Ecommerce Tips for Businesses in the Beauty Industry

The online beauty business is worth billions of dollars, and signs suggest that the projected revenues will only rise. With such a honeypot, countless beauty stores and salons are looking to cash in.

While the step into beauty and e-commerce moves with the trends, your online store will compete with many others for customers.

The money is out there to be made for those who know how to run an e-commerce business, so it is essential to know how to be successful online. Here we offer some actionable steps to get you to the top of the list of top businesses in the beauty industry today.

Starting your business

Know who you want to be

In e-commerce, it is even more important to present a human figure to the customers. Your customers may be buying from the internet, but they love to feel a part of the brand story. So, before you get into the specifics, consider the authentic story that will make you someone clients want to follow.

Your story: who you are, why you are doing this, and the journey to this point will become an integral part of your branding. Your packaging, your website, your logo will all be defined from this authentic version of you.

You then need to decide on your business model. There are three options in the beauty sector. First, you can manufacture and sell your products, ensuring your customers get something unique that you make.

Second, you can sell white-label products. White label are products created by another business, but you can brand and sell within your business.

Finally, you can become a reseller, which is by far the easiest way to get started. Here you resell the branded products of other companies, taking responsibility for the marketing strategy. If you choose to resell using drop shipping, you do not even have to maintain an inventory of stock, as the manufacture will ship upon purchase through your site. While the profit margin is lower here, so is the risk.

Getting started in a crowded market

Before you do anything, you have to answer one of the hardest questions in business: what is your point of difference in the marketplace? If you are merely offering the same as everyone else, you will struggle to get noticed. Therefore, you need to sit and give some thought to your unique selling point. When people describe you to their friends, how will they say you are different to others?

If you are worried because your products are like those sold by others, you need to consider introducing a new experience. There is something about the way your business works that distinguishes it from others. Remember how Avon came to market through parties held by friends and family and then local resellers posting catalogues in the community. In e-commerce, you must be equally as imaginative to give yourself that point of difference from your competitors.

You also need to know who your market is likely to be. Who will buy your products? Understanding where your market shows up each day will help you get noticed by them. To do this – you need to know who will become your loyal customers.

When you have answered all these questions, it is then that you start to design your products and services. You need a vision for your business first and then shape your inventory around this vision.

Drilling down into your target demographic

While finding your target demographic sounds hard, it is merely a way of defining your customers more specifically. While in your heart you believe you can sell to everyone in the world, your head should tell you that getting a small crowd together first is a sensible starting point. Who will be in this crowd?

First, what gender will buy your beauty products? How old will they be? What social class level are you aiming your product towards? What will be the interests of your customers? What will they do for a living? Will they be married or single, and are there children in the home?

All these questions will change where you choose to advertise, how you choose to advertise, the platform for your e-commerce, and pretty much every decision you make. For instance, payment options, millennials are unlikely to have credit cards and are more likely to go to alternatives such as Afterpay, Zip Pay or PayPal.

Growing your business

If you have already started your e-commerce business, then you have taken a difficult first step. Now, you must grow your business and increase your stake in the market share, which is just as challenging.

Build a community

First, you will need to build your community. People buy beauty products from brands that are trusted. Being a known name is an obvious advantage here, as word of mouth recommendations will be your biggest marketing advantage.

Having chosen your brand story and your target demographic, building a community is about going to the online platform that your people are most likely to congregate. While you might think that a Facebook page is perfect, if you are aiming at Gen Z, you may never be found and instead should be focused on TikTok or Instagram. Yet, for those in the 30s and 40s, Facebook is exactly the place to be.

If you are exceptional at one area of beauty, you may also want to start Facebook or Instagram Live tutorials. If your business is to sell the products that support your skill area, this is the perfect way to get your name linked to the best looks.

For instance, if you are skilled in the shaping of eyebrows and can use a variety of methods, then this is your niche. You can then sell the products you use in these videos, as people also feel skilled in using them.

When creating your Facebook Live video, you need to know where to stream. It is possible to stream live from your business page. If you have an exclusive group you want to nurture, you can also invite them to a private group on Facebook.

If you stream in your Facebook group, it is free but streaming from your site means the customer is already in your sales pipeline and fewer clicks from a purchase.

When on a Facebook Live video, work hard to engage the audience. Rather than treating it like a video where you are more interested in the shots, speak directly to your audience and ask them to share ideas and thoughts as you go through your tutorial.

Getting people to share details and stories helps them feel a part of your group, and you might even be able to ask them to tag friends who would love to hear what you are sharing.

Getting ranked

The internet is governed by a complex set of algorithms. These algorithms are designed to direct the search engine’s customers to the highest quality and most relevant pages. Whether it is getting your e-commerce store ranked on the first page of the search or your video, you must take seriously the demands of search engine optimisation (SEO).

With video, there is a snowball effect on your rankings on the sites. If you want to share YouTube tutorials, the more people who see them, the higher you will rank on the page and the more likely you will become a recommended video. Therefore, you need to make it easy for people to connect with your video, embedding it in social media and on your website and pushing people towards it. If your video is good enough, people will start to share, and your audience will then grow organically.

You should optimise your Shopify e-commerce store, one of the most popular platforms for selling beauty products with keywords and keyphrases that visitors use to search for your products.

It is a good idea to use all the SEO tools, including your tags, meta descriptions, and page URLs.

Getting good at using backlinks to build your authority is another way to boost your rankings.

Answering questions that people are putting into search engines is a great way to rank for specific search queries. The “People Also Ask” section on Google is now prime real estate, and marketers are learning to compete for this space by overtly answering these specific questions in the content on their site.

Product Giveaways and Promotions

One of the best ways to build your community is through a competition. It is essential that these contests do not overwhelm the customer and there is a clear and easy path to winning. The prizes you offer don’t have to be massive, as most customers will compete for the chance of feeling like a winner.

As your business is growing, it is a good idea to run three contests a year. When you first start, it could be a prize to the 1000 person to like your Facebook page or the 500th follower on Instagram. Running competitions that encourage people to sign up for a newsletter is also a great technique, as you can then use these emails as part of your marketing strategy.

Key actions

There are some key actions to get you started.

  1. Write your brand story and from there, think who your story appeals to.
  2. Decide on your products and your method of selling.
  3. Build your community using what you have learnt about the small market share you are targeting.
  4. Maximise your presence online using SEO.
  5. Use contests to grow your online presence.

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