The massive surge of skincare sales is now overtaking the cosmetics sector. With 2020 alone being such an exceptional year due to the pandemic, Vogue Business reports that beauty consumers have shifted their spending habits and are now mimicking “the salon experience at home” as physical stores and salons shut down. Therefore, these “lockdown purchases” are most likely made online through the beauty brands’ e-commerce sites or through online beauty retailers such as Sephora and Amazon.
In line with McKinsey & Company's May 2020 report, they shared that beauty brands and retailers have reported that their e-commerce sales doubled compared to their pre Covid-19 records, with an estimated growth of 20 to 30%. Although the management consultancy firm suggests that "the increase in online sales are not offsetting the decline in in-store sales,” other market experts argue that the booming e-commerce market of the industry is expected to grow so much bigger in the coming years and we shall expect to see more digital trends that will serve as benchmarks not only to upcoming beauty brands but to other industries as well.
However, as the online market continues to grow and get saturated, the struggle is undeniable for start-up skincare brands to pave their way to the top. If you’re reading this article and you happen to be one of those promising skincare brands, worry not because we have rounded up some of the top skincare brands to benchmark your e-commerce site and highlighted the key features that you might be looking for. Just like you, we’ve asked ourselves these questions while doing this report: "How should my website look? How am I going to showcase my products? What are the things that my target market wants to see?” And to answer them, we’ve come up with three categories namely design, merchandise presentation, and added features that could be useful to improve your conversion rate.
In the humble beginnings of developing your e-commerce site, one of the first concerns is usually the look that would both resonate to the identity of your market and your brand. Looking for the right template can be very tedious but of course how are you going to improve that and make it more aligned with your vision? We suggest that you look into these skincare brands as benchmarks:
Founded by the make-up mogul of the Kar-Jenner clan, this skincare line incorporates Kylie Jenner's signature pink color onto their packaging, key visuals, video content, marketing campaigns and all the way to their website. To add to that, this signature color is not only 'all about Kylie' but is also Pantone’s 2016 color of the year (also dubbed as the ‘Millennial Pink’) which became so popular even until today. In recent years we’ve seen this shade of pink on beauty brands, fashion brands, music, gadgets, and even on food packaging. With that, we suggest that it is important to know what are the trending color palettes today and stick with it to highlight the coherence of each landing page to the brand’s identity.
As market experts suggest, the chunk of the 41.8% growth in skincare product sales within the last 7 years was attributed to the Gen Z’s, as this age group believes that it is better to bank on skin health rather than cosmetics. According to Piper Jaffray’s research, the spending power of Gen Z’s has a projected value of $140 billion and beauty brands should definitely consider the “desires and behaviors” of this generation such as their lifestyles, visual preferences, and proper representation. So, what does Drunk Elephant have to do with that? With its highly visual and well-curated e-commerce site, this award-winning skin care brand surely didn’t miss out on tapping the Gen Z market. As this generation is very into animated visuals and bright colors, Drunk Elephant could be a really good benchmark in designing your website if you aim to win the hearts of the Gen Z's.
However, if you’re into the more minimalist aesthetic, we suggest looking into The Ordinary Versed Skincare or Typology Paris’ e-commerce sites. If you are aiming to tap a bigger range of age groups, going with neutral earth colors and minimalist themes is the way to go. All in all for design, we suggest looking beyond a certain palette and know the trend and market psychology behind it.
With a great design concept comes a brilliant merchandising presentation. Just like setting up a physical store, you have to understand visual merchandising and how your customers would feel upon entering your shop. The same goes for e-commerce especially for skincare products where customers value both design and merchandise presentation as these impact the credibility of the brand. Aside from that, we know that skincare brands offer a ton of products with a ton of information. So, how should these be presented on a website? Have a look at these brands for your benchmark:
First up are Innisfree and Tacha, some of the most popular beauty brands in Asia that can give you various examples on how to showcase your products depending on your product range and categories. By looking at it as a consumer, you can already identify the products you need on their homepage without having to browse through multiple links. You just have to pick a category (for ex. Shop by Benefits, Shop by Concern, Shop by Skin Type) and it will redirect you to the product you are looking for. With regards to information, their product page not only offers information about the product you’ve selected but also shares with you useful tips on skincare and how to use this product within a regimen. Innisfree and Tatcha not only aims to sell but also shows that they care about their customers — and that builds brand equity.
Next is Glosser, one of the most sought after beauty brands of skincare fans. Just like Innisfree and Tatcha, Glossier’s e-commerce site is very easy to navigate and direct to the point. By featuring their star items directly on the homepage, it gives the customers the accessibility they want and offers them more time to browse through the products page. In terms of information, Glossier presents the juicy bits that every type of consumer wants to know by already answering the questions they would normally ask. For example you select their best-selling ‘Priming Moisturizer’ you would see a summary of information that goes with it and tells you everything you need to know.
By reviewing the websites of these skincare brands, we’ve also gathered the most interesting features that you could look into when vamping up your e-commerce site. Of course, the applicability of these features still depends on your product range but we’ll just share it with you just in case you want to add a little “razzle-dazzle” on your e-commerce site:
‘How to get there' is always the next question after gathering these ideas and inspirations. And to be fairly honest, there are a lot of ways to build your dream e-commerce site. You can reach out to growth marketing experts and let them review your brand while staying completely autonomous. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with them because in order to bring your ideas to life, it has to be backed up by meaningful figures. So to sum it, here are some of our pro-tips to help you get there:
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