Rich & personal content
When discussing content, our research told us when customers browse for beauty, they do not look for celebrities or pristine imagery. Instead, customers prefer to see somebody that looks like them with blemishes, pores and of all skin shades, who they can relate to. Customers also believe the images used for colour swatches do not represent reality and are often untrustworthy. From the competitor reviews, it was noticeable more beauty retailers are embracing un-retouched images, and looking at new ways to display swatches of products such as AR and videos. Customers also said they don’t like to see assumptive recommendations on beauty sites. They want to see products tailored to them, and their skin.
“I want to see someone who I can compare myself with; I connect better with real people.”- London focus group.
Finding the right products
Spearfishing: Customer knows what they want
When customers know the products they want, they go to sites and use the search bar to find them. In the focus groups, customers said they don’t like to browse through categories and filter through products; they want to find the product they are after quickly and spend time exploring the details to make an informed decision.
Net fishing: Customer doesn’t know what they want
On the other hand, when customers don’t know what they want, they feel overwhelmed by the choices available. They don’t know where to begin and look for inspiration, engage with content online, and speak to friends to find relevant products.
“When I was starting out I was overwhelmed, I didn’t know where I was going to start if I was to enter into this beauty voyage” - London focus group
Added value & service
The most significant pain point for customers shopping for beauty online was the inability to try products before purchasing. Customers said they would only buy products they already knew worked for them or purchase low-value products to minimise the risk. If discounts, offers, or samples were part of the purchase, this would entice them to buy new products. Customers who frequently purchase with a retailer want to be thanked and rewarded, and when loyalty programmes aren’t available, customers look for alternative places to shop and reap the rewards.
“I would buy more first-time try products online, foundations and concealers IF, you could buy the product and then it came with a tiny tester. So it was almost like, try the sample before you open.”- London focus group
Validation by community
Customers are very wary about trusting recommendations from a brand or retailer. However, independent reviewers on social media and communities help customers make informed product choices, connect with like-minded shoppers, and talk about beauty without feeling like the brand is steering the conversation. In all the focus groups, customers said product reviews are imperative and give them honest and invaluable feedback from those who have bought and used the product.
“A brand is not going to let a really crap review sit on it’s website…
can a brand really review their own product honestly?”- London focus group- Dubai focus group