Considering the customer journey is essential to any retail business but especially to beauty brands. In a saturated, fast-moving market, customers need to be given good reasons to stay engaged or they’ll drop off your sales path and get poached by competitors. 

Brands also need to keep up with the way that journey may be changing. Whether that’s through the impact of a global crisis and the behaviour shift it precipitates, a new social media platform reshaping engagement or evolved consumer priorities that need to be reflected in campaigns, cosmetics companies need to be switched on to industry trends and smart about the way they’re interacting with their target audience.

So, how can beauty brands win over would-be customers and lead them from first encounter through to a sale?
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Improving the customer experience

The key to a successful customer journey and repeat purchases is creating a great consumer experience. This has a direct impact on sales: according to research from PwC, 73% of consumers say  customer experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions and one in three (32%) would walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. At every stage of the customer journey, therefore, it’s crucial to consider the user experience and brands should continuously be looking to make the journey as seamless as possible. You can win new eyes on your product with a visually striking social media campaign but if consumers aren’t smoothly and skillfully through the transitions to your website landing page and checkout stage, then your investment in capturing their attention will be wasted.

As part of this, it’s important to have a very simple purchasing - or sample procuring - process to convert interest into sales. The longer the process takes and the more steps that are involved, the higher the frequency of consumers getting distracted or frustrated and abandoning their purchase.

Odore’s platform helps beauty brands get the right products to the right customers through targeted marketing and sampling. We’ve helped brands like Miller Harris improve their sample distribution and boost brand awareness, confidence and sales.

Another way to improve the customer experience is by embedding personalisation in the customer journey. Research has shown that the majority of global consumers have come to  expect personalisation and McKinsey even describes personalisation as a ‘hygiene factor’ that consumers take for granted but, if wrong, will see them switch brands for a competitor. Personalisation has become a crucial way for brands to engage and build meaningful relationships with customers and cultivate brand loyalty.

 

Personalise your marketing with Odore. Request a demo.

 

Of course, a crucial element of the customer experience is the support consumers receive when things go wrong. Providing good customer support can set a brand apart from competitors, whether that’s through an active social media team that quickly responds to messages, welcoming and helpful staff in stores or being proactive in handling bad reviews. Even something as simple as a FAQ page can help consumers feel supported and help to eliminate frustration that leads to a negative experience. Creating infrastructure that can resolve customer issues at any stage of the customer journey will play a big role in making that journey successful.

 

Making data driven decisions

But a successful customer journey and effective marketing campaigns also rely on making data-driven decisions. Brands have a vast majority of consumer data at their fingertips but many aren’t processing it properly and are missing out on using data to accelerate their growth.

Data from customer reviews, social media and sample campaigns are just a few of the sources brands can draw from to better understand the impact of their products and marketing strategies. Brands can analyse this data to identify where customers are coming from and where they are dropping off - which will help give them an indication as to why customers leave before a purchase and indicate areas of improvement. A brand that is not collecting or analysing data correctly is sabotaging their customer journey and losing conversions in the process.

Of course, data is also an essential part of hyper-targeted, personalised marketing that shows consumers products and gives them experiences tailored to their unique needs and priorities. With personalisation established as a key brand differentiator, it’s important beauty businesses are using their data to develop sophisticated, personalised experiences.

 

Understanding different audiences

Analysing consumer data helps brands get a better understanding of the different demographics engaging with their products, enabling them to better accommodate their preferences and priorities within the customer journey.

Although, largely, all consumers will behave similarly on the way to a sale, there are some subtle variations in the way different demographics like to engage with brands and what they expect from them. For example, in PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, 40% of consumers in Singapore rank loyalty programmes in their top three brand attributes that will influence their likelihood to remain loyal to a brand, compared to just 27% of US consumers. And when asked if they had bought products in the last 12 months online via smart home voice assistants, 60% of US consumers said they had done so on a ‘weekly’ or ‘daily’ basis, compared to 43% of German consumers.

Not every consumer that embarks on a customer journey will make it to the end. That’s a natural part of retail but there are ways for brands not only to increase conversions but to keep customers choosing their products over competitors. A seamless, supportive, personalised customer experience, informed by data, will drive sales, build brand reputation and make consumers word-of-mouth ambassadors for your business.

 

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