Every retailer needs a strategy to keep their customers happy. In the highly personalized business of beauty, brands that provide a great customer experience across all touchpoints keep their customers coming back. From YouTube makeup tutorials to custom in-store experiences, reinforcing brand messaging throughout the customer journey is paramount in order to rise above the noise.
Social media networks are on the rise in the beauty industry to inspire and communicate with consumers. It makes sense that retailers are investing heavily in this channel to influence the customer experience. By being in the right places, all the time, retailers can build both direct and emotional connections with their customers — and potentially facilitate additional revenue. Google is now making it possible to sell on YouTube, and Instagram recently announced in-app purchasing capabilities. With around 2M followers on Instagram and a $1.2B valuation, Glossier’s strategy relies on the 5C’s: Consumers, Content, Conversations, Co-Creation and Community. Not only does Glossier know who their customer is, but they also use engaging content and conversations to test new product ideas and nurture their customer base. Let’s not forget about influencers. Beauty retailers can utilize influencers by tailoring their content through the right social outlets. According to RealWire, 98% of respondents in the “Influencing Beauty” study believe that the beauty industry is working “effectively with digital influencers, compared to other industries.” What is the ROI of an influencer video on Instagram? In 2017, per $1.26 spent on influencer marketing, companies have an average earned media value (EMV) of $11.12. Although influencer marketing can yield great results, it’s not foolproof: finding the right one to align with your brand and structuring the right program is critical to success.
Similar to many other industries, beauty is shifting from focusing primarily on customer acquisition to making an even bigger investment in customer retention. According to Gartner, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. With that as a cornerstone of future growth, there needs to be forward-thinking customer experience strategies to address the needs and concerns of current customers, while building trust with new ones. Using technology to build active lines of communication is key, especially across the customer journey. When you buy the pale pink gloss from Kylie Cosmetics, there should be branded communication touchpoints along the way for a seamless experience. Before the purchase, it is important to provide customers with high quality images, detailed product information and even video to ensure an excellent customer experience. After the purchase, sending confirmation and tracking information keeps customers engaged and immersed in the brand, ultimately building the relationship and keeping them coming back.
Customers who opt in for loyalty programs want to be rewarded through beauty experiences and access to new and exciting products. This is also a great opportunity for beauty retailers to get to know their customers through optimizing data for personalization. By understanding customer purchase behavior and which exclusive perks and experiences they can engage with impacts the strategy for both store experiences to merchandising opportunities. According to MarketingLand, “By leveraging customer data captured in a multichannel loyalty program, brands can make personalized recommendations, offer relevant promotions and upsell and cross-sell relevant products or services to consumers.”Sephora’s Beauty Insider program (with 25M members) offers more than just discounts. Forbes notes that Sephora “offers free makeup classes and access to exclusive beauty events to keep their customer base engaged.” With these tactics, they are catering to customer needs, building stronger relationships and loyalty through these experiences. Based on a report by Forrester, members of these loyalty programs have better customer experiences, as “65% of members feel like the brand rewards their loyalty, compared with only 28% of nonmembers who feel that way.” As the customer journey evolves, beauty retailers will need to craft customer-centric experiences addressing these touchpoints, appealing to both existing and new customers.To learn more about how beauty brands are transforming the customer experience and generating ROI, download our new eBook, “How Beauty Brands Can Solve Their Greatest Challenges.”
Melissa is Narvar's Content Marketing Manager, with over 10 years of writing experience as well as a background in retail and ecommerce.