a higher demand.


Therefore, cosmetic manufacturers have the opportunity to tap into this demand and fulfill consumer needs.

Rising demand for personal protective care

Due to the rising awareness about self-protection, buyers have started demanding preventive measures in the manufacturing and delivery process. Assurance of safety, from both health and environmental perspectives, has become a prerequisite for brands.


Businesses should adopt innovative strategies like paraben-free cosmetics, eco-friendly ingredients, and recyclable packaging for products. Brands must extensively research to understand consumer sentiments.


According to the Global Data Covid-19 report, a significant number of consumers expect beauty brands to give tips on health and wellbeing. For this, I recommend writing quality-blogs on personal websites or guest-posting on prominent sites. Additionally, the content on the website or ecommerce listings can be tailored to showcase the preventive measures taken. This will further increase the relevance of the business.

Home beauty will be the new mantra

Recently, there has been a significant increase in search for “easy-to-use” and “above-the-mask” make-up items. According to a research study done by Nielsen, the beauty industry consumers are looking for more natural and simpler products. Alibaba reported a 150% increase in sales for eye-cosmetics in 2020 as compared to 2019.


Sellers in this sector can exploit this demand by renovating their online-offerings. Products like eye kajal, mascara, eye shadow, and other above the mask cosmetics could be offered by brands who don’t already sell them. The promotion strategy can extensively focus on the use of such products along with masks.


Brands should also feature DIY methods such as easy to make honey masks, how to make moisturisers at home, tips to use daily kitchen ingredients for beauty, etc. Brands much build such content on their websites to further engage their customers for long-term loyalty.

Dependence on social media

Most consumers spend significant time browsing beauty products on social media platforms. They rely on them to observe ongoing trends. Beauty brands can capitalise on browsing behaviour and deploy innovative digital campaigns and offers to attract users to their online stores.


An extensive retargeting ad strategy will further lure the customers back to their websites and increase conversions.


Brands must leverage social channels to connect with their consumers consistently by posting engaging content. Best practices involve the use of social media advancements like Instagram’s in-app checkout and Pinterest’s shoppable pins to enhance customer engagement.


Beauty tutorials can be uploaded on Youtube to increase the relevance and reach of the brand. Influencer marketing and user-generated content have helped various brands such as Kylie Cosmetics and Colourpop to compete with legacy brands such as Estee Lauder. Partnering prominent beauty bloggers can be a great way to help improve relatability.




Conclusion

All in all, beauty brands must adopt tailored ecommerce strategies, renovate product offerings, and prioritise social and health responsibility to remain relevant in the new normal. The tips mentioned above can be considered by such businesses while moving forward in the post-COVID-19 world.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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