Our What’s In Store series highlights what retailers are planning for the year ahead, and what customers can expect to find across their in-store and digital experiences.
We sat down with Tracy Kline, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Digital and Marketing at Bluemercury to learn more:
How has Bluemercury’s in-store strategy shifted over the past year to meet consumer demand?
When COVID shut down our stores, we knew we had to pivot and adopt new digital strategies almost overnight. Our teams were able to transition to virtual consultations, inviting Bluemercury’s beauty experts into their homes and bathrooms with virtual shopping and consultations. While we were unable to physically shade match, our experts were able to work with clients on an individual basis, based on their past purchased history in our stores or with other brands to find the right shade and products for them. We now offer curbside delivery to ensure our clients who aren’t quite ready to return to the stores are able to get what they need in a way that makes them feel comfortable. With vaccinations on the rise, we are seeing store traffic increasing and clients are eager to update and refresh essential beauty items.
What continues to set us apart is that Bluemercury clients receive expert beauty advice and product knowledge. We would rather have our clients leave the store with a handful of free samples so they can be sure to find the products that work for them rather than buying something they aren’t 100% sure is the right product. Our robust sampling in store brings clients back knowing exactly what they want to purchase.
Which features have you eliminated or added to the store experience due to the pandemic?
Makeup application in-store is still on pause as a result of the pandemic. In lieu of that, we have increased our already rich sampling program to ensure clients can test and try at home.
In addition to our Beauty Expert Virtual Consultations, our team launched the ‘Bluemercury Masterclass Series,’ focused on collaborating with our vendor partners to create unique, educational experiences. Every week, our Beauty Experts are teaming with professionals from some of our most popular brands for our “Bluemercury Presents Masterclass” series. During these Masterclasses, we educate clients on products, teach them tips & tricks and educate them on the brand. Classes are very well attended and super interactive! This virtual experience has taken much of what happens in-store, safely online while continuing to support the customer’s needs.
In-store we follow strict safety protocols while continuing to offer expert beauty advice, share product knowledge and educate clients right in their own neighborhoods.
Which of your products are customers spending most on these days?
Clients’ buying habits may have shifted – but the need for honest, expert advice is at an all- time high. Consumers are seeing a shift in their lifestyle and are looking for ways to adapt. We are seeing clients lean into skincare, home fragrance and facial devices. Our clients will see us focusing on a few more areas within the haircare and intimate care space in the upcoming months. In the last year, we have seen consumers hyper-focused on our Conscious Beauty segment, as our mission remains focused on client education and demystifying the importance of this category. We’ve built our Conscious Beauty philosophy around our holistic approach toward beauty and the interconnectivity of your mind, body and overall well-being. Each product and brand is selected to fit our clients’ lifestyles, with ingredients and formulations designed to enhance their overall health. We continue to add new brands – many driven by innovative, diverse founders – to support the evolving needs of our clients within this growing category.
Which technologies are you leveraging online and in-store to reach new audiences and enhance the customer experience?
Clients who only shopped with us in our friendly, neighborhood stores have become omni-channel customers overnight. Even now, with our stores open, the e-commerce business is continuing to accelerate. We now offer curbside pick-up for customers not yet ready to shop in our stores and also offer same day delivery at select Bluemercury locations. Additionally, we have partnered with Klarna both in-store and online, offering customers a new shopping experience and connecting to a new audience who we may not have reached before. In addition to new client acquisition, we are excited to partner with Klarna to expand our curated, rewards benefits programming for our BLUEREWARDS loyalty members.
Klarna in-store is already boosting sales for brands in more than 60,000 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, and we’d love for yours to be next. If you’re ready to grow your business with happy returning customers and a better shopping experience, get started today.