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Grow Through E-commerce

By: Mark Pierce, MarketLive
Posted: January 20, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

Sales of cosmetics, fragrances and personal care products have bloomed online—and prospects for growth are the very picture of beauty.

According to research company Forrester, e-commerce revenues in the personal care industry are expected to increase from $6.9 billion in 2010 to $9.6 billion by 2012. That’s a nearly 40% jump—a third higher than the projected growth rate for e-commerce overall.

With increased purchasing comes higher expectation from consumers, who research heavily for beauty products online. They require robust product and value-added content—both from experts and other consumers—along with seamless customer service. In response, beauty retailers are investing heavily online to grow overall sales, strengthen brand identity and build customer loyalty.

Leaders in beauty employ the following strategies for success:

Branding, Branding, Branding

The $350 billion beauty industry (according to Euromonitor International data) features a vast array of both highly recognized and not so well recognized brand names. To win both the mind and wallet share of customers, clearly communicating your brand promise and the unique value you deliver to consumers is critical. This brand messaging must permeate every aspect of the customer experience—not only in terms of content and tools on your e-commerce site, but through e-mail marketing, cross-channel promotions and via your social and mobile channels.