The beauty market is exploding- never a day seems to go by without a celebrity collaborating with a brand to bring out a limited edition range, or a host of new must-have products. So it’s not surprising that the growth in online sales of beauty products outpaced the overall US eCommerce market’s growth (source: Internet Retailer).
The time of the beauty influencer is now. They’re on our phones, on our big screens, crossing over into editorial and traditional print. They’ve got their own TV shows, books and brands.
Whether you’re a fan of these new style mavens, you’ll have been living under a stone if you’ve not come across at least one or two during your daily media digest.
This is why Taggstar is so excited to launch our social proof messaging technology at NRF 2019, and to be talking to many of the top beauty brands in the US.
In a world where social influencers, peers and other shoppers have a massive impact on the way that we shop how we buy, Taggstar captures this third party behavior and adds excitement to the shopping experience. Our messages collect and display real-time trends about what others are buying, what’s trending and selling fast. We can also shows how many of a product are left in stock, fit details, and online reviews to excite and engage customers, and encourage them to buy.
This ‘social proof' can change our behavior and our opinions. Read on, to discover the ways that beauty brands can apply social proof to support customers overwhelmed by choice while increasing their retail results:
1. Bring The In-Store Beauty Counter Online
There are few things more satisfying that someone fiddling with your face. Whether at a salon or at a bricks and mortar store counter, the experiential nature of a treatment and the knowledge of a store assistant equals bliss.
Beauty brands know that getting customers to your counter is major league priceless. Aside from making you look fabulous (or not), these assistants are on-hand to sell and advise. In few other sectors is this more important, after all we’re talking about our face and hair.
The hands-on nature of a beauty sale is a problem for online retailers. When your sales depends so heavily on face-to-face advice and testing a product, how do you replicate the in-store experience online? With the global cosmetics products market forecast to hit $805.61 billion by 2023 (source: Reuters), and specifically the increase of eCommerce beauty sales, brands should tackle this now.
Bringing the in-store experience online has long-time been tipped as a major trend for online retail in 2019. Advice has now got more specific. In Forbes recent retail roundup ‘How To Rule Retail: 10 Essential Tactics, Trends & Innovations To Back In 2019’ it spells out how online stores should look to attract and sell to a generation like mine, which is “hungry for direct connections” through live and interactive eCommerce.
This could mean live chat. It could mean connecting them with store associates or beauty advisors, or it could mean real-time product updates from influencers are they browse.
Brands are being asked to speak to their customers about the beauty trends happening on the web and in-store. To compete with other social and traditional media, the information needs to be up to date, with real-time feeds about sales, views, likes, adds to basket and highly-rated items. For the 14-22 years demographic, which is highly reactive to their peers, brands can use this product information to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). By highlighting, fast selling items or limited stock products, scarcity can be used to trigger a sale.
This dialogue with customers both increases engagement and meets our need for validation. It’s an experience that encourages shoppers to return. Taggstar enables this digital dialogue by displaying real-time messages throughout the shopping funnel such as shopping trends, stock data and reviews. And this dialogue has a proven commercial impact, with ome brands using Taggstar see conversions increase by as much as 12%.
2. Beauty Analysis Paralysis
The explosion of influencers, paired with existing media, plus in-store beauty campaigns has created a perfect storm for consumers. We now have too much choice. It never used to be this way - and yet influencers have always existed.
The first foundation I owned was Maybelline’s Stay Matte foundation. As a teen I relied on my peers or others like me to help me decide what I wanted to look like and what to buy. At my school every girl wore the Maybelline Stay Matte foundation, so the decision was easy. I had to have it. Roll-on ten years and I’m not checking out my classmates, I’m scrolling through 50 other matt options online, and trying to pick one.
But my generation are social media natives, and I’m afraid that this type of online shopping experience is too one dimensional for me. I’m looking for influencers to show me which of the 50 foundations I should choose and, if a brand wants to stop me from churning, it needs to bring my tribe to me.
Reimagine this customer journey and, as I’m scrolling I see an on-product Taggstar message which says that ‘50 others have bought this today’ or ‘39 others have rated this 5 stars for coverage.’ Ta dah! My shopping experience has been transformed. What was a lonely online search has become social. By injecting the social proof provided by previous shoppers, Taggstar tells your customers how popular a product is, that it’s high quality and therefore the risk of them making the wrong choice is reduced.
I go ahead and click ‘buy.’
A New Beauty Authority
Influencers not brands, are the new force in beauty. And yet they’re not new.
Where I used to be influenced by my classmates, and then mobile phones made it possible for me to get friend’s opinions via changing room selfies (chelfies), today’s beauty buyers have a rich library of on and offline influencers from which to pick their trends. The value and trust that we have in these new gurus, is unmatched by brands.
Using social proof to harness their behavior and opinions is a powerful way to sell, and why we’re seeing a raft of fashion and beauty retailers inject our messaging into their online shopping journey, as they recognise the power of third party opinion. It’s 2019 and the world is social. It’s why we’re convinced that beauty sales need to embrace this new beauty authority.
We’ll print the second article in the series later this week. Meanwhile, if you’re at NRF, just reach out to Taggstar CEO, Marjorie Leonidas or our Head of Business Development for the Americas Alison Wiltshire to find a time to catch up and learn how social proof could improve your online conversions, sales and reduce basket abandonment.
For more, download Taggstar's US retail whitepaper 'Boosting eCommerce Conversions in 2019' to use social proof during this year's retail peaks.
Or, find out more about how Taggstar could support your beauty business by contacting us here.