The beauty industry is arguably one of the fastest-evolving in retail. As trends seem to appear overnight and spread like wildfire, marketers need to think on their feet to keep up.
Hot topics around marketing in the beauty industry include sustainability, unisex makeup, and influential styles inspired by television series such as Euphoria. But for beauty retailers to make the most out of these trends, they need to effectively market them to their customers. We know what looks are trending, but what’s trending in “marketing beauty”?
5 strategies for marketing in the beauty industry
1. Loyalty programs
56% of consumers said they were more likely to purchase from brands with loyalty programs than those without, and the success of Sephora’s loyalty program can attest to this. For Sephora, a luxury makeup brand retailer, their customers are driven by an incentive points system, birthday gifts, and exclusive discounts.
“It starts with a fierce loyalty to the customer and from there, customers’ fierce loyalty to Sephora results,” Pamela N. Danzinger writes for Forbes. “For Sephora, the Beauty Insider program is designed to leverage emotional drivers of loyalty.” Their tiers of loyalty range from members spending $350 to $1,000—which reportedly accounts for a lot of their business.
“Beauty retailers see a lot of repeat purchases coming from loyalty cards,” explains Anthony Kolesky, Customer Success Manager at Wunderkind. “One of our retailers does a lot of collections and collabs specifically for their loyalty program. Launching products for the program gives those users something special, and gives others a reason to join—thereby driving sales.”
It’s clear that loyalty programs help beauty brands see results. Retailers should leverage personalized emails and text messages to communicate with their loyalty members in real time, providing a convenient and relevant customer experience.
Every marketer knows that customers want personalized marketing. In fact, when the consumer benefits, so does the marketing team, as personalization can reduce marketing costs 10-20%. So, how can you take your beauty business marketing to the next level? We suggest hyper-personalization.
Hyper-personalization combines data like browsing activity, purchase behavior, and customer affinity with AI and machine learning to provide real-time, personalized experiences. In order to provide a highly tailored experience to the customer, brands must be able to identify their website traffic so they can create relevant onsite experiences and follow up with targeted emails and text messages to close the sale.
What might hyper-personalization look like for beauty brands? Kolesky explains, “Virtual try-ons are big in the beauty space, as they drive people to purchase online because they can see how these products look, which was a previous limitation of digital channels.” For example, e.l.f Cosmetics offers virtual try-ons where customers can swatch and sample their makeup from home.
e.l.f customers benefit from a tailored try-on experience, and the brand benefits by using this data to create more personalized marketing messages (and differentiating their online experience from their competitors)—ultimately acquiring new customers and bringing existing customers back for repeat purchases.
3. Artificial intelligence
With ChatGPT setting records for 100 million sign-ups within two months of its launch, it’s hard to ignore the ramifications of AI advancement. Aside from the basic uses of AI in marketing (it’s quicker to write content and generate ideas), how does it apply to beauty?
Skincare brand PROVEN uses AI to match customers to suitable shades and products—but its use expands into marketing too. Customers receive highly relevant suggestions as PROVEN built an artificial intelligence tool capable of interrogating a database (the world’s largest beauty database, made up of tens of millions of data points) to understand what an individual needs, based on 45 different criteria, such as environment and lifestyle factors. The brand is pioneering the use of AI in beauty marketing to give customers exactly what they want.
However, despite PROVEN’s success, this technology may not be the best use of marketing dollars for every beauty company. “AI is going to have to prove itself with marketers in the beauty space,” explains Margaret Kazmierczak, Associate Director of Strategy Consulting at Wunderkind. “AI might be a buzzword, but it’s yet to prove itself as a valuable marketing tool against tried and tested options, such as quizzes for email capture. It can provide assistance, but is it going to displace these methods that marketers know work? Only time will tell.”
4. Gamified ads
Engage users with high-quality advertisements…in the form of a game.
Quizzes to help you build your own beauty routine are all the rage. Beauty retailers know that they work, so gamifying their ads to get customers engaged is a tried and true option for data capture and initiating the checkout journey.
“The fun and flirty nature of gamification always worked really well,” Kazmierczak says. “Whether it was a wheel of fortune, or a swatch of color palettes, there’s always a place for it. It’s somewhat of a first date for beauty retailers, and it’s great at driving email capture. Then they can go from there.”
Users aren’t just bored by uninteresting ads, they’re frustrated with them too. 70% of users think advertisers don’t respect their experience, and 95% find their content consumption is interrupted by ads. The solution? Non-intrusive, post-content ads that actually engage the user.
Gamified ads are a great way to do this, and they prove highly effective (and popular) in beauty industry advertising. “Quizzes are a successful form of lead-gen,” Kazmierczak explains. “For example, you can build a skincare regimen, then add it to your cart.”
5. Omnichannel experience
For beauty retailers’ marketing strategies to thrive, they need to meet customers across multiple platforms. The proof is in the data: Omnichannel customers spend 15-30% more than those being targeted on a single platform.
Beauty retailers can create this experience by driving customers from one platform to another. For example, don’t invest all of your ad spend on social media; start with a social ad that drives back to your website, where you can then use email capture to market directly to the consumer. Create a marketing ecosystem in which you appear on all of the platforms your target audience is already on, send them from one channel to the next, collect first-party data, and ultimately drive them to conversion.
Wunderkind drives revenue for beauty retailers
Want to take your beauty business marketing to the next level and unlock a new performance marketing channel? Find out how beauty retailer JLo Beauty saw a 100% increase in email and text capture rate within the first three weeks of using Wunderkind.