Today’s style references are bloggers, vloggers, Insta-influencers alongside our own social media communities and peers, and we value their opinions and watch their behavior, as advocates of what’s trending, new and exclusive. This is social proof.
Using the power of a hashtag, these new beauty influencers, can quickly start a trend, which is adapted or copied as their post becomes viral. I’m looking at Cosmo’s round up of 2019 beauty trends as I write, and the street style trends that appeared on social media towards the end of last year are now mainstream hits (I see you lilac hair and eyelash lifts).
You’d be brave to try to predict how long these makeup, nails, skincare and hair trends are going to stay in vogue. But, whether we’re aware or not, we’re likely to find ourselves trying and buying them. As human beings we’re programmed to follow trends that the majority of people are doing. We’re social creatures by nature and, when shopping for beauty: ‘I’ll have what she's having,’ is a major factor in our decision-making process.
In a world where social influencers, peers and other shoppers have a massive impact on the way that we shop how we buy, it’s important for brands to find a way to reflect their endorsements and opinions in their online shopping experience. It’s also an important way to deliver online assistance and support, when online shopping can be lonely.
Taggstar captures this third party behavior and adds excitement to the shopping experience. Our real-time social proof messages collect and display product trends, sales and reviews. Our messages also show how many of a product are left in stock, or last sold to excite and engage customers, encouraging them to buy.
Read on, to discover the ways that beauty brands can apply social proof to harness these trusted influencer opinions, and to upsell units per sales, for better commercial results:
If you missed Part 1 of this article, catch up here.
3. The Power of a Trusted Opinion
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a colleague. She was telling me about her very specific online beauty shopping ritual. She takes pleasure in going to a certain well know online beauty store and filling up her basket with new and untested brands. She chooses that site in particular because she enjoys the way that they merchandise these new treasures and that they’ve built an accurate profile of what she’ll like. Typically she’ll buy more than she expected because she trusts the advice that she’s getting.
Creating trust in eCommerce means building up layers of rapport with your customers including great customer service, fantastic fulfillment, good communication and a wonderful online shopping journey. This centers on giving good advice which, surprise, surprise, is something that my indecisive generation needs a lot of.
It’s important to us to be ‘Instagrammable’ or ‘trending’ and, like my colleague, my generation are on a journey of exploration when it comes to beauty products. We enjoy new products and finding new brands, but we want to find them without too much pain. That’s why better product information, highlighting trends and ratings is a better shopping experience.
Put in front of us that a product is a best seller (give me sales volumes), that the range is a limited edition (tell me how many are left) or in high demand (count the views and add to basket volumes), and we’re inspired to follow the trend. If the majority of people are buying certain products, then there’s a good reason to follow suit.
4. Use Influencers to Cross-Sell and Upsell
Good marketing sells a vision. And beauty is very visual.
Margins are better and profits stronger when more units per sale are higher, and in beauty that means that to get the full look that our favorite influencer is wearing, we need the complete palette of colours, plus the brushes, the sponges, the curlers and the lash extensions. Upselling these extra items increases average order values, and therefore higher revenues.
Today’s social influencers do the thinking for us, in the same way that in-store assistants are experts in pairing the right nail and lip colour. Finding the product references are relatively easy and clickable Instagram feeds now take us directly through to an online store to buy the product.
At this stage we’re partially converted, and it’s down to the online experience to seal the sale. The social proof product messaging tactics we’ve touched on above increase our product consideration, but brands also have the added opportunity to selling a product bundle, or add-ons using different social proof message types.
Taggstar’s customers see higher conversions when they use social proof throughout the online shopping funnel. Once the first product (let’s say a cleanser) has been chosen, the retailer can use onsite messaging to tell the consumer how many of their peers have also bought the moisturizer, the toner and the serum.
We recommend this reinforcement at the checkout page, where shoppers might triage their choices or churn because they’ve spent more than they planned. Displaying influencer behavior at this stage amplifies the reasons why they should buy.
A New Beauty Authority
Harnessing influencer behavior and opinions is a powerful way to sell. Taggstar is already working with a long list of enterprise retail, fast fashion and travel brands who’ve added social proof messaging into their online shopping journey to show off these third party trends straight to their online customer.
In a beauty world that’s gone social, increased retail competition, and up and up of eCommerce sales, what's your plan to bring these powerful influencers into your online store
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.
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.