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Getting it right online

Hatty Scaramanga, sales and marketing manager at digital agency Inside Online, explains how beauty retailers can make the most of online sales

When it comes to online beauty searches, established brands dominate. According to a review of 50 prominent beauty websites by digital marketing agency Inside Online, dominant brands include Boots, Superdrug and Feel Unique.

While this may not be unexpected, it is surprising to see that Boots has had a 9 per cent decrease in year on year visibility. On the other hand, the review, which looked at search activity over recent years up to December 2015, found that NYX Cosmetics, Origins and Salon Services all enjoyed substantial growth. Overall, the website with the largest growth in 2014-2015 was Gorgeous Shop, which saw 82 per cent more searches during the year. The worst performing was Mua Store, which saw a 59 per cent decrease.

Overall, 2015 was a progressive year for many in the sector. When it comes to digital marketing however, 60 per cent of brands are losing ground rather than gaining, reflecting the changing nature of digital marketing.

On the money

One company that is on the money when it comes to digital strategy is Feel Unique, Europe’s largest online premium beauty retailer. It has not only seen a year on year increase in visibility, but also shows the highest authority of linking domains, outperforming Boots and The Body Shop.

Joel Palix, owner of Feel Unique, talks about his successful crosschannel approach: “Shoppers are increasingly sharing links and pictures of products online. This is why one of the major goals of the revamp of Feel Unique’s online and mobile offering was to provide a smooth, user-friendly experience that reflects shoppers’ habits. More and more we’re trying to offer a seamless journey,” he says. “So what is ordered or viewed on one device can be easily accessible on another device. We try to create an environment that is more personalised.”

For Palix, the best mobile strategy is one that is incorporated into a holistic, cohesive view of how a company interacts with its customers and should be driven by one overriding consideration. “As a retailer, we want to be on every device possible,” he says, “because our goal is to make the customer’s life as easy as possible.”

Did you know?

The online beauty industry employs more than one million people and is worth an incredible £17 billion. Healthy growth of 16 per cent is forecast for this year.

 

6 Top Tips for sales success

1. Customers first and foremost: you need to evolve as your customers do, think less about yourself and more about your customers’ needs.
2. Integration: to be successful, it is vital to look at how you integrate your SEO (search engine optimisation), paid media, content, social and PR campaigns to speak to the right people at the right time. Stop working in silos and start working across channel.
3. Facebook advertising: look at how Facebook ads are approached. Facebook knows that retail advertisers come to it to drive business goals, including increasing in-store traffic and website clicks. It recently changed its definition of cost per click (CPC) only to include clicks to websites and apps, which means you don’t need to pay for “likes”, shares or comments. This change will help you to understand how Facebook ads deliver on their goals.
4. Mobile, mobile, mobile: pay even more attention to mobile as new figures from Google reveal that 61 per cent of retail purchases are made on mobile compared with only 39 per cent on desktop. Many mobile searches are about finding a physical store in the consumer’s vicinity. Therefore, explore local search features such as local inventory ads so your that customers can find in-stock products in your nearby shops to make purchases.
5. Instagram is key: integration of Instagram into your social media and marketing strategy is more important now than ever. Analysis of 25 active client campaigns by Kenshoo found that average click through rates (CTR) were 2.48 per cent – 2.5 times higher than social advertising industry averages. Given its captivating nature, visually inspiring images and video content, the Instagram concept is compelling creative overall. This should be capitalised on throughout the beauty sector.
6. Link search and social: to achieve business goals, retailers must understand the links between the consumer activity on social and paid searches. Running social and paid campaigns together has proven to increase return on investment as analysis of what works on social advertising can be used to expand paid search keyword targets.

 

Inside Online’s full report on the online beauty market examines aspects such as seasonal trends and offers a detailed analysis of search engine optimisation and the use of keywords to optimise search volume. For more information, visit the Inside Online website.

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