Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have believed that beauty e-commerce would one day dominate the online shopping market. Today’s customers are visiting top beauty e-commerce sites and shelling out big bucks without testing skin products, smelling lotions, or even seeing a lipstick colour in person – and the numbers are growing.
In 2017, beauty e-commerce sales grew by roughly $1.6 billion. And as a whole, the global cosmetics market was recently valued at $532.4 billion. Still, this exploding sector is projected to grow – and fast. It’s predicted to be a $750 billion dollar industry by 2024.
So how are today’s top cosmetics companies convincing people to buy such personal products without even holding them in their hand? Here in the US, we’ve taken some lessons from two quickly-rising European beauty e-commerce sites – and Klarna UK clients – that are delivering the ultimate in virtual buying across the pond.
High tech beauty e-commerce at Beauty Bay
Europe’s largest independent online beauty retailer is killing it in the e-comm space. One glance at the site tells you why. Bright and colourful, their online shop is fun, hip, and aspirational. Design-wise, the site is an ideal landscape for the coveted millennial and generation Z shoppers. Filled with shareable makeup tutorials that utilize the products for sale, the site’s in-the-know feel is pervasive. Beauty Bay has figured out a way to be a part of the action by capitalizing on the Youtube and Instagram makeup phenomena.
What’s more, their website is easy to navigate and fun to get into. A catchy and unique CTA finishes off the bottom of the page, scooping up user emails, while their checkout seamlessly ushers customers from video browsing to an easy, breezy checkout. Plus, when sticker shock starts to kick in, Beauty Bay provides the flexible payment options that millennial shoppers want through their partnership with Klarna. The option to Pay later allows shoppers to indulge in all the latest makeup trends, resting easy in the knowledge that they can try the product and foot the bill at a more convenient time.
A standout plan from Eco Beauty Crew
Meaningful engagement is often at the core of the distinction between beauty brand and beauty empire. Check out Eco Beauty Crew for inspiration on this connection. The self-proclaimed “home of clean beauty” offers an extensive collection of organic products and is clearly customer-centric.
By using social media to tap into a huge community of llike-minded shoppers, Eco Beauty Crew has built an association between their brand and natural beauty. Beauty is the second most viewed topic on YouTube, and you’d be hard pressed to spend more than ten minutes scrolling Instagram without stumbling upon a cosmetics product artfully embedded in a sponsored post.
It’s a simple concept to digest: with something as personal as beauty, people want to hear from those they see as friends, to give them what is perceived as trustworthy advice. Clicking through Eco Beauty Crew, it’s easy to see that the company has fully grasped and embraced this info.
To set themselves apart, Eco Beauty Crew extends free shipping on orders 30£ and above, wraps their products in eco-packaging, and maintains an impeccably curated Instagram page dedicated to continuously fostering their relationship with the au naturale beauty queen.
Like Beauty Bay, Eco Beauty Crew also distinguishes themselves by offering alternative payment methods. Innovative and savvy as they are, it makes sense that the brand also offers Klarna’s slice it option, which enables its dedicated customer base to avoid thinking about credit card debt at checkout and buy something they love in smaller installments over time. Happiness sells!
In a era when new launches from beauty brands sell out in a matter of hours, and ‘born digital’ companies are becoming commonplace, the beauty industry is clearly booming. It’s time to not just exist in the space, but to thrive in it, by following the brands leading the charge, and putting customers first.
Want to learn more about how to boost online beauty sales in the US market? Check out our newest Klarna Confidential.
3 Quick Lessons
How to grow faster
- Find a core audience and continually engage with them. Offer special features that set you apart and reflect your shopper’s most important values.
- YouTube and Instagram videos are helping consumers feel like they’ve tried a product, even if they haven’t done so in real life. Capitalize on this phenomena with a clean checkout process that ushers buyers from exploration to check out in as few steps as possible.
- Make clicking “BUY NOW” a no-brainer with modern payment options that set you apart from the other sites.