Beauty & Skincare
The global beauty industry generates sales in excess of $500 billion a year. (Global Data, Market Analyzers Report). This is a sector that has been hit hard by the pandemic, as its traditional reliance on the physical store estate to enable consultations and purchases has been severely hampered for long periods of time. So much so in fact that an overall drop in value of 5% YoY has been forecasted for 2021. This though is an industry that has previously demonstrated its ability to rebound particularly strongly from testing times. Whilst Leonard Lauder’s “Lipstick Index” theory has not always proven reliable there is some evidence to suggest that beauty sales can be resilient through testing times and the sector looks well poised to bounce back strongly as purchasers take the opportunity to be more socially active.
As we emerge from this particularly challenging period, swift and prudent adoption of smart technology and digital innovation has begun to separate winners from losers. This will undoubtedly play a key role in that predicted return to growth, especially as we expect many consumers to continue with newly developed digital shopping habits. Whilst plenty of consumers will rush back into store, others will likely take a more cautious approach or simply prefer to retain the option of choosing physical or digital channels depending on their own circumstances and needs at the time. One thing we do know, is that consumers expect every experience, regardless of the channel where it takes place, to be exceptional.
“The COVID-19 crisis is likely to accelerate trends that were already shaping the market”McKinsey
We see a real opportunity for beauty and skincare brands to provide that critical degree of choice and natural movement between channels. Consumers no longer think in “channels”, so brands must follow their lead and meet them with excellence wherever their purchase journey takes them. With that in mind, our focus at Storey is on those market sectors that revolve around products that represent high value to the consumer. Whilst in absolute terms beauty & skincare products might not have high monetary value, they more-often-than not, have a very high emotional value.
Selecting the right skincare regime, the right lipstick colour or the appropriate shade of foundation is seen as essential by many purchasers as each of these decisions has real impact on how they look and feel. With that perception of personal value comes the need for detailed research, careful consideration and often, meaningful advice.
Clearly the digital purchase journey will struggle to fully convey the texture of a skincare product or replicate perfectly that colour on the back of your hand test, but an interactive live video chat session moves the conversation on from flat images or canned video content on a product page and brings it to life. The opportunity for skilled representatives to provide in-the-moment advice and responses to specific questions and concerns helps the consumer navigate a potentially complex and emotive buying cycle. That over-the-counter conversation that has traditionally been the norm for the consumer can be delivered in a personal and private way that retains the premium feel of the brand and product, whilst creating a comfortable environment where the consumer can carry out their research and complete their purchase from wherever they choose.
Built with high quality delivery at its core, Storey pairs the best audio capability with the sharpest visual definition. To help a consumer make the most informed decision they can on colour or texture absolute clarity is essential.
Of course, it’s not about technology alone. We know that the right people take this experience to a different level. Perhaps uniquely, consumers shopping this sector demand detailed information on ingredients, manufacturing processes and so on. Highly skilled brand advisors provide guidance and reassurance along with relevant personal experience. Whether these are people from within your organisation or you need our help in sourcing them we’ll ensure they are technically proficient and armed with everything they need to treat your customers in the most premium and responsive way.
Consulting on and selling these product categories online isn’t quite the same as doing so in the traditional store or beauty counter setting. Imagine making it an even more compelling and engaging experience. Your advisors can do just that by developing an understanding of different audio and visual cues, by switching seamlessly from text to video chat and by offering immediate or scheduled personalised feedback and advice.
Within the skincare category specifically consumers are often prepared to spend large sums of money on products and brands that have acquired their loyalty. Adding a trusted advisor into the mix creates the opportunity for dialogue, for that special white-glove experience and to reach new customers whose loyalties had previously laid elsewhere.
In many ways, the beauty and skincare sectors are more advanced than others because of the way consumers engage with the brands that sit at their heart. Those consumers have not been afraid to look for innovation, have been eager to buy into the narratives that lie behind the brands, and have enjoyed shopping these categories as an “experience”. Perhaps now is the time to allow digital innovation to improve the connections between brands and consumers by creating even more engaging and immersive interactions that provide true choice.
Our solutions are highly flexible. We can design and implement customised, branded showrooms that facilitate the demonstration of multiple products, or provide backgrounds that allow operators to work from their home or an office. Whichever setting you choose you can rest easy in the knowledge that the whole experience will be premium in nature and reflective of the fact that this is your brand’s window to the world.
Give your customers an experience they will remember and leave them feeling cared for and appreciated. Whether through scheduled appointments or spontaneous conversations, drive your ecommerce conversion rates, minimise returns and take customer satisfaction to a new high.