Personalization As The Digital Strategy For Beauty Commerce

By Sampo
Parkkinen, Revieve

Beauty is one of
the most personal verticals of all of retail, if not the most personal. After
all, in beauty, we are talking about products that you as the consumer put on
your face, quite literally. In physical brick-and-mortar stores, the personal
nature of the beauty industry is clearly evident in the important role the
in-store beauty consultant plays in helping consumers discover, evaluate, try on
and ultimately purchase beauty products. And it’s no wonder that consumers need
assistance in this category. If you’ve ever wandered into a beauty retailer’s
store or lost yourself in the beauty section of a department store, you know
all too well the endless number of alternatives the consumer faces when trying
to figure out which beauty products to purchase.

This extreme
personalization of the in-store beauty customer experience can be seemingly
difficult to replicate across digital channels, where consumers are
increasingly looking to be serviced to the same, if not a better, degree as
they currently are in stores. And quite honestly, they have every right to that
expectation. The vast troves of digital footprints left by consumers across the
digital realm should make it easier for retailers and brands to create a
uniquely personalized customer experience in digital channels — especially in a
vertical of retail that is already so personal.


In addition, advances
in modern technologies like computer vision, AI and AR greatly assist in
providing an experience that’s even more personalized than that of the
experience consumers receive through the in-store beauty consultant, making
this type of ultimate personalization or even individualization of the customer
experience more than possible. In fact this level of personalization should be
the driving force of a digital strategy for any beauty brand or retailer.

The general benefits
of personalization in other key retail verticals, like fashion, are well
understood by brands and retailers. Moreover, consumers in fact expect
personalization as part of their digital experiences. In a vertical like
beauty, where the usage of products themselves is of a highly personal nature,
the importance of personalizing the customer experience is highlighted even more.

Rest assured,
there are real, significant benefits to personalizing or even individualizing
the beauty customer experience. These benefits range from pure brand-related
soft benefits to tangible, immediately measurable revenue-generating benefits. Having
had the fortunate opportunity to work with brands and retailers across four
continents in helping create individualized customer experiences in beauty,
we’ve highlighted several advantages of personalizing the beauty customer experience,
leveraging modern technologies that can provide your brand with a sustained
competitive advantage. These key benefits of individualizing the beauty
customer experience include:

  1. Increased customer retention: Personalizing the beauty customer experience helps position you as an expert in beauty in the eyes of your consumers, a trusted partner who understands their needs. This expert status increases customers’ trust in you and creates tangible customer retention, with consumers returning to benefit from this expertise time and time again.
  2. Brand Leadership and Innovation: Providing a personalized customer experience for your beauty customers with the help of modern AI and AR-technologies leads to consumers perceiving you as an innovator — someone who they can count on to receive a customer experience that improves over time, and someone who doesn’t shy away from continuously improving the experience you provide to them.
  3. Conversion and Revenue: Personalizing the beauty experience also leads to tangible business results. Increased conversion and average shopping basket size are direct, tangible indicators that you will receive as a result of personalizing the customer experience that are immediately
        visible and have a real, measurable impact on your bottom line — an ROI no CFO can disagree with.

If the benefits of personalization aren’t enough for
you to consider providing your shoppers with a superior customer experience,
let me leave you with a leading thought. Besides being the most personal
vertical of all of retail, beauty is also the most lucrative. Beauty products
command margins like no other category.

With high margins comes elevated competition. Over the
last years, not only have the channels through which consumers can purchase
beauty products increased from brick-and-mortar stores to online to mobile apps
to marketplaces, but so have the number of available service providers in each
of those channels. Beauty brands have moved direct-to-consumer, department-stores
are organizing their growth efforts around beauty, pharmacies are looking for
beauty to drive growth in the future, digitally native beauty influencers are
starting their own beauty lines and even fashion retailers are embarking on a
journey into the beauty category.

In the middle of all this elevated competition for
consumer attention and spending power, if you’re not looking to compete by
providing a personalized customer experience for your beauty shoppers and
placing personalization as THE key digital strategy for your beauty brand or
retail chain, how will you stand out?

Sampo Parkkinen is the CEO and Founder of Revieve, a leading
beauty-technology company and the creators of the Digital Beauty Advisor, the
ultimate form of personalization in the customer experience for beauty shoppers.
As a serial entrepreneur in helping retailers and brands leverage technology in
order to gain a competitive advantage, Parkkinen is a sought-after guest
speaker and expert in providing solutions that create tangible long-term value
to consumers through the customer-experience, resulting in increased
operational results for retailers and brands. As the author of several patents,
Parkkinen is also well versed in understanding the very cutting edge of
technological innovation.

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