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5 Ways to Be a Leader in the Growing Skincare Industry

Sara Novak

By Sara Novak

Design Director

Category

Ecommerce

April 13, 2018

Are you a skincare brand? Then I’ve got great news for you! According to industry data and growth projections, you are in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. But are you ready to make the most of this opportunity? We’ve worked with leaders in the skincare industry, such as Lancôme, Skinceuticals, and bareMinerals, to help them take advantage of the growing skincare market, changing consumer trends, and rise of ecommerce. But before we get into how you can become a leader in this field, let’s take a look at exactly what kind of industry growth we are talking about and the role ecommerce will play.

The global beauty industry is projected to grow at a rate of 6.4% and reach $675 billion by 2020. Making up 36% of the industry, skincare is the largest segment, and is predicted to generate $147 billion in global sales by 2020.

Size of the Global Skincare Market from 2012 to 2021
Source: Statista

Currently ecommerce sales make up a relatively small portion of beauty industry sales across all segments.

Ecommerce Percent of Total US Category Sales
Source: A.T. Kearney

However, the accelerated growth of ecommerce sales is one of the largest factors that is expected to drive the beauty industry’s overall growth. Analysts are predicting that ecommerce sales in beauty will increase at a whopping 14.4% rate by 2021.

But what does it all mean? It means if you are a skincare brand you are facing a huge growth opportunity. But as has been the case across many industries, the spoils will go to those who invest in their ecommerce strategy and digital customer experiences. So don’t get left behind. Invest in these are five key areas of opportunity in order for your skincare brand to become an ecommerce leader.

1. Mobile Optimization

This one should be no surprise. However, the numbers behind it might be. According to eMarketer, mobile transactions accounted for about 34% of all U.S. ecommerce sales in 2017. However, this percentage is expected to grow rapidly and surpass 50% by 2021. That means that as ecommerce sales grow within the beauty industry, mobile will be an even larger segment of those increased sales. That’s a lot of potential mobile purchases. However, mobile users have very little patience for confusing or needlessly difficult experiences and slow page load times. Optimizing your mobile experience is a must in order to capitalize on the rise of mobile transactions. Your brand’s mobile performance may also affect your in-store sales too. According to L2, in-store beauty shoppers frequently turn to their mobile devices for additional product information and customer reviews. For example, consider customers with skincare concerns that they may not want to talk to an in-store sales assistant about.

2. Guided Selling Content

Also according L2, beauty brands continue to invest heavily in content to help users discover, explore, and purchase products, especially visual content. The skincare segment is no exception. A finder or diagnostic tool that’s well-integrated into your customer’s purchase path can give them the help they need at exactly the right time and point them quickly to the best product for them. Video content that is shared via YouTube, Instagram, or other social platforms as well as on your site can increase your brand’s awareness and attract new customers. But you can also go a step farther to turn those views into sales by making your videos shoppable.

3. Guided Navigation and Search

Give the people what they’re looking for! Your search logs may hold a trove of information. They can tell you exactly what your users are seeking, and even alert you to new trends. Make sure your search results return results for top search terms. And even consider adding frequently searched terms to your navigation structure. Analysts are predicting that anti-aging and sun-protection products will see huge increases as the population ages and as younger consumers become more educated about the impact of UV rays. This is one of the consumer trends that is expected to fuel the skincare segment’s growth. Get a head start, and consider allowing your customers to shop by these concerns as well as other common ones, such as skin sensitivity or acne and blemishes.

4. Repeat Purchases

Skincare brands attract a loyalty that many other beauty segments don’t see. Take advantage of this. Consider adding an auto-replenishment feature to your site. You may also consider positioning it as a subscription plan to capitalize on this overarching consumer trend. For customers who don’t opt in, send them trigger emails based on common replenishment cycles for products they have purchased. Allow them to add the items to their cart from the email, or link directly to their order history and provide an easy reorder feature there.

5. Personalization

Personalization is the new ecommerce buzzword, but the truth is consumers appreciate it and have come to expect it. According to Accenture, 75% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a retailer that knows their name, recommends products based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history. What are some ways you can personalize your site experience? You can provide targeted product suggestions throughout the site based on a user’s demographics, location, browse history, and/or purchase history. Or offer a virtual beauty expert powered by AI to ask customers additional questions, just as an in-store expert would, to give them even more personalized and targeted recommendations. You can also send targeted emails, ads, notifications, or alerts based on location, weather, or a user’s proximity to a brick-and-mortar location that sells your brand. Maybe suggest a new SPF product on the first 70 degree day in Chicago to all your consumers who live there. I know I’d appreciate it.

It’s an exciting time for the skincare industry. There is so much potential for brands that effectively reach and cater to their customers using digital experiences. Are you ready for the challenge? Do you have the right partner? We’d love to talk and see how we can help you become an industry leader.

To start a conversation contact our Head of New Business, Tom Panos, at tpanos@elevatedigitalcommerce.com.

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