How are Brands Adapting to New Directions in Beauty Sales?
What new trends are we seeing in beauty retail amid the ongoing pandemic, and how are brands preparing for what is bound to be an unpredictable few months ahead?
Creating community and human connections online
Alongside connections in-store, it’s likely that beauty brands will continue to focus on delivering customer service online. While this used to amount to live chat, perhaps, or online tools for personalization, the pandemic has given rise to a more human approach, often made possible by redirecting retail sales jobs online.
Take Credo Beauty, for example, which was able to keep all its employees on the payroll during store closures. The beauty brand partnered with live chat platform Hero to facilitate live virtual appointments for customers. According to Hero, online customers who shop using Credo Live are up to 15 X more likely to make a purchase versus those who don’t. What’s more, sales via the technology now account for 15% of Credo Beauty’s total revenue. Deciem is another brand to utilize virtual appointments, enabling employees to deliver expert advice online – a crucial part of the buying journey for new skincare customers.
Again, this begs the question: If customers can receive the same advice and knowledge (delivered by the same employee) online as they do in-store, as well as the addition of greater convenience, why would they bother shopping in-store?
Of course, some people simply do prefer the physical experience of browsing on real shelves – as well as the social aspect of shopping with friends or family (when mixing is allowed). Ultimately, physical retail stores will always be in demand to a certain extent, but the pandemic has shown that it’s certainly possible to redirect certain aspects of it online.
Beauty retailer Space NK is another beauty retailer that has refocused on digital efforts, using virtual appointments as a tactic to drive sales during the pandemic. From a 20 minute ‘make-up bag refresh’ to a 15-minute ‘brand skincare spotlight’, the retailer offers specific consultations, effectively honing in on categories and topics across skincare, make-up, fragrance, and haircare. Alongside these bookable one-to-one appointments, Space NK has also set up ‘Space Live’, a new online platform for live-streaming, featuring influencers, industry experts, and brands.
These events, which deliver a deep-dive into a brand or product, are an effective driver of sales.
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