With the peak shopping season already upon us, beauty marketers are working hard to attract customers online with social media campaigns, SEO and advertising but data shows these efforts could be in vain. During November and December, when online traffic typically spikes across the beauty and cosmetics space, the latest data predicts that bounce rates will increase and conversion rates will take a negative hit.
New analysis of 230 brands and retailers by Insider, the platform for personalized cross-channel experiences, highlights an increasing need for marketers to leverage deep personalization strategies to combat bounce rates and engage and convert consumers online – especially during the peak holiday season.
Digital driving personalized experience
Faced with store closures during the lockdowns, many beauty and cosmetics leaders were confronted by the immediate need to improve the online shopping experience for their customers.
The personal and intimate experience of shopping for beauty products in-store has long been challenging to replicate online, but the pandemic served as a catalyst for the uptake of personalization and AR technologies in the digital environment, which helped to make each and every shopper feel seen and understood by the beauty brands it was engaging with.
Alejandra Salazar, e-commerce content manager at Clarins, commented: “Re-creating the in-store beauty shopping experience online will always be a priority for us, at Clarins we rely on technology to help achieve this. Everything we do is about driving engagement and supporting the buying journey, whether that is through virtual consultations or gamification experiences like quizzes and finders (which also help us collect powerful first-party data.) Technology enables us to deliver the personal touch that Clarins customers expect – helping us to improve CX and boost our core ecommerce vitals like conversion rates.”
The shift to a more personal online experience is reflected in a decreasing number of page views per transaction year on year. From an average of 5.42 pages in December 2019 to 5.17 in December 2020, it’s evident that retailers are successfully demonstrating value, showcasing relevant content and products and making it easier for consumers to make confident and fast purchase decisions.
However, many brands still have progress to make when it comes to engaging and converting consumers as Insider predicts the average bounce rate will rise in November and December 2021 by 2%. Brands not leveraging personalization technologies during the upcoming peak season will fall behind, and pressure is on for those that are using them to keep innovating in order to stay ahead.
Converting anonymous visitors to known customers
Understanding consumers on a personal and granular level will boost conversion rates and ensure that the website visits which marketers have worked so hard for don’t go to waste.
Alejandra continued: “The Clarins brand is world-renowned for delivering excellent customer experience, and this isn’t just for our repeat customers, we deliver the same level of experience for new customers too – even online. Understanding and adapting to each customer who visits the Clarins website is central to our marketing strategy and we achieve this by monitoring behaviour and personalising the web experience to best engage with different customer cohorts. One way we achieve this is through offering new visitors a discount in exchange for signing up for marketing communications. This exchange allows Clarins to collect more information and tailor the online experience to their exacting needs – ensuring our customer experience standards are as expected.”
Christopher Baldwin, VP of marketing at Insider, shares his top tips for maximising peak website traffic this holiday season:
- Offer smart recommendations: recommendations are vital because if done correctly, you can create a lifetime customer. If the wrong product is recommended, however, then it can damage the relationship between the brand and customer. Focus on demonstrating the benefits of personalization to your customers, and they will gladly share first-party data in exchange for excellent recommendations.
- Tell a visual story to drive product discovery: engage customers on an emotive level to create a fully immersive experience which encourages purchase. Visual stories can make a lasting impression and help tackle the decreasing attention spans of online shoppers.
- Gamify and create a sense of exclusivity: opportunities to win discounts or freebies will delight consumers and motivate them to make a purchase. The feeling of exclusivity also creates intrigue, jealousy, and curiosity. And many people are willing to pay a premium price for that exclusivity.
- Send a personal note: one-size-fits-all messaging is like one-size-fits-all clothing, in the end, it doesn’t fit anyone very well. Selling beauty and cosmetics is all about making the consumer feel a product is meant especially for them – the greater the personal touch, the better.
- Harness the power of social proof: bolster confidence and drive sales by demonstrating that other consumers love the product. Encourage your active customers to recommend your products and services based on their experience with your business. For example, brand advocacy by your customers on social media or positive product/service ratings on review sites.