The $84 billion U.S. beauty market (as of 2016) has one of retail’s most complex customer experience challenges. While direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce is growing quickly, as is Amazon’s foothold in the space, there is still a unique relationship between beauty sales and the in-store experience. Research has found people who use cosmetics buy these products primarily for emotional reasons—how the product and brands make them feel. And the in-store experience and brand affiliation are both key components of how a beauty brand makes the consumer feel.To capture the spending of the well-informed, highly engaged, and loyal beauty customer, beauty brands must look to new ways to create innovative customer experiences across their omnichannel buyer’s journey.
Some retailers are investing heavily in in-store technology to create a personalized interaction for every shopper. Although this fills a need for self-service, brand-loyal customers, many others are seeking a unique experience with one-on-one, human interaction at its core. The beauty purchase is more than just a transaction—it’s an experience in itself. Despite the increased talk of same day delivery in e-commerce, plus buy online and pickup in-store (BOPIS), beauty is still very much a hands-on, impulse purchase. Consumers want that makeup counter experience of trying the product and leaving the store with the branded shopping bag in-hand that proclaims their shopping experience to the world.Savvy beauty retailers are attempting to find more ways for physical retail experiences and digital ones to blur, which is a significant challenge in a segment as high-touch and personal as beauty. AR apps like Sephora’s Virtual Artist are attempting to synthesize this experience in the convenience of the shopper’s phone. Technology like this allows a beauty brand to create a holistic customer experience across their channels, better integrating the online and offline customer experience.
Despite the increased talk of same day delivery in e-commerce, plus buy online and pickup in-store (BOPIS), beauty is still very much a hands-on, impulse purchase.
Here are three examples that showcase some of the more innovative and interesting recent examples of the beauty industry putting a focus on customer experience:
It’s no surprise that beauty innovators like these are focusing on customer experience to build long-lasting relationships. At Narvar, our data tells us that beauty customers are among the most engaged customers. On average, beauty customers engage with the Narvar tracking page 60% more than non-beauty customers. And those tracking pages are doing more than providing utility—with the ability to showcase new arrivals or local in-store events and to serve up content related to the purchase, they are driving consumers to brand websites to shop, engage and share. In essence, these personalized online experiences are transforming the transactional part of the online retail experience into one with the same emotional impact as handing the customer a shopping bag in a physical store.
Our data tells us that beauty customers are among the most engaged customers.
To see for yourself how these personalized landing pages are driving results for beauty, learn how Urban Decay saw 700% ROI with Narvar.
Tara is Director of Retail Strategy at Narvar. Her passion for innovative retail came from working in merchandising & ecommerce at leading global brands like Louis Vuitton, Walmart.com and Gymboree.