Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Week 4: The Beauty with E-Commerce

With the prevalence of e-commerce, it has made it almost too easy to purchase virtually anything, anytime and anywhere. Yet, while many industries are thriving, the beauty sector - particularly for cosmetics products (i.e. lipsticks, blush, foundation) - has a harder time gaining traction in the e-commerce landscape.

One good reason for such could be that these products require that physical touch-and-feel and comparison to skin types/tones that one can get during their in-store visits. Something quite critical when it comes makeup shopping - something that e-commerce can't deny they can't provide (at least not yet). When colours on stock photos tend to be skewed to actual product as well as the risks of purchasing dupes (in which ingredients in such dupes can be quite harmful to the skin), how much reliable can cosmetics e-commerce be?

Of course, consumers can easily purchase from their preferred/desired brand site directly... but with overseas shipping costs on top of the actual price of the products, it can be pretty pricey! And if you come from/live in Singapore, you definitely know the pains of not having certain brands available at your nearest Sephora (ahem, Kylie Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bite Beauty... sigh), e-commerce can actually be a viable option!

As such, I will share my experience with shopping online for my beauty products!

My go-to favourite place to go has always been Luxola before it was acquired by French giant LVMH. When that happened, I was pretty much done with online shopping for my makeup. While carousell and Instagram/blog-shopping was a cheaper alternative, something that I can't put my finger around did not make me go "heck, why not, just one purchase!"... Until, I found Comamakeup. Now, this I have to admit: Ironically, I found this site through it's Instagram account. (I know, roll eyes, but whatever *inserts sassy emoji*)

Visiting the website was an experience in itself... It was like love at first sight (pun intended). 

As I found Comamakeup covering all the voids Luxola couldn't replace anymore, I started thinking what makes a B2C e-commerce work? And especially so for products that require much more than just stock images, a good collection and a good website interface. What is it about Comamakeup that makes me come back, wanting more? 

They bought my Loyalty
Upon reflecting on my purchases, I realised that both Luxola and Comamakeup got me hooked by throwing in extra freebies (that I could sometimes pick too!) with my purchases. The weird thing is, I don't even use much of these freebies. 

I got down and thinking. If reciprocity is a powerful psychological trigger, those free "gifts" aren't actually free. While there are no strings attached, it is implied. And I just sold my loyalty. 

(A lightbulb moment for me, for sure!) 

I bought Validation and Appreciation
Sounds kinda sad, but hey, at least I didn't get it from men? Lol. One step up I suppose. Can't deny that empowerment one gets from makeup anyways. 

But here's the thing, it's not the actual products that makes me feel happy, validated and appreciated. Comamakeup and Luxola does an E.X.C.E.L.L.E.N.T. job in making their customers not feel guilty for their purchases. How? Through handwritten thank you notes. I know, as simple as that may sound... but with technology surrounding everyday life, handwritten notes seem like lost art. Which give more of that *oomph* impact needed. I know I'm not the only customer that receives handwritten notes, but I am truly appreciative of the effort taken to write them. Thanks love! 

They gave me Trust
It's not always about the products sold, but through their content anyways. Exhibit A: 

A sucker for make-up and puns by the way. But look at that humour, damn, Comamakeup has personality packaged into their business model as well! #Impressed

With one of the biggest pains for online makeup shopping is having no idea what particular shade will look good on my skin tone, Comamakeup leveraged this by creating content that has a very authentic, approachable feel for their brand. The added Instagram post layout style is also a big plus point as it declutters, prompting consumers, like me, to want to tap into the information available. Delivering helpful content like this helps the brand grow, increasing loyalty, trust and a connection with their audience. 

It's extra work but if it's worth it, why not?

1 comment:

  1. UPDATE:

    Today I received one of those sales emails by comamakeup. While I would usually mark it as read, they employed an unorthodox strategy that made me open the email and read its contents. The strategy was quite simple:

    In the email header, it was titled: "RE: Not your usual Black Friday". By adding just 3 characters, it persuaded me to open the email thinking we had a prior conversation... An hour later, I realised I was in their shopping cart section.

    Strategy's verdict: Cunning or clever? You decide.