Modern Retail

How Independents Can Capitalise on the Growth of the Beauty Sector

Beauty retail

Consumers are paying more attention than ever to personal care and appearance. Investment in skincare, general health and wellbeing – as well as beauty regimes – is on the up, with the UK beauty industry thriving in the face of high street challenges.

The proliferation of beauty bloggers, vloggers and influencers sharing their knowledge with engaged audiences on social networks has led to increased interest and a wave of innovation in the cosmetics sector – so much so that the traditional market leaders in the space are starting to lose their prominence.

When shopping for beauty products, consumer habits are also changing. Nothing is more personal than health and beauty, and cosmetics consumers have high expectations. These customers are no longer just content with ambling around instore or trawling through pages on websites to find the latest and greatest in beauty products. They want messages and offers that are both relevant and highly personal to them and their specific needs.

Creating a unique shopping experience through relevance and personalisation is critical, and can take many forms, but all brands should be striving to provide a genuinely useful and memorable interaction.  

Subscription boxes and memberships

Creating a subscription or membership model is one example that is proving successful for cosmetics businesses. It can provide customers with personalised guidance amidst a huge jungle of choice when it comes to products. Subscriptions and memberships allow for a customer profile to be built up, providing insights and analytics from which to tailor messages and deliveries. There really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to cosmetics; there are many different skin types, skin tones, diets and body compositions. As such, bespoke products and services are highly desirable. 

Skinsmiths is a brand that has implemented the membership model well. For a monthly fee, members can choose treatment plans from skin health to cosmetic medicine and laser hair removal, which is based on a free consultation at a convenient clinic. From the consultation, bespoke solutions are provided based on the results the customer is looking for. The treatment plans last for a period of time, meaning customers have chance to really give the products time to be effective.

Similarly, services such as Glossybox and Birchbox deliver new products to subscribers every month, allowing these customers to test various products out before committing to the whole product. These items are also personalised to customer needs and preferences, meaning consumers save time and money in finding their next beauty products and ultimately get something tailored to them. By filling out a questionnaire, customers build up a detailed profile of themselves which goes to inform the products chosen for delivery. 

Segmenting visitors with real-time behavioural profiling

For businesses looking to drive sales through their ecommerce site, real-time browsing behaviour analytics allow online retailers to deliver highly personalised recommendations and targeted messages. For example, by understanding that a visitor has looked through men’s fragrances as well as the gift category, it can be surmised that the customer is a ‘gift hunter’ interested in men’s fragrances. As such, they could be provided with recommendations on men’s fragrances that are also trending with gift purchases at that moment in time. This creates a convenient and efficient experience for the customer and is likely to drive them into purchase more quickly. 

Growing order values with recommendations 

In a similar vein, highlighting products that are often ‘purchased together’ can entice a beauty enthusiast to grow their order value. For example, a customer that is about to buy a foundation might also be interested in purchasing a primer and brush – or by highlighting better value in larger sizes, a customer may be encouraged to purchase a larger bottle of fragrance. Refreshment campaigns by email can also establish triggers so that customers will never run out of their favourite products.

Ultimately, for the independent health and beauty retailers that recognise how to deliver a personal touch to a customer that is valuable, emotive and targeted, the opportunities to connect and build long term loyalty are vast. 

Credit: Komal Helyer, VP Marketing, Pure360.

Holly Worthington

Holly Worthington