Follow us LIVE! BigCommerce on creating a personalised omnichannel experience to future proof beauty brands

Chloe Burney
01 November 2023

During LIVE! 'The trends to know that will future proof your beauty business for 2024 and beyond', a crowd of beauty industry professionals learnt about the trends brands and retailers should focus on to meet the demands of today's consumer and drive their business through 2024 and beyond.

For the first session of the day, Elizabeth Azide, the Director of Marketing at BigCommerce, took centre stage to provide intelligence and insight into future proofing businesses via e-commerce strategies.

BigCommerce is a company that powers online e-commerce platforms for brands across the world, helping them to scale. For example, it independently powers brands’ storefronts including their current clients in the beauty sphere Molton Brown and Victoria Health.

According to Azide, global online B2C and B2B merchants must:

1. Engage
2. Attract
3. Convert
4. Expand
5. Operate

These should be at the core of running a business day-to-day. For BigCommerce, there are three considerations to ensure a futureproof your brand.

Consideration One: Omnichannel – convenience shopping experience

Integrated, multi-touchpoint experiences accelerate the purchase cycle, driving brands closer to sale.

To drive her point home, Azide quoted Emily Weiss, the Founder of Glossier: "We imagine a future where digital and offline experiences exist in harmony. All in the service of helping people connect more deeply with themselves and others."

According to Statista, mobile retail sales are expected to surpass £105 billion by 2024. 44% of UK customers purchased via social media in 2022. 25% of those purchases were in the Health and Beauty Category.

With consumers channel hopping so often, it’s clear that they’re using these channels interchangeably. Therefore, brands must have an accessible, omnichannel approach to meet customers wherever they are. Brands must be strong across all touchpoints, such as Google, Amazon, Instagram etc.

Azide encourages brands to think about where their shoppers are. It’s not about being everywhere, but it's about being where your shopper is. For example, if your shopper is looking for cracked nail advice, they may head to TikTok.

In terms of visibility to Gen Z shoppers, which are dominating the cosmetics market, Tiktok can take a brand viral overnight. #makeup has been viewed 230 billion times and #beauty hacks have been viewed 15.5 billion times. Take Elemis as an example. It is a brand that has taken advantage of this, creating a community of micro-influencers to scale and bolster the brand.

Consideration Two: Personalisation

New technologies are opening the door for personalisation to drive customer loyalty - whether it be through targeted ads, awards and benefits or other customer experiences.

72% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand if they offer personalised experiences with additional rewards and benefits.

Dr. Barbara Sturm, for example, has implemented Klevu’s AI search and merchandising tool to personalise search results. Behavioural patterns inform personalist product suggestions.

Azide explains how beauty brands can take advantage of AR, VR and AI. These capabilities offer opportunities to bring the salon directly to the customer and create a product made uniquely for them. Benefits such as virtual try-ons and colour matching encourage consumers to shop for products, such as foundation, that may have only been accessible in stores previously.

Consideration Three: Building Loyalty

Returning customers spend 67% more than new customers. Generating returning customers is crucial to building a future-proof business.

A few incentives that’ll ensure returning customers include:

1. Free shipping
2. Sales
3. Discount codes
4. Free returns
5. Rewards or loyalty programs
6. Free gift with purchase
7. Try before you buy

What’s more, sustainability has become an important factor for customers when making purchasing decisions. This is at the forefront of consciousness when customers are returning to make purchases.

AKT London, for example, drives loyalty through sustainability by appealing to those who have a long-term interest in the brand by offering a subscription service. Anatome does something similar, by offering 20% off on refills on their products. Baking in a sustainability aspect to loyalty offers "the best of both worlds".

If beauty brands implement these three considerations they will successfully future proof their businesses.

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