Traditionally, the only indicator for the level of quality of a health or cosmetic item was price. If something has a higher price tag, it must have better results. Social media completely upended this philosophy in the beauty industry, giving more power and information to consumers than ever before. With the abundance of user-generated content, customer reviews, and how-to videos, it’s easier than ever for shoppers to justify the price of products, or find cheaper—just as good of quality—alternatives.
But you know what they say, the proof is in the primer (I mean…pudding). To help price-conscious consumers combat their cost concerns, high-end health and beauty brands leverage content and messaging to prove the price tag reflects the value of the product.
While a brand can tout all they want about how great their products are, it’s their fellow consumers that shoppers want to hear from the most (and trust the most). In fact, 85% of customers find visual user-generated content (UGC) more influential than images and videos from brands. And these users are twice as likely to share user content because they want their friends to see it. This means that incorporating UGC into your content and marketing strategy is a win-win for your brand and your customers. Word-of-mouth is an old-school strategy but continues to prove success over the years.
Nothing is worse than gathering UGC from customers, only to have it waste away in an untouched system. We had a chance to chat with an expert from Yotpo, a commerce marketing cloud, for our podcast, The Funnel, about best practices for implementing a UGC strategy.
The foundation for any successful UGC strategy is, of course, first gathering content and reviews. Yotpo makes this super easy for brands. For example, through the platform, marketers can send emails directly to shoppers and ask for a review. Yeah, not groundbreaking. But rather than requiring the user to click on a link in the email, going to another page, and writing a review, they can simply reply to the email with their message and hit send.
To successfully implement a UGC strategy, a brand or retailer needs a process to manage customer content as well as a tech stack to collect content, strategically place content throughout the site and social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, etc.), and push through to email campaigns. From what Yotpo has seen, customers who answer questions are often the ones increasing their lifetime value and sharing their experience on social media.
With the help of Blue Acorn iCi, Jack Black added an Instagram feed to the homepage that pulls in content from shoppers and influencers as well as their own images to ensure a uniform brand story. The Instagram feed allows Jack Black to show new customers who their regular shoppers are (everyday men who are looking for quality shave products) and why they love the brand. Additionally, each product page has customer reviews as well as a section for Q&A that enables users to ask other customers about the item. “Is it worth the price tag?” “Absolutely!”
Bobbi Brown combines text and imagery to prove the worthiness of their luxurious cosmetics. Similar to Jack Black, they capture UGC through their Instagram hashtag #BobbiBrown and place the images and videos on relevant products pages.
How-to videos are great for learning how to use a product, but at the end of the day, beauty products are chemical in nature. And, shockingly enough, most beauty consumers do not have a degree in chemistry to fully understand what they’re putting on their face or in their hair. Now more than ever beauty consumers have a genuine interest and concern about the ingredients in their health and beauty products and how they’re sourced. Almost two-thirds of millennials say they want natural skin care products.
Beauty brands with higher price tags have an opportunity to show off the quality of their products with their ingredients. By bridging the gap between the customer’s lack of knowledge and what’s actually in the product, a couple of things can happen:
- Your customers trust your brand more because you’re telling them what ingredients are in the products and why your company chose those ingredients.
- The customer can make a knowledgeable decision when choosing a product that works with their skin or hair type—resulting in fewer returns and satisfied shoppers.
Peter Thomas Roth derives their ingredients from old-school remedies, reminiscent of the spa resorts in Hungary, as well as the latest innovative and effective ingredients to continually improve and evolve their formulas. As a result, shoppers pay a higher price than they would drug store skin care. Their ingredients sound amazing, but how is this better for my skin? Peter Thomas Roth answers this question by listing the key ingredients on every product detail page, describes what each one is, and how it helps. All of the secondary ingredients are listed as well.
Additionally, the luxury beauty brand has an Ingredient Glossary that lists all of the ingredients used in their products. If you click on one of the terms in the list, you will land on a page that provides a description, facial benefits, and its chemical makeup. While most shoppers won’t go that in depth into their research, they know that Peter Thomas Roth offers transparency into their ingredients and how it will affect their skin.
Milk Makeup prides itself on selling cruelty-free, clean cosmetic products for beauty consumers that use makeup to express their personal style. That said, clean beauty doesn’t always come cheap. On their product detail pages, they first note the benefits of the product, touching on their ethically sourced and clean ingredients in the product description. Further down, they emphasize the vegan, talc-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free nature of their products. Anyone who’s looking for vegan cosmetic products that work will find that Milk is well worth the investment.
High-Quality Images and Videos
The draw of high-end makeup stores comes from the ability to try products and ask expert sales associates for a consultation in addition to the luxuriously designed store. When you buy products from these stores, you feel as though you’re not only paying for the product, but also the exceptional customer experience that goes along with it.
In lieu of the in-store experience, beauty retailers and brands need high-quality images and videos to show off the luxurious properties of the products. Compelling imagery draws a consumer in and offers education on the quality of the product. For example, an increasing number of beauty brands are using images to present how their products look across different skin tones and types. How-to videos are ideal for beauty products to show the customer how to use the item, the quality, and before and after shots.
Why not just use UGC? UGC is great for building trust and communicating with shoppers, but you can’t expect all of your customer to follow your brand guidelines. By incorporating your own imagery and videos, you ensure that your ecommerce site, digital channels, and offline channels provide a consistent customer experience.
On every product detail page (PDP), Living Proof, a direct-to-consumer hair care brand, has a “how to use” video. For example, in the dry shampoo video, real users test the product after a sweaty workout. You’ll see before and after workout hair images and what it looks like after they apply the dry shampoo. It has proof, education, and authenticity—the perfect recipe for a high-quality video.
Looking for more beauty ecommerce tips? Our Beauty Ecommerce Report covers everything you need from inside the beauty consumer’s mind to creating a customer experience that will exceed their expectations. Click here to download.