Live shopping in Beauty has great potential. The intimate nature of engagement and product immersion, the channels customers and brands are used to using are changing rapidly and there are high value customers at stake. All of these factors point to an opportunity for forward thinking brands to get a step ahead of the competition as footfall is compromised and personal contact is discouraged in the current climate.
This article examines in the context of live video shopping:
- The extent to which beauty is a considered purchase
- The level of engagement required in making a purchase (or becoming a customer)
- The extent to which product immersion helps the process
- How customers are converted in beauty
- The revenue profile of the beauty customer
How much is beauty a considered purchase?
On the whole, making a purchase in beauty requires a good amount of consideration. Different products work for different types of people, and expertise is required to make a decision. That decision is likely to be highly personal, so the consideration factor is very much there.
Having said that – average order values are lower than some industries, as such purchase behaviour can have a good deal of spontaneity in there as it wont break the bank (in many, if not all cases). Once loyalty is established, customers can be highly loyal.
Video Shopping is an obvious choice in this sector as the Beauty industry is so consultative and as consumers we have typically relied (to date) on specialists to help us navigate the multitude of products available to us. Face to face consultations can’t be 100% replaced with video, but the nature of the industry and the developments in this space – make it a prime candidate for growth.
Level of engagement required
How much does a shopper need (or are used to) talking to someone about the product prior to purchase?
Additionally, what direct relationship to a brand does someone need to have in Beauty to be effective?
Face to face
One to one engagement between a beauty expert and a consumer is the mainstay of every major department store globally. A face to face consultation, where an expert in skincare, makeup and personal grooming can help a consumer decide what is right for them, makes all the difference in helping make the purchase decision.
Direct to consumer
For decades, the route to market for the largest brands in Beauty has continued to be via large department stores, with notable exceptions. Alongside the decline in retail, strong, direct transactional relationships are experiencing growth. Video commerce is the perfect way to maintain face to face relationships with customers.
How much does a consumer need to touch and feel a product in Beauty?
Importance of product experience
Skin types, skin tones, allergies, odour, touch are all highly important in the decision to make a beauty purchase. To experience a product in beauty is the doorway to purchasing it. The investment alone in sampling, fixtures and fittings, as well as the highly trained practitioners in this space means product experience matters.
Are digital solutions adapting?
Because it’s highly important to experience a product in beauty, the stakes have been high for digital. There have been some hugely positive leaps forward in this space. Augmented reality tools can now scan skin tone, matching colours and consumers can try products remotely too.
Converting customers in beauty
Where do we typically see customers converting in Beauty – is it online or in retail? Importantly, where does the first purchase happen?
It’s fair to say there is a high reliance on retail. Buying makeup and the highly personal experience involved in consulting, trialing and gaining instant feedback lends itself to face to face. This is particularly the case when making the first purchase of a beauty product.
Traditionally, retail does the heavy lifting in Beauty, pulling shoppers away from online for the first purchase. Sampling comes first and its instant in a retail environment. However, for repeat makeup purchases, customers are happy to move online for the convenience factor.
Revenue profile of the beauty customer
How does the behavioural economics of acquiring a beauty customer work? At what point do you “win” a customer and what implications does this have for video commerce?
Average Order Value
At the top end, Beauty products attract a very high basket value, so this statement is not always true, but the average order value on the whole is medium to low, relative to other sectors, dragging the average down
Life Time Value
When considering repeat purchases, beauty is a highly valuable space. Once customer loyalty is established repeat rates continue for years