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The Changing Way Consumers Shop Online for Cosmetics

By: Ross Glick and Judy Shulman Brown
Posted: January 20, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Since that time, MAC has become a digital content-driven organization, from books and application techniques to event promotion, event tie-ins, affinity programs, the MAC AIDS Fund and celebrity promotions—many of which are unified through social media. Each of these initiatives were buttressed by digital marketing activities and executed through multiple online channels—as opposed to just thinking about the initiatives such as print sponsorship possibilities.

Q: What were the initial challenges for brands entering and experimenting in the digital space?

Shulman Brown: Initially ,and even for a longtime thereafter, websites were overdesigned, making it extremely cumbersome and time consuming for the consumer to experience a brand and/or find what they needed. The vast majority of visitors to sites are researching and feel frustrated when they can’t achieve that which in turn can create a negative perception about a brand.

It’s important to remember that with social media, social shopping and experience commerce, it’s about what the consumer wants. Beauty and fashion companies must create an online experience based on consumer needs and wants. There are more options than ever which are just a click away, so now in a lot of ways it’s the consumer driving the site experience instead of the brands dictating it.

Q: Enter Experience Commerce—defined as the fusion of social media and shopping online, is emerging as the latest marketing trend for beauty companies. How are you seeing experience commerce impact the industry?