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Is it the 90s again already? It seems that way from the beauty trends that are dominating Gen Z culture as well as driving sales. Not only is prestige beauty revenue up 15% year over year, despite an economic downturn, the mass beauty market is set to increase at a CAGR of 5% through 2031, much of it driven by Gen Z using beauty products as major tools of self-expression.
To stay competitive, beauty retailers must adapt their marketing strategies to cater to the unique needs and expectations of their coming-of-age customers. Gen Zers are more likely than previous generations to experiment with newer, boutique brands; searching for unique products that cater to their values: choice, authenticity, and empowerment.
As NielsenIQ’s reporting shows, the beauty industry’s growth is increasingly distributed across smaller brands that can cater to the younger audience, by offering personalization both in their offerings and in their messaging.
Beauty as Self-Expression and Authenticity
In recent years, young consumers have increasingly sought out beauty products and experiences that align with their personal values and empower them to express their unique identity. According to an article on Harper’s Bazaar:
Beauty brands should also expect shoppers to challenge transparency, honesty and accountability in 2023. “Consumers demand more proof behind the claims that brands are making and for them to demonstrate the efficacy behind their products and ingredients,” Neirynck tells me. Marcia Kilgore, the visionary entrepreneur and founder of Beauty Pie, predicts that the industry will begin to embrace “radical fairness”, across everything from price points to product efficacy…beauty will facilitate unbridled experimentation for self-expression this year. Colour cosmetics will continue to bounce back post-pandemic, says Neirynck, with us “ready to tap into the latest trends and explore new product innovations”.
To capitalize on this trend, beauty retailers can use tools like Endear’s CRM to develop marketing campaigns that emphasize self-expression and authenticity:
- Segment customers based on their unique interests, values, and preferences, and tailor email & SMS messaging to resonate with these characteristics.
- Curate specific products and bundles of products that cater to diverse beauty needs, including offerings for various skin tones, hair types, and personal styles.
- Collaborate with influencers and content creators who embody the values of self-expression and authenticity, and share their Stories with your audience. Young consumers are very used to seeing their favorite influencers speak authentically on social media platforms, and Endear’s Shoppable Stories can mimic that style of content to better connect with shoppers.
- Use user-generated content to showcase real customers using your products, highlighting the diverse ways they can be used for self-expression. Again, showing this content in Shoppable Stories through targeted messaging has been shown to increase both conversions and average order value.
More Gen Z Males Embracing Beauty
The fluidity of identity in past years has been both a boon for self-expression as well as the beauty industry. With traditional gender norms being defied by Gen Z, more and more men have been experimenting with makeup, skin care, hair care, and more.
According to CMI, in 2021, the global male grooming market was valued around $55 billion. This market is expected to double by 2030. That’s serious growth, and beauty retailers that haven’t catered to men in the past should scramble to get in on the action. Again, brands can leverage their CRM platforms to target this growing segment with personalized marketing campaigns:
- Identify and segment male customers within your database, and develop targeted messaging that speaks to their unique needs and preferences.
- Curate product recommendations specifically for male customers, showcasing makeup products that are suitable for their skin type, complexion, and desired look. Have staff available to answer questions via SMS and email to drive 2-way conversations.
- Host events, workshops, or online tutorials that cater specifically to men interested in learning more about makeup application and techniques. Leverage geo-targeted messaging via CRM data to promote these events within a radius of your stores in order to increase foot traffic.
Cater to Consumer Interest in Research and Efficacy
Gen Z consumers are known for their commitment to researching the products they purchase, seeking out information on ingredients, product reviews, and brand values before making a decision. In fact, Tales of RDSI Research (via Vogue Business) says that they “have emerged as researchers ‘to the point of interrogation.’” The article goes on to say:
According to Good Light’s Engert, the brand’s consumers research between five to 10 ingredients before purchasing a product, exploring all the ingredients used in a formulation. Brands are responding by trying to make that process easier, providing extra information and playing the role of educators.
Beauty retailers can use Endear's CRM to cater to this information-driven audience:
- Share educational content that delves into the science behind your products, highlighting the benefits of key ingredients and explaining how they work. Showcasing experts (gurus, influencers, even scientists) via Shoppable Stories talking about each ingredient can be effective content to drive both awareness and sales.
- Encourage and share customer reviews, testimonials, and before-and-after photos to provide social proof of your products' efficacy.
- Partner with industry experts, dermatologists, or scientists to provide credible information on the effectiveness of your products. Then segment customers by the products they have purchased to send them highly-relevant content. This can be automated to send just a day after their purchase through your CRM.
Personalization at this level and scale is the type of clienteling that has proven effective across beauty brands to drive higher engagement, leading to more sales.
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