The evolved beauty consumers of today are more informed, engaged and connected than ever before. To them, beauty and wellness are increasingly interchangeable concepts, resulting in a focus on holistic beauty.
Consumers carefully analyze ingredient lists, and they choose brands that share their values and community. They’re also looking to new technology and artificial intelligence to personalize their beauty routines—helping them not only look good, but also feel good.
From self-care products to curated subscription boxes to new ingredients with research-backed benefits, there are many ways to create a community of beauty consumers that are loyal to retailers and brands. But don’t be overwhelmed: It’s not too late to join the conversation with your beauty consumers—they’re listening, and they’re more than happy to connect directly with you to provide their feedback. So, how do you empower these informed consumers, especially when they have so many options nowadays?
Empower and Inform
Consumers know best, and they expect more from brands and retailers than they have in the past. So it’s not enough to simply label your products as “natural.” Today’s discerning consumer already knows the basics of natural beauty and natural—packaging claiming natural does not convince her anymore. She wants the specifics. For example, are the ingredients humane-certified? And what, exactly, are the incredible ingredients in the product? Call them out and label them prominently, because consumers are looking for particular ingredients that excite or interest them.
You don’t have to make big sweeping changes to drive loyalty and growth. In addition to using established ingredients like rose and almond, focus on innovating with ingredients that excite and spark curiosity, like creatine, arginine, and probiotics. Consumers are interested in these new ingredients, but it’s your job to make them believe by messaging the benefits in a credible manner. Only you know which ingredients are most appropriate for your products, and you should start with what your consumers want and will want in the near future.
Be Clean and Convenient
It’s what’s inside that counts, particularly when it comes to beauty products. Women want to look and feel good, and they expect their products to offer beauty and wellness benefits. In particular, they’re looking for “clean” products that do not contain any undesirable ingredients and have credible sustainability claims, such as recyclable or biodegradable packaging. And yet, convenience is still the driving force for consumer purchasing—consumers, for now, are willing to make compromises with their values for the sake of convenience. But don’t think of this as choosing between one or the other. Instead, consider how you can invest in products that are both convenient and sustainable. You’re not compromising, and consumers shouldn’t compromise either: Make products in which sustainability is a built-in, convenient feature.
Personalize and Create Experiences
Improved technology and artificial intelligence are breaking down the barriers between you and your consumer—so, have a dialogue with her and keep her engaged. Remember that she has multiple channels to find the perfect product for her values and lifestyle, so give her reasons to understand that your brand or product is personalized for her.
Investing in advanced hardware and software technology is one way to enhance her experience, from on-demand beauty consultation apps to personalized product formulations to at-home light treatment devices. Online engagement is another proven method for driving consumer engagement, from social media to e-commerce exclusives—she may intend to “just browse,” so give her an excuse to purchase now. Automating the process is convenient for both parties: Curated boxes and subscription services are customizable, ideal for testing new products or ingredients, and offer savings in bundles. Give them multiple reasons to come back, and consumers will not only stay brand loyal, but also become brand evangelists.
Lucky you—beauty retailers, brands, and manufacturers are in an age where you can form loyal, engaging relationships with your consumers. By empowering women to choose, innovating in both sustainability and convenience, and engaging in personalization and custom experiences, you will form deeper connections with an increasingly diverse consumer base.
This article originally appeared in Global Cosmetic Industry magazine.