When the beauty industry first started to flourish in ecommerce, this was largely connected to social media. Cosmetics content was so well suited to Instagram and Pinterest: customers would seamlessly move from browsing visually appealing content to clicking ‘Go to checkout’. User-generated content and endorsements from influencers and bloggers would lead to huge increases in sales, with the authenticity of the make-up tutorials and peer reviews replacing the ‘touch and feel’ aspect of the in-store experience. These are all still crucial aspects of any beauty marketing strategy, but 2021 will see that customers need more from beauty brands. Cosmetics and fragrance marketing will be dominated in 2021 by consumers’ focus on value-driven products and hyper-personalisation. Brands will have to prove that they are ethically conscious and that their morals align with those of their customers. They will also have to take advantage of developments in AI technology so that their products can appear more personalised to the consumer. They will also benefit from using subscription services so that customers don’t have to actively choose to repurchase.
What are your values?
Keep it natural
Customers have started to read the label. With industries across the world acknowledging the climate crisis, consumers are more likely to want products which are vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and ethically-sourced. The word ‘natural’, rightly or wrongly, implies all of that. It also implies trustworthiness, which is something emerging brands benefit from. Harper’s BAZAAR discovered that more than 60% of women would invest in new brands if they were offering natural products. 2021 will see the newer brands especially proclaiming their natural ingredients in their products, showing that they have nothing to hide and that they come in peace.
Everyone is welcome
Diversity in the beauty industry is just good business sense: offer foundation shades for different skin tones, and more people will be able to buy your products. For many Millennials and Gen Z’s, in particular, activism is central to their lives. They will support actively inclusive brands which launch advertising campaigns which reflect the world around them. There has already been a rise in this, with brands such as Fenty Beauty celebrating that anyone can find themselves in their product line. This recognition of customers’ diversity and individuality reaps rewards: beauty brand Illasmasqua’s tag line explicitly exclaims “Express your individuality”. This year their profits rose to their largest yet of $50m.
Make it personal
On the subject of individuality… hyper-personalised beauty is on its way to taking over. The beauty ecommerce industry needed to find methods of providing the personal feel of in-store shopping: it found it first in personalised quizzes, but has reached new heights with AI technology. More and more skin-care brands offer skin analysis tools, where the customer takes a selfie and the technology assesses what products will be most suitable. Makeup brands do something similar, with Charlotte Tilbury, Maybelline, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent all offering virtual-reality try-on services. A recent survey found that 90% of consumers found personalisation appealing, with 80% being more likely to buy products if a company offered a personalised experience.
Subscription boxes fulfil several consumer needs at once: products are conveniently automatically refilled; there’s the excitement of trying new products at relatively low cost; plus there’s a personalised experience. Royal Mail have indicated that the value of the subscription box market will grow 72% by 2022, with McKinsey showing that curation services, such as Birchbox, receive 55% of total subscriptions. But it’s more than just the box. FabFitFun has been growing at about 300% each year and this is partly due their active message board, where customers can share tips and tricks around the products. 2021 will see brands creating valuable customer experiences like this, with shared knowledge and online communities all leading to further sales.
2021 here we come…
Social media remains crucial to cosmetics and fragrance marketing strategies: Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and now TikTok have a tremendous influence on sales, and are great ways for companies to track the trends in beauty ecommerce. But, for 2021, there’s no denying that a value-driven brand offering skin analysis tools and VR try-on services, an inclusive range of products made from natural ingredients, and a subscription service with an online community, would do extremely well. Get in touch to discuss further what content creation and an enhanced marketing strategy could do for the beauty ecommerce industry.
Text: The Fox
Image: Diego Sanchez on unsplash.com