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Creating the perfect user experience for beauty brands

Connor McMenamin

Beauty is closely linked to confidence. According to Dove’s global research, only 11% of girls are comfortable describing themselves as beautiful. 72% feel a great pressure to be beautiful. Online beauty brands must therefore give their shoppers the confidence to explore and buy their products, while also appealing to the aspirations of these products. Striking this balance is tricky, depending entirely on ecommerce beauty brands creating the perfect user experience (UX).

What does UX mean for beauty brands?

The factors that matter in creating a UX-optimised online beauty store aren’t essentially different from any other ecommerce site:

  • Presentation – the overall look and feel of the site,
  • Clarity – understanding what the site offers,
  • Credibility – the site’s trustworthiness,
  • Usability – searching, finding and paying for products.

If beauty brands get these things right, they can reap the rewards from building customer loyalty. There are basic elements in any ecommerce customer journey that can increase conversions, but there are also things specific to beauty products.To do this, let’s first look at the physical beauty retail experience. Shopping on the high street for beauty brands is an immersive experience. Shoppers can test products, have makeovers and incorporate a whole social element into their shopping. The beauty counter is an in-store staple. It offers shoppers the opportunity to connect directly with products, and builds and reinforces brand loyalty by enhancing the customer experience. It’s a struggle for online retailers to create an equivalent sense of immersion. Instead, they should focus on the things that online shopping provides that physical retail cannot.

Online shopping benefits

Perhaps the most commonly discussed benefit of online versus physical shopping is convenience, and the same holds true for beauty brands. Shoppers can order products on the go while they’re going about other tasks, and they don’t have to worry about the time it would take to visit a physical store. In fact, 73% of UK shoppers prefer to shop using mobile devices. Another factor in favour of online shopping is the availability of more choice.

 Many shoppers have experienced the disappointment of their physical store running out of the specific beauty product they want, and the online store can help avoid that completely. It's also much easier for shoppers to research products and for online stores to provide additional information to help them make informed buying decisions. Retailers can support this by publishing online reviews of products for users to refer to. Let’s think about online beauty brands in particular. Where online retailers can’t provide the same social aspect to beauty shopping as physical stores, they can harness the power of social media channels and influencers to market their products. 82% of women believe social media is helping to define beauty, and beauty brands can tap into this via their online activity.

How can beauty brands deliver perfect user experiences?

Good intentions alone won’t drive sales. For beauty brands, the best way to build customer loyalty is to ensure that the architecture and functionality of their online stores are fully UX-focused. Even the most compelling content and striking imagery will fail to resonate with shoppers if they find that the site loads too slowly, or the checkout process is overly complex. The issue of trust is a big one in beauty shopping. 

Online, it extends to the mechanics of the shopping process as well as to the products themselves. Plus, beauty brands need to resist the urge to take a maximalist approach. The dazzling array of cosmetics and counters that work in a physical space can prove too distracting online. Instead, they should aim for the right blend of good design and streamlined operations. How easy is it for the customer to make their purchase? This begins with the ecommerce platform. Rather than emphasising bells and whistles, start with the basics and choose a sleek, professional platform that is adaptable, customisable and scalable.

Matching the beauty brand to the end-user

Understanding the customer and demonstrating this knowledge is the key to retail success. Having an ecommerce platform that provides the flexibility to align brand values with what the end-user is looking for will give beauty brands a competitive advantage. The Aero platform is built to support this approach. It’s lean, fast and highly adaptable. It gives beauty brands a reassuringly robust framework and customers the confidence to buy beauty products online.

For more ecommerce insights and information, follow Aero on LinkedIn.

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