How digitalization is changing the beauty industry in 2018
Beauty and personal care as supreme values
Nowadays’ people give great importance to beauty and personal care, which are perceived almost as supreme values in life. Overall physical appearance is directly related to health, personal satisfaction and even power, which is why beauty brands challenge themselves to enable consumers to achieve the desired image.
The importance of digital marketing in the beauty industry
Companies in the beauty sector compete to have best product and convey the right message to their audiences. Moreover, considering that the industry has been affected by the huge growth of digitalization, digital marketing has become a key tool to create long lasting relationships between brands and their consumers. Take a look at the main beauty sector digital trends which are taking place this year:
1.Brand collaborations with influencers
Brand collaborations with influencers for social media contents and CRM still remain a key trend in the sector. It is not surprising that in the beauty market, influencers play a bigger role in promoting products or services on social media channels than in the fashion sector. Influencer reactions to products exercise 44% more influence over millennials than expert comments, because the former are perceived more as “real people”. For example, various product launch schedules are being optimized for specific dates such as the birthday of the it-girl of the moment, which is the case of ColorPop, who launched a new collection exactly on Kylie Jenner’s birthday.
2. Content Curation
Since social networks are becoming big sources of daily life inspiration, users are getting more and more involved in tracking different platforms. Therefore, curated social content for a beauty brand is a necessity that helps it to be more engaged with its consumers. Nevertheless, companies are inviting users to upload their product photos, express their opinions and tag brands using a specific hashtag via Instagram, which indicates that the use of UGC is still a beauty brands’ common practice. Moreover, some big companies are also inviting consumers to use their phones in store and scan codes to read product descriptions and to see other people reviews online.
3. Personalisation through technology
2018 is also going to be the year of personalisation through technology, in terms of product and experience. Many brands have been partnering with tech startups in order to launch beauty applications, in-store technologies and Shopper tracking technologies aimed at increasing customer engagement. This offers a customized beauty experience, while collecting behavioral data. In particular, the in-store experience for beauty retailers is crucial in helping consumers discover new cosmetics and drive sales.
Use of biometrics and big data allows brands to personalize products according to consumers skin types and their personal needs and afterwards provides individualized recommendations to product users.
As already stated, product trying experience is very important in the beauty products industry. For example, some brands like L’Oreal or Sephora have used augmented reality to try to imitate the use of makeup or have developed virtual reality makeup tutorial experiences. The brand Smashbox uses the eye tracking technique to test consumers’ make-up appreciation. Ultimately, the use of these technologies is beginning to positively improve conversions.
Last year e-commerce sales represented on average 12% of all retail sales, whereas in 2016 it counted approximately 8% only, and the number is predicted to increase even more over the upcoming years. Thus there is still room for many companies to improve: they have to optimize in-store strategies with digitalization, which means to provide a convenient omni-channel commerce.
Currently, the relevant platform that satisfies the needs of customers purchasing beauty goods, like product information, visuals, better price and convenience, is represented by the beauty section on Amazon. A great number of sales were achieved by many brands, from the largest to the smallest ones, due to all brands willingness to unify and to get closer to consumers. Amazon experienced more than 40% growth in this section in 2017.
5. UX / Responsive Design
The current need to buy products online pushes many brands to make the online shopping experience fast, easy and convenient for their consumers; we can see that the total number of people purchasing consumer goods via e-commerce has seen an increase of 8% at the beginning of this year, comparing to 2017. Since mobile device usage is rapidly increasing, optimization of browsers and mobile commerce is one of the main digital trends affecting the beauty industry. Having in mind that mobile phones have become an essential part of the every day shopping experience, beauty brands have understood the big importance of pointing their attention towards experience and simplicity of mobile use.
A great example of this trend is that currently almost 70% of all beauty brands are offering responsive navigation, not only on computer screens but also on multiple devices that includes smartphones and tablets. It’s interesting to notice that the responsiveness last year was lower than 20%, which proves the increasing importance of multiple devices e-commerce platforms.
6. Video content
Video content is becoming more powerful in the beauty sector, especially when related to influencer marketing. More generally, the power of video content in retail is increasingly growing. Companies are trying to take advantage of this trend, by creating compelling video content, but sometimes they face budget limitations. For this reason, they’re developing new techniques to create videos, giving up on the big budgets of traditional ads. Clinique, for example, is replacing the ads with six second videos that are very product-centric, and which provide a 26% increase in product awareness. Another innovation is the creation of “content in motion” for display advertising and social media ads. Those videos can be 70 times cheaper than normal product-centric videos and often get double the engagement than static images.
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