Anyone who’s ever bought foundation in the wrong shade will understand why “try before you buy” will never be irrelevant.
Cosmetics brands mix in-store and online channels like no other sector.
Shoppers might research the products their favourite beauty blogger uses online. They’ll want to try out the testers in-store before buying, though.
Customer experience is different in cosmetics. Brands like NARS own aisles in Sephora instead of their own stores, so customer experience has to be perfect every time.
So many cosmetics brands have crafted that exceptional customer experience, but they’re neglecting one key resource they have in-store - their beauty advisors.
Beauty advisors are the guardians of your brand’s in-store experience.
Here’s why you should probably be using their expertise more strategically.
Beauty advisors are your VM team, stock control and operations manager all rolled into one.
Nothing turns a shopper off like tester lipstick smeared everywhere, or non-tester products that have been opened up, used and then put back on the shelf.
Beauty advisors are a brand’s first line of defense in making sure this doesn’t happen. They’re also the only way a brand can be sure their product displays are visually appealing at all times.
Imagine you’re out shopping for shoes. You find a pair you like, but the store is out of stock in the colour you want. So you try on the shoes in a different colour and order what you want online.
But if you were in Debenham’s and the tester for the foundation you want has vanished, you won’t buy that foundation at all.
Stock control is critical in the cosmetics industry, and beauty advisors know straight away when a product or tester is out of stock.
Beauty advisors need an easy way to receive brand VM guidelines and report issues with stock given how important the visual experience is for cosmetics brands.
Beauty advisors are a brand’s eyes and ears into customer sentiment.
Social media builds anticipation for a launch and tracks how customers react.
But valuable data about customer reactions comes from the people who work in the stores, too.
A huge part of a beauty advisor’s job is having the product knowledge to answer customer questions and promote new launches. It’s just as important to observe how shoppers are reacting to these new launches.
When using social media channels customers have time to compose a reaction. In-store reactions to products and launches (facial expressions, coming over to try new products, asking questions) are more authentic.
If brands are aware of these reactions they can use them strategically.
But brands are missing out by not opening up a direct feedback loop with BA’s to receive intel about customer behaviour.
Beauty Advisors are a brand’s intel into what competitors are doing in-store.
It’s tough for store teams to have any insight into what other brands are doing when their stores are on opposite sides of the mall. It’s much easier for beauty advisors to get this insight when their main competitor is less than 10 feet away.
Trends come and go, but what really matters is a customer’s reaction to those trends. And who better to observe them from afar than beauty advisors?
Without spending hours trawling through Instagram or hiring a pricey consulting service, brands can have visibility into what’s working for their competitors, what’s not, and how shoppers are reacting.
In order to harness this insight, brands need to have an open communication channel to collect this feedback that isn’t just an email or WhatsApp message that will get buried in the regional manager’s inbox.
Cosmetics brands excel at blending social media, online and in-store channels to craft an amazing customer experience. By giving beauty advisors the recognition they deserve as the guardians of in-store customer experience, brands can create an omnichannel experience that truly stands out against competitors.
Cosmetics retailers like Nuxe and By Terry are using the YOOBIC app to empower their store teams to deliver a perfect customer experience, every time.