How is the beauty industry at the forefront of retail marketing innovation?
The beauty industry has proven to be at the forefront of retail innovation. This innovation does not only come from a scientific point of view regarding product innovations, but also from a digital marketing point of view where organizations have put in place effective strategies to attract and retain their customers. In this area, brands have taken the lead in using augmented reality (AR) for marketing purposes and disrupting traditional business models. We'll be discussing these key marketing trends at the next TREND event on Thursday, November 9.
We summarize the top 5 digital beauty trends rocking retail brands:
Using augmented reality to test beauty products and virtual reality to improve business inefficiencies.
First, it's important to note the difference between AR and VR. While AR is an add-on to what already exists, VR is normally a simulation of an environment or a simulation where you have to use a headset in order to immerse yourself in a certain scenario.
We have seen some brands adopt Augmented Reality towards their customers. Generally speaking, these brands have tried to mimic the process of trying on makeup. He was even the first to try eye-tracking technology when the consumer was trying on makeup, where he identified eye movements that determined whether or not the consumer reacted positively to the product. As a result, they have seen a 27% increase in total conversions since they started using this technology.
Virtual reality is also used internally by powerful beauty brands such as L'Oréal. A conference room is available with virtual reality glasses and installed with a VR screen and 3D modeling screens.
Their goal is different: to precisely define what is the best in-store approach for consumers. With over 30 cosmetic products, L'Oreal hair and skincare brands are encouraged to use the virtual reality room to improve inefficiencies and increase productivity for merchandising and packaging of their products, as well as their overall brand decisions. The Beauty Lab allows these decisions to be made more efficiently and in a shorter time frame, which allows improvements to be brought to market much more quickly (reducing costs and increasing sales).
The power of video
According to the statistic below: During the measured period, makeup tutorials accounted for 68.5% of the views recorded for the top 200 beauty videos. The ads drove 7% of beauty content video views over the same period.
This statistic illustrates the power of Influencers today in the beauty industry, and therefore that brands should embrace this form of content creation as a tool to use in their marketing strategy.
Content marketers keep mentioning the growth and power of video in retail. However, beauty brands often face budget constraints when it comes to creating a compelling video for their new products. Clinique, for example, decided to replace traditional display ads with six-second videos that are very product-focused. According to Google, since this change, the number of ad recalls has increased by 70% and product awareness by 26%.
Another innovative and cost-effective solution is to create moving content for advertisements used for screen advertising and social media. These videos can be 70x cheaper than normal product-centric videos and they often see twice the engagement than with a single static image.
Compared to the chart, beauty influencers play a key role in the beauty industry more than any other retail sector. For beauty product consumers, being able to see the desired product applied to real people can lead to an instant purchase decision for a specific product.
As we discussed with a beauty journalist and influencer
Partnering with the right influencer can help beauty brands position themselves with a select audience and desired tone of voice in a much faster and more efficient way than if the brand were trying to do it themselves.
The reason an influencer has their audience is because they are real and authentic. Trying to turn an influencer into something else would lead to less traffic:
It's no surprise that brands are now appointing makeup artists as their brand ambassadors, ensuring they try out their products and, of course, share them on their own social media channels. These makeup artists have a large number of engaged followers and exemplify what is the best practice for applying the product. Likewise, it is important to note that as influencers, they have their own criteria for the products they use and they may not like or choose your product over another of your competitors. Establishing a relationship before any partnership is essential to understand whether or not the influencer feels in tune with your brand's products and therefore will use these products.
Simplify the consumer's journey to purchase
A few months ago we saw one of them making the most of their data to improve their content and business operation.
The CTO explained the difference in approach to AR and VR:
Although we now consider this our largest social platform and part of our core community, we treat readers and customers as two very different entities. However, we know that it is possible to use data to better understand how we can create an optimized customer and reader experience across all platforms.
Their strategy: Track customer and audience behavioral data on both platforms to better position their readers to become customers, and vice versa. Their blog and reviews have also become a vital source of information for product creation. They compiled comments and questions to ensure that all new products were developed with this feedback in mind. He also realized that people who read it are 40% more likely to buy products than those who only visit the site, which helped to establish a better connection for the readers of the blog so that they become customers via the site.
The more personalized and personalized the brand's marketing message, the more engaged and loyal the customer will be. Additionally, developing a sense of community with your target audience can help achieve higher levels of loyalty and therefore improve conversion rates.
Disrupt traditional business models
Traditionally, when we thought of the beauty industry, we probably thought of selling skincare and makeup in a crowded mall. However, beauty has gone further, with innovative business models that bring the product to the consumer in a more effective and real way. As she explained during her talk at TREND, Oftentimes, disrupting traditional business models isn't about creating something super innovative and futuristic, it's just about removing friction from what already exists.
Subscription models are a good example. Companies like Birchbox, Smashbox, Ipsy or FabFitFun. These companies send you a package, usually once a month, of items they have chosen for you based on your current preferences. Beauty is at the forefront of this model in retail, which is expected to grow in the coming years, allowing brands to further expand their offer to customers and better use feedback to improve and streamline their strategies.
Subscription-based businesses have been able to adapt faster to mobile and online services than any other retailer, allowing these brands to grow faster than anyone else. Plus, subscription businesses add the surprise factor that leads to a more engaged consumer. However, these companies often struggle when launching their brand due to a lack of consumer trust. For these brands, offering free returns and no commitment to purchase from the consumer is key to building consumer loyalty.