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The beauty industry has long been a forerunner in innovation. Particularly when it comes to digital and eCommerce.Beauty retailers are always looking for new ways to enhance customer experiences and create meaningful connections. The pandemic has only increased the drive for new and exciting digital beauty trends. There is a need for online booking systems, contactless payments, new marketing tactics and sales tools. We’ve wrapped up the top beauty trends for 2024 below, happy reading!
Creating customer connections
Customer loyalty is the backbone of any industry, but the beauty industry has some of the most engaged customers of any sector. In the last two years, lockdowns disrupted regular appointments, leaving the industry reeling. Today, customers are ready to return to their new normal with in-person appointments. This has highlighted the need for businesses to keep customers abreast of closures, re-openings, and changing rules. Here are a few ways that you can stay in touch with your loyal customers.
Email marketing is one of the simplest ways to keep customers informed. A strong email marketing strategy can assist you in converting potential customers into buyers and keep current customers up to date with your business. You can schedule campaigns, advertise, or use it as a tool to communicate safety information and scheduling.
Tip: Get personal! Ask for your customers’ birth date and send them an exclusive offer or gift to celebrate their special day.
People spend a lot of time on social media, so as a beauty brand, you need to be on social media. Find out what channels your audience is on. Instagram, in particular, is a platform to showcase your skills and build an engaged following. As a visual reflection of what you do, customers can be enticed to book with you. Be sure to add a book now button or links to your appointment system in your bio and promote it across Instagram Stories.
Social media is also the perfect platform to have important conversations with your audience and convey your brand values in a very personable way. Square even provides easy Instagram integration for easy booking via the platform.
Tip: You can use features like polls and questions to find out which services are most popular with your customers.
“Being a brand these days means having an opinion about more than your product.”
— Erika Geraerts, Owner, Fluff
Customer loyalty rewards
Your business can’t operate without your customers, so rewarding them is a great way to boost engagement on your socials and build loyalty. You can build a loyalty program with Square and integrate it across all of your marketing channels. This could be anything from a points program to tiered programs to reward your most loyal fans, rewarding customers freebies or discounts for the money they spend with your business.
Tip: Promote your loyalty perks across your social media and email marketing channels to encourage customers to sign up!
The average company response time is around 12 hours, but over half of customers expect a reply within four hours. With a direct messaging tool, you can aggregate communication in one easy place so you can view and respond quickly and easily.
Tip: Use features like Facebook and Instagram auto-responses to direct your customers to the right place and provide instant responses to frequently asked questions.
Streamlined appointment scheduling
Taking your appointment system digital isn’t just smart, it is also necessary for today’s climate. It allows you to spend more time with the customers you’re dealing with face-to-face. It’s also easier for your customers to look at available appointments and select the one most suitable to their schedule. It also means they can change their appointment easily if necessary Your Square Appointments system will even send reminders when a customer’s appointment is approaching. Pair your Appointments system with a slick invoice system can also save you timer and can help you stay organised.
In 2023, businesses should be looking to create online stores to complement their physical locations. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling products or services. You can create a shop quickly and easily to facilitate online sales. It’s a shop that remains open all hours for customers to purchase and schedule appointments. It’s also an excellent opportunity to expand your inventory, as you aren’t limited by shelf space.
Tip: A hairdresser could sell complimentary hair and beauty products online alongside in the salon.
Create video tutorials
How do you do what you do? Customers love to see your expertise on show and learn from you. The beauty of video tutorials isn’t just that you can show your customers how you work; it’s that you can widen your engagement and find new customers. Posting tutorials can introduce at-home styling tips, new products and build trust with your customer base.
- Know your theme before you hit record.
- You don’t have to write a full script, but you should have a basic outline.
- If you plan to live stream rather than post a tutorial, be sure to announce it in advance so that your audience knows when to tune in.
Beauty Point of Sale
A full POS system has many benefits, including inventory, bookings and team management. But, one of the key digital trends for the beauty industry is offering contactless payment options. Whether it’s by debit, credit card, QR code or mobile payment, it is important that your business offers multiple ways to pay to ensure you don’t miss a sale opportunity.
Inclusivity and diversity
We live in a diverse society. But, it has taken a little longer for beauty products to keep up with the times. While many beauty brands and businesses are adopting a wider range of options, there is more work to be done. The purpose of inclusivity is to allow everyone to find the right colour match. With consumers seeking products that reflect their values, companies are being asked to expand their product ranges and service offerings. This includes the emergence of more gender neutral salons as well.
Your online shop is the perfect place to experiment with options for everyone. You can stock your best sellers in-store and offer more diversity online. There’s a lot of untapped buying power across a variety of industries, but for the beauty industry, it’s there waiting to be uncovered.
Digital brand building
There’s more value to adopting digital beauty trends than simply expanding your customer base. You can also use it to build and expand your brand. A few ideas below.
Virtual and augmented reality
The world’s leading augmented reality company, Perfect Corp, partnered with Alibaba first in 2019. The intention was to deliver a virtual fitting room to improve the online shopping experience. Since then, the use of VR and AR in the industry has increased. Much like Alibaba’s conversion rate, which they reported increased 4x thanks to the implementation of the technology.
Major beauty brands such as Mac and L’Oreal have also gotten on board with VR and AR. Why? the more hyper-personalised a customer experience can be, the more likely a customer is to complete a purchase. All it requires is a customer to have a smartphone, which makes up almost 80% of Australians. If you have the capacity a VR/AR tool will help you increase engagement with customers, drive sales, conversion rates and add value to your brand.
The subscription service market is worth almost three billion dollars annually (globally). Interestingly, women are more likely to subscribe to a beauty service and health and beauty options are by far the most popular amongst female consumers.. The need for beauty products will never disappear, but the love of convenience and personalisation is here to stay.
the largest areas for growth in the subscription market belong to the beauty industry. For example, Bellabox and Oz Hair & Beauty have been wildly popular, delivering subscription boxes straight to customers front doors. It isn’t only women who love grooming products, men’s grooming subscription boxes like the Dollar Shave Club have also grown in popularity.
A great beauty box or subscription service does two jobs – the first is that it replenishes a customer’s regular products, and the second is that it offers them new, exciting products to try. The perfect upsell opportunity! Over time, personalised subscription boxes will become more tailored to the customer based on their likes and dislikes.
The importance of data
We have already touched on how beauty brands build closer personal relationships with their customers compared to other industries. So, it makes perfect sense that one of the next digital trends is community. People love to feel as though they’re part of something bigger. Bringing customers into the behind-the-scenes process makes them feel like they helped develop and build the business. This will not only improve sales but will also solidify customer loyalty.
How is this achieved? With the help of data of course. To begin, you can track search term data, get spending habit insights, and collect information through questionnaires via email and social media. It’s about using data to gain an understanding of what your consumers want and that can inform your product/service offerings moving forward.
The influencer investment
Beauty brands were among some of the first brands to get on board with social media influencers and that isn’t set to change anytime soon. It remains one of the most effective marketing tools at businesses disposal. Since 2019, the influencer market value has more than doubled. While 30% of L’Oreal’s media budget is allocated to digital channels, Estee Lauder dedicates 75% of its budget to digital and influencers. Influencers operate across several platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Twitch. They live stream box openings, test products, film tutorials and discuss products they love.
With so many influencers out there, it takes some work to stand out. Authenticity and transparency is the way to do it. Your followers want to know that an influencer is working with a brand to promote a product. Gone are the days of undisclosed collaborations. Make sure to align your brand with like-minded and transparent influencers who genuinely love your product/service. The love will shine through in their content! Diversity is another important part of the equation, with users seeking out people with similar skin tones and sensitivities to get a real look at products they can trust. So, not just any influencer will do. Beauty brands need a diverse team that is relatable, transparent and popular.
It’s important to note that there are new rules in place to stop influencers from promoting particular products if they are paid or incentivised to do so. The new Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code comes into legal play from July 1 and refers to products such as medicines, vitamins and even some cosmetics.
Brand partnerships and collaborations are growing in popularity, particularly when products are viewed as collectibles. What comes with unique brand collaborations? Media attention and social media posts that can translate into sales and new customers. It’s all about tapping into the right audience for both brands and creating something that will resonate with both audiences. An out-of-the-box example? In the past soft drink brands have partnered with lip care brands to create flavoured lip balms. A recent example? Go-to Skincare partnered with Aussie gin distillery Four Pillars to create a bespoke, limited edition peach flavoured gin.
Now, celebrities partner with makeup brands to create unique palettes. Or chocolate brands collaborate with beauty brands to create a limited range of products. It has become a hot trend with major brands, but it isn’t only for the bigger brands. The digital world has opened up the board for smaller brands to collaborate with like-minded partners like never before.
Often, smaller brands break into this by co-branding experience with a microinfluencers (influencers with a following under 10,000.) It combines two audiences to generate maximum excitement and create sales. Small brands can invest in smart brand partnerships that will grow with their business and with the influencers follwing. It is an excellent way for startups to put themselves on the industry map.
In 2023, beauty brands have a unique position in the marketplace. Due to the nature of their business, they tend to build stronger personal bonds with their customers than other industries. The trends we see in the digital beauty sector are a sign of what’s to come digitally for other industries.
Want to learn more? We chatted with beauty powerhouse Fluff about creating a brand in 2022 here..