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Naturals & Cosmeceuticals at Mass

By: Stephanie Dishart, Pei Wong, Tanja Lindermeier, Evelyn Lu and Lindsay Novellano
Posted: August 26, 2011

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For services of a more indulgent variety, consumers can make use of the Beauty Bar. Consumers get a pedicure while shopping on an iPad, picking up the order on the way out… with a fresh coat of polish. The best part is, if she liked the nail polish she tried, it is for sale in the same store. What’s unique about this beauty bar concept is that each station will be sponsored by a different beauty brand every month. For mass brands that typically don’t have their own spas or salons, this presents an opportunity to showcase their latest and collect valuable consumer feedback.

There will also be medical spa services, leveraging the authority of the in-store pharmacy. We are, after all, entering the age of lunch-hour face lifts and drive-by Botox. Such services will only build credibility for the mass retailer as a comprehensive wellness authority. A retail partnership with Allergan would be akin to JCPenny’s partnership with Sephora: more distribution for Allergan’s products, more accessibility for the consumer, and more revenue for the retailer. For brand manufacturers, imagine what a lip plumping service would do for lipstick sales in the next aisle.

Education Solutions

As previously mentioned, the Wellness Center will be an obvious touch point for education. However, education must also exist outside its walls. The proliferation of products and SKUs available at mass is astounding. Consumers are overwhelmed and confused. Something as simple as choosing a shampoo quickly becomes a daunting task. This makes education just as, if not more critical for mass shoppers than prestige shoppers. Moving the traditional Beauty Advisor model into mass has not proven successful. However, we believe the following educational solutions will be successful in mass retail.

67% percent of consumers research a product or ingredient on a manufacturer’s website before purchasing.13 Online is the natural platform for information. What mass retailers can do immediately is establish a sponsored microsite. It should be separate from the e-commerce site but seamlessly link back to it. Mywellness.com is a digital platform that lives online or on your phone. The format is uniquely linked to storytelling. Because this site’s sole purpose is to educate, consumers will identify it as a reputable source of information. To elevate the site’s legitimacy, it will include testimonials and information from experts like dermatologists and estheticians. If consumers require customized educational guidance, they can set up an account, log in and make mywellness.com a digital destination for their personal wellness.

If consumers are looking to optimize their personal wellness education in the store, they have the option to speak directly with health and beauty experts via a skyping kiosk. Strategically located between beauty, pharmacy, and grocery, this kiosk provides the option to call one of several types of experts. With Microsoft ‘s recent acquisition of Skype and its 170 million users14, you can imagine the potential.