Why Adopt an Omnichannel Strategy to Grow Beauty Brands in 2023?
Beauty brands are gearing up for a new challenge in 2023 - shifting their focus to e-commerce to remain competitive in a rapidly changing retail market. The dramatic shift in customer behaviour and their growing need for a richer experience are favourably attracting many customers to access, transact with, and engage with eCommerce beauty businesses such as Nykaa, Purplle, Bodyshop, Inglot, Bodycafe, and more.
These companies have grown their businesses significantly by effectively addressing the Achilles heel of beauty stores like store closure during the pandemic, reliance on local customers to increase in-store footfalls, safe shopping experience, and availability of genuine products from respective brands.
But is this transition phase to eCommerce stores sufficient to match steps in the industry and grow online beauty brands? Would this herd mentality work in this age of crushing competition?
The answer is a strict no-no! Beauty brands must differentiate their offers, attract and delight customers with a seamless shopping experience to ensure overall growth.
Why do beauty brands need omnichannel strategies?
Tapping into customer mindset: A more robust omnichannel strategy helps better understand customer mindset and the reason behind their buying pattern. It can help understand a customer's behaviour, like why a customer is leaving a physical store & browsing an online store of the brand, and vice versa, and when they want to make that purchase.
Boost purchase rates: A prominent research says that marketers using three or more channels (omnichannel) in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign. It shows a clear trend that customers prefer omnichannel driven brands.
Better customer engagement: Marketers that use three channels or more in their campaigns also saw more than 18% engagement, compared to only 5% for single-channel campaigns. Customers who purchased spent 13% more on those channels.
Mesmerizing phygital experience: Phygital (Physical + Digital) is a form of contactless shopping experience that combines elements like voice, gesture, and contactless navigation to facilitate virtual try-on for shoppers to sample products safely. It facilitates zero queues and eliminates wait time at stores to get your hands on the latest product, stay infection-free, and shop responsibly. AR technology is a brimming example of trying beauty products like lip colour, gloss sets, and eyeliners from anywhere before purchasing.
Collect & analyze customer data: It is almost impossible to keep track of customers who interact with the brand in various ways if retailers don't have an omnichannel strategy. Beauty brands can get customer data from these channels and turn it into a single view as customers interact across multiple platforms. It's like putting together online and offline data, which also shows where customers go and what they do, so it can help you learn about them.
Coherent communication: Customer interaction via print, online, television, mobile, retail point-of-sale, gaming, and social media is now a reality. The same customer may be getting the brand’s communication on various channels. The variation in tone, experience, and overall message can irritate the customer. So a seamless and uniform experience across all devices and channels are required. This seamless experience is the omnichannel strategy's greatest strength.
Beauty Brands that are doing omnichannel the right way
Glossier, the quintessential “cool-girl” brand, was founded by Emily Weiss and is one of the first brands to be born out of social media and make products designed with the actual beauty routine of the customers in mind.
They missed out on potential in-store revenue as they were a direct-to-consumer, e-commerce-only brand. It is no longer the case now as Glossier established its flagship store in New York City in 2018. The new physical retail location was established to bring the brand's online identity to life, allowing for a seamless transition from digital to in-store.
Every inch of the store is Instagrammable, from the plush, colourful sofas and sculptural display cases to the mirror area brimming with larger-than-life Glossier makeup tubes. Online customers can visit this store to enter the Glossier world, look at the product, try it, feel it, and pamper themselves.
MAC Cosmetics is the world’s leading professional makeup authority that has created an experience centre in Shanghai to provide clients a seamless shopping experience that includes product discovery, social engagement, and contactless in-app purchasing.
Digital totems greet customers on entry and invite them to scan for a check-in using MAC's WeChat mini-program. Customers will then receive a personalized greeting and use WeChat in-store.
Customers can use a customizable build your palette station that allows them to drag & drop and select their favourite shades of lipstick and eye shadow. They can transfer the shade by scanning using the WeChat app for later purchases.
The interactive foundation table detects the items and displays product details, video tutorials, and even links to social reviews on Xiahongshu (Little red book). From here, MAC Cosmetics customers can migrate the cart from screen to WeChat and pay natively in-app.
The order is then placed and generates a QR code to pick up the purchase at the counter. A customer can choose from six influencer-created palettes and customize them to their tastes. On the second floor, an open platform space for master classes and influencer events enables influencers to host their events and generate their content.
When it comes to creating new experiences for customers, Benefit cosmetics "Brow Bar" experiences are a great example of an omnichannel strategy, which usually has small pop-up brow bars and product displays within other cosmetics retail locations such as Sephora, The Bay, and Nordstrom.
Benefit Cosmetics avoids above-the-line promotion favoring an omnichannel strategy that includes social media, mobile app, and an intelligent combination of online & physical services. For example, the brand previously introduced a loyalty rewards program through its mobile application.
Customers could arrange a brow wax at a Benefit BrowBar, and after each wax, the brow expert would scan the customer's phone to replenish their points balance. The brow bar experience amplified Benefit Cosmetics' presence in these sales locations and aided in driving both in-store and online sales.
The company launched another successful omnichannel campaign for BrowMobile, which featured an online competition advertised only on Instagram, which assisted the business in increasing its market share for Benefit Cosmetics by 60%.
It's no secret that customers want a seamless omnichannel experience, and it's even less of a secret that beauty brands are having trouble delivering one. But the fact remains–customers are demanding an actual omnichannel experience. And if brands want to meet their needs, they need to adopt an omnichannel strategy.
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