E-commerce is certainly one of the next big things in beauty. Brands are popping up everywhere that exist solely online, and a beauty brand without an e-commerce presence is a rarity—if such a thing even exists at all. However, the pervasiveness of e-commerce in beauty makes it all the harder for beauty brands to stand out in this marketplace. In “What Makes a Health and Beauty E-Commerce Site Work?,” a July 2013 blog post from Emily Saka at Salsify—a company that focuses on product content management software, e-commerce retailing and marketing—looks at moving the beauty experience online, and how that can affect a brand’s consumers and business.
Saka writes, “Shopping for health and beauty supplies is generally a very hands-on and sensory process, thus understanding how the health and beauty E-commerce space operates is of especial interest in retail studies. We were recently inspired by a 2012 study from the A.T. Kearney Global Consumer Institute, which took a closer look at online consumer habits across the beauty and personal care industry. Based on previous research, we thought that the best health and beauty sites were the ones that made the shopping experience social, but the study suggested instead that consumers prioritize convenience and savings over all else. So we put this survey into practice. We picked several attributes that were considered most and least important to the online shopping experience, and looked at how they played out across a number of these online health and beauty destinations, from brand sites to Amazon.com.”
Saka goes on to write about Salsify’s findings, including the need to not replace in-store consultations, catering to “creatures of habit,” how price factors in, and figuring out what does seem to be driving consumers to particular beauty e-retail destinations.