The entrepreneur behind the now-famous brand in the Beauty sector, VeraLab. If you don’t know her, we invite you to read her story about her, which will surely inspire you.
Beyond the case history of VeraLab is the living testimony of a fortune that the beauty sector has been experiencing in recent years. The most recent research tells us that, within one or two years, the online sales channel will become predominant in the sector.
This means two things: firstly, there is still room for growth for those who want to invest in this sector, and secondly, those who have a physical store, even as part of an omnichannel strategy, cannot neglect this channel. All reasons that lead us to talk about beauty e-commerce: how to open an online store of beauty products? We talk about it in this article.
Beauty Ecommerce, A Trend Destined To Grow
The growth of the online beauty sector is there for all to see. It is enough to consult the Ecommerce Italy Report to discover that the Health and Beauty sector, in 2022 alone, achieved a turnover of 831 million euros out of 75.89 billion euros. Little if compared with other sectors, but still not negligible.
Furthermore, double-digit growth is also forecast for 2023. The idea of building beauty e-commerce, therefore, is not far-fetched. As with any industry, however, the right path needs to be taken. Therefore, let’s clarify the mandatory steps in creating online beauty commerce.
The Definition Of The Brand And Its Characteristics
Any project, whether online or offline, must be instantly recognizable by its target audience. Even in the case of beauty e-commerce, therefore, it is necessary to identify with absolute precision its brand and its characteristics. This applies to those who are starting a project from scratch and those who already have a physical store but also want to open a new sales channel.
In one case or another, it becomes essential to understand which audience the beauty commercial is aimed at, a niche or the generalist market. A high-spending or low-spending audience? Demographically, how does it fit? Etc. All information will lead to a question: why should this user buy here and not elsewhere? Once the reason why has been identified, the brand definition game, both graphic and textual, will be much simpler.
The Definition Of Product Lines And Their Characteristics
In the branding phase, when the reference target has been defined, in all likelihood, the characteristics of the beauty ecommerce products must have also been identified. After all, already defining a high rather than a low-spending audience will help define the characteristics of the product lines.
The previously identified reason why will further help to define the characteristics of the products further. The product lines will be defined based on this reflection, combined with that relating to more purely financial aspects. This will also mean establishing the profit margins on the single product, which lines to push and which ones to keep in the catalog only because they are requested by the consumers to whom the beauty commerce is aimed.
Comparison Of Business Models: Private Label Or Brand Label
The choice of VeraLab, which we referred to previously, was that of creating products under its brand. This is one of the models available to those who want to enter the world of ecommerce beauty: create their line of products and clash, by their reason why, with the competition. This model, however, can also be differentiated between those who produce the products in their laboratory and those who, on the other hand, choose to have it produced by third parties.
In the latter case, we are dealing with the most classic case of private labels. The second option, however, is to select the products of other brands to meet the target audience’s needs.
It is evident, as often happens in these cases, that there are advantages and disadvantages for each of the available models. In the case of the in-house production of the product lines, it is necessary to bear research and development costs for the products not contemplated in the second model.
It is equally evident that those with a laboratory to produce the products sold in a physical store can better amortize the production costs. It is equally true, however, that those who resell the products of other brands are opening themselves up to competition from which own-brand products are unlikely to suffer. Therefore, the choice must be appropriately calibrated to one’s needs and potential.
The Online Sales Strategy Of A Beauty Commerce
At this point, the brand was defined. The product lines and the business model have been defined. All that remains is to define the online sales strategy of beauty commerce. This means, in the first place, choosing the online sales platform. From this point of view, the choice is vast: PrestaShop, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento are only the most common. The important aspect, however, is that, regardless of the platform, this responds correctly to the merchant’s and consumer’s needs. This is possible if its design responds to user experience principles.
Once the platform has been launched, the real challenge of selling the products begins. It can be simple. However, a consumer stimulated by constant competition solicitations will hardly land on beauty e-commerce that hasn’t proactively searched for it. This means building a sales strategy that contemplates all promotion channels. Again, VeraLab is a case in point. This project follows a simple satirical cartoon signed by the Cynic Beautician, who paved the way for the online sales project. Having gained fame with this, it was much easier to sell branded products.
The example does not mean that it is necessary to build a character a priori to sell then – also because this represents a unicum – but that it is necessary to identify, based on the reference target, the right marketing strategy to intercept it correctly. For example, if e-commerce beauty is aimed at younger people, it might be correct to evaluate influencer marketing campaigns. Conversely, suppose the target is made up of more mature people. In that case, it may be worth considering more traditional channels in your strategy, such as, for example, the traditional and generalist press.
Some Trends In The E-Commerce Beauty Sector
Before launching into the e-commerce beauty sector, it may be worth looking at the trends in the sector to set up the job immediately. One of the most interesting aspects, especially for those who decide to produce their products, concerns the brand’s ethical principles. Consumers, as evidenced by the attention to environmental sustainability, are increasingly attentive to brand ethics. This can be a great starting point for building your reason why.
It may be necessary to establish your value system because consumers increasingly buy their products based on what that brand/product represents rather than what it is. However, one must consider that the market is increasingly intolerant of unreal representative models to set up one’s communication strategy. Just look at the commercials of recent times: you almost no longer see models with unattainable standards of beauty but women and men who, like everyone else, have their strengths and weaknesses.
From the point of view of platforms, as is now the case for all sectors, almost three-quarters of traffic is generated by mobile. Furthermore, over half of sales are made through smartphones and tablets. This means that in designing beauty commerce, it is necessary to pay more attention to the mobile user experience than the desktop version. Furthermore, even in this sector, installment payments are experiencing a period of growth. Providing an installment system through one of the many platforms that provide this service can be a differentiating factor compared to the competition.