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TOP CX TRENDS FOR BEAUTY RETAIL 2024

March 2024

In the past, to understand what's trending in beauty, customers might have relied on their Pinterest boards or celebrity magazine covers to help push them in the direction for product purchasing. However, industry dynamics and customer behavior today prove that brand and product influence can truly derive from any place, and that in order to 'win,' the customer experience has to be top notch.

 

Following the early trend for what's in and out for 2024, we've developed a point of view for what we believe will be 'in' this year for the beauty industry, and how brands can take immediate action.

 

Based on beauty market trends and industry forecasts, here are some of the no regret moves as it relates to customer experience in the industry:

Create interconnected experiences with wellness as the bullseye

Now more than ever, we are starting to see customers acknowledge the interplay between their favorite products and the affect these choices have on their overall wellness, and vice versa. Creating full product transparency and evidence-based research are only the start of what customers are looking for. With buyers that are looking to increase their mind-body connection, use cleaner products, and take a holistic approach to wellness, they will look for beauty brands that easily support such a mission. As the convergence between healthcare and beauty rises, here are some initial ways brands can capitalize and build well-positioned customer experiences:

 

  • Provide ingredient transparency, geographical sourcing, evidence-based results, and clear use cases and protocols

  • Simplify customers' daily regimen by adding consultative services to help tailor a holistic approach to daily skincare, beauty, and overall health

  • Create supplementary offerings that go beyond the surface of just product, by including tips & tricks on creating a balanced wellness plan for physical and mental health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increase sensory and trending experiences to capitalize on ever-evolving customer needs

 

With the rise of social media, customer needs continue to be dynamic and sometimes, unpredictable. If there's one thing we've learned with the explosion of channels like TikTok, it is that this new generation (Gen Z) craves excitement, newness, elevated experiences, and immediacy…all while being easily swayed by viral micro-trends and influencer endorsements. With that being said, a brand's actual product might not always be the 'reason' a customer goes to purchase. With how quickly trends can change (sometimes overnight), brands are finding it difficult and unsustainable to push new product into production just to keep up. Instead, key industry players are learning to capitalize on the 'feeling' of what customers are looking for, sometimes finding ways to just re-dress a current product in a different outfit, for the sake of feeling 'new.'  To remain trending, here are some initial ideas on how to pivot and cater to a generation full of fleeting desires:

  • Create unique unboxing experiences and deep sensory product immersion that easily puts customers in a position to want to share and take your brand viral 

  • Address viral micro-trends head on by leading the charge yourself; find kitschy ways to make your own product assortment feel reimagined on social media

  • Offer end-to-end exclusive experiences that build anticipation, offer special perks, feelings of scarcity, and post-consumption content to increase brand awareness and engagement

  • Need to add - How do we get ppl to buy faster? Faster paths to purchase with oversaturation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize that technology will be the foundation for future brand success, and will open the floodgate to personalization

As most industries are feeling the current tug to quickly flex to an AI-enabled world, the beauty industry is no less. Offering digital experiences that extend customers' shopping from traditional in-store will be what sets apart competitors and increases loyalty. Offering seamless customer support, AI-enabled recommendations, and VR product matching will be the foundation (ha!) for how customers can have a more bespoke beauty experience. As well, offering tech-driven experiences will help develop insights that will build a concrete personalization capability - a clear win! Here are some initial ideas for how to integrate digital enablement and personalization with high ROI: 

 

  • Increase AI enablement to help customers determine product fit while at home, such as photo uploading, skin-tone analysis, and full-health screeners

  • Offer QR codes for personalized product recommendations tied to purchasing history and social media tracking

  • Align in-store purchasing behavior with the online shopping experience to create a seamless approach for how customers can engage with the brand in a familiar fashion (hello customer journeys!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating social proofing & brand loyalty that can weather the storm with savvy customers 

Thanks to mass engagement and 24/7 social saturation, buyers all over the world are finding ways to connect and share authentic reviews for products that hit the mark and those that didn’t. Even more, the rise of 'product dupes' has continued to surface as customers are wanting the best products but are more cost sensitive and have found ways to maximize their budget. Now more than ever, brands need to find ways to keep customers engaged and offer incentives to remain loyal to purchasing, even while many will make an effort to de-influence and expose products that are overhyped and ineffective. Here are some quick ways to remain relevant across your audience:

  • Increase brand offerings to more than just selling products; find ways to make your brand irresistible that keeps customers coming back, like exclusive brand partnerships, newsletters, early releases, fun events, etc.

  • Set incentives and innovate around affordability to help cater to cost conscious purchasers

  • Control the narrative by creating content that highlights product differentiation and value proposition and helps tune out the noise of available dupes

  • Need to add - Brand affinity - kids buying high end stuff, demographic doesn’t dictate brand- industry becoming about status

 

 

While understanding these trends for 2024 is one thing, activating them takes clear strategy and process. In order to most affectively remain ‘on-trend’ – you first have to know your customer and know them very well. 

 

In order to act on these no-regret moves, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Tactically, knowing where you are in your own customer experience transformation will always help identify what pursuits you are ready to take on and where you need to do some initial leg work to begin. Prior to initiating some of these efforts, make sure that you've outlined the following for your brand:

  1. Do you have clearly defined customer segments?

  2. Do you have recent Voice of the Customer (VOC) data or insights that align to current needs and wants?

  3. Have you articulated your brand or product(s) value proposition and understand your differentiation in the market?

  4. Are there documented customer journeys or personas that better illustrate how customers engage/experience your brand?

  5. NEED TO ADD- Considering emerging technologies to sell - product roadmap…

 

If you don't currently have everything listed above, or need to prioritize making some updates, don't worry. Understanding the 'health' of your CX strategy is one of the many ways you can understand where you need to take immediate action and if you are ready to start making progress towards these trending themes. 

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Image by Nik
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