The Digitalization of Beauty in 2023
Despite uncertainty in the economy and due to the pandemic, the beauty industry continues to flourish. We're looking at how this timeless industry has used new communication methods to innovate and lead the way.
By Robert Woo, Writer @ Endear
After years of pandemic woes, beauty brands saw a sizable increase in sales in 2022 as consumers returned both to stores and to socializing en masse. And these new and old shoppers weren’t afraid to splurge a bit with prestige beauty categories seeing a 15% year-over-year revenue growth.
In 2023, the outlook continues to look good for the beauty industry. But with increased spend in a category also comes increased competition. Especially as consumers seek out more and more in-store shopping experiences, it can be difficult for beauty brands to not only cater to their core clientele with online marketing campaigns, but to keep them loyal to the products your business sells in a crowded marketplace.
So how can your brand keep ahead of your competition?
Personalization Through Digitalization
A major trend in beauty that has been driving sales for the top brands is embracing technology to make browsing, testing, and buying a more personal experience. We already know that personalization is the #1 factor when driving increasing sales across all industries, and beauty brands have been diving blushed-cheek first into the technologies that make shopping a more intimate experience.
Research showed that customers who received personalized product recommendations were 75% more likely to make a purchase. It’s no coincidence that Sephora, the top beauty brand that saw a “record performance” in 2022 in terms of revenue, is also the top beauty brand in Sailthru’s 2022 Retail Personalization Index.
Sephora boosted their sales by offering an excellent mobile experience that offered personalized product recommendations, a valuable loyalty program, and speedy communication between shoppers and their team.
But how can your brand, which may not have quite the deep pockets like Sephora, also offer personalization through a digital experience?
Enter Endear’s Shoppable Stories.
Shoppable Stories leverage the data within your instance of Endear’s CRM to create personalized curations for segments of your audience, and enable brands to deliver these digital lookbooks directly to their smartphones via SMS or email.
Let’s look at a few ways beauty brands are using Shoppable Stories to engage with shoppers on a personal level.
71% of consumers want and expect brands to provide personalized interactions, and get frustrated when they don’t. And personalization drives sales. During the holidays, consumers were more likely to shop with brands that customized and catered to their personal needs.
Shoppable Stories is a simple and effective way to provide a level of personalization at any stage in the customer’s journey. Your team can curate specific items for product discovery, introducing clients to a line of items perfect for them. And because they know these recommendations have been created just for them, your customers will not only be more apt to open and consider these promotions, but to act on them.
Shoppable Stories are also designed to be visually impressive showcases of your product recommendations because visuals matter. Again, the digitization of beauty has conditioned the audience to expect high-quality video and images, and to see the beauty products in action. And surveys show that 88% of consumers feel the brand experience is just as important as the products themselves.
Stories allow teams to deliver that personal experience to a customer’s mobile device, providing a digital experience that doesn’t have to break the bank like AR or VR methods that can be impractical for some brands.
Personalized Beauty Routines & Reminders
Personalization doesn’t end when you hand over the receipt for the purchase. The best brands continue the conversation with their customers because they know that the customer’s journey continues on through new product discovery, brand loyalty, and returning to purchase more throughout their lives. The beauty industry especially thrives on returning customers who have a constant need to replenish their favorite products.
More and more Endear clients are using Shoppable Stories to continue that conversation in different, tech-forward ways. In fact, the idea behind Stories was to mimic the style of social media platforms that so many consumers, especially younger ones, visit to learn about the products that they have just purchased.
In this way, Shoppable Stories can serve as a daily or weekly beauty routine knowledge base delivered right to the customer’s phone. For example, your team can segment your audience to whoever recently purchased certain contouring products and send styling Stories with new ways to use the product, new combinations to try, and related products that are also available. These Stories also serve as reminders to constantly use the products, instead of letting recent purchases languish in the bathroom drawer.
And because Shoppable Stories always include a link back to purchase each featured item, it can serve as an effective way for customers to reorder products when they get low. This increases sales frequency while providing a personalized service.
2-Way Conversational Clienteling
Customers buy more from brands they trust and have a relationship with, and nothing increases trust and elevates a relationship like having a back-and-forth communication. This is the true crux of clienteling, and the secret to personalization.
We’ve seen this time and again with retail brands who put in the effort of communicating with their audience, who see sales increase as well as loyalty due to the 2-way conversations they engage in. And today, since the conversations happen so often via SMS, Endear users are including more Shoppable Stories into the conversations to encourage purchases.
Your team can send a Story with a curated selection of products over SMS, then answer any questions your customer may have, or provide styling tips. And because the CRM allows for text messaging a segment of your audience, then turning any responses into individualized text conversations, it makes it easy for smaller teams to engage multiple customers through the CRM interface.
Embracing SMS is just another way beauty brands are going more digital to develop more personalized relationships. In 2023, expect to see more emphasis on personalization-through-tech.
Ready to get more personal with the right technology?
Endear’s CRM was built from the ground up to elevate clienteling for retail brands. Contact us today to learn more about our pilot program.