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The omnichannel experience in beauty

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The omnichannel experience in beauty

Offering omnichannel experiences has become a must for beauty brands. At the 2022 Beauty Trends and Innovations Conference, THG Ingenuity’s Shona Deardon explained how an omnichannel strategy is key to driving growth, increasing conversions and enhancing the customer journey. 

October 12, 2022

5 mins read

Celeste Rivas

From getting inspiration from make-up artists and influencers on social media, to going to the store for a live try-on, comparing prices on marketplaces and completing the purchase on the brand’s website later the same week – the omnichannel purchase journey has become almost seamless within the beauty industry.  

Speaking at the 2022 Beauty Trends and Innovations Conference, THG Ingenuity’s Senior Business Development Manager Shona Deardon explained how an omnichannel strategy is key to driving growth, raising conversions and enhancing the customer journey. Here we summarize some of the key points explored.

The omnichannel strategy: Creating a complementary channel experience

“We consider omnichannel to be a complementary mix of channels that come together to create seamless experiences at every touchpoint for consumers,” explained Shona. This mix is made up of four key channels:  

  • marketplaces 
  • social commerce 
  • own-brand direct-to-consumer (DTC) sites  
  • physical stores.  

Each channel plays a specific and fundamental role in the omnichannel strategy and the consumer journey, representing a distinct set of opportunities that help brands optimize conversions and engagement in different ways. These channels complement each other, driving growth in specific ways, and are key in holistically boosting brand awareness, converting this into loyal long-term customers.  

Marketplaces give consumers the chance to trial a product or brand whilst providing brands the opportunity to broaden their audience reach. Social channels complement this extension of reach and are crucial in driving inspiration through creative content. These two channels play a huge role in creating the top of funnel brand awareness. 

Once the consumer has tried the brand for the first time and they feel engaged and understand and love the product, it's important to create a destination for them to return to, re-engage with and re-convert.

This is where the DTC own brand's dotcom site (and a DTC ecommerce strategy) is so important: it’s where brands can provide the destination to convert these potentially one-time triallists into long-time brand loyalists.  

Data collected through DTC channels is fundamental to improving all aspects of the customer journey across the funnel. With a customer database platform (CDP), brands can leverage key insight, such as who the consumer is and what products they use, which can then inform product development, innovation and the wider omnichannel strategy.

Complementing these insights with a strong CRM strategy can then enable segmentation of customers to create personalized experiences and deep, meaningful relationships with customers.

This can also maximize targeting, increase loyalty, and ultimately drive marketing efficiencies, as brands are not having to acquire new customers but instead can nurture and engage their existing ones. 

Lastly, far from being a relic of the past, physical stores are for many brands becoming spaces for innovation.

They enable brands to create phygital in-store experiences that continue to blur the lines between physical and digital, driving seamless omnichannel experiences for customers who are used to flowing comfortably between shopping environments. 
THG Ingenuity's Shona Deardon speaking at the Beauty Trends and Innovations event

The technology driving the omnichannel experience

Technology is key to enhancing the customer journey across different channels and stages and can be vital in inspiring customers.  

Technology is also crucial in creating experiences for the customer. Digital experiences must be just as strong as physical ones, and the role of technology in this is fundamental in offering inspiration and creating excitement.

Within beauty, AI technology can enable functionalities like ‘try before you buy’, foundation finders or color matching, that foster that in-store feel online and create seamless experiences that are not only brilliant for the customer journey but are also powerful at driving conversions and order value on online channels (for example by creating bundles that are specific for a marketplace or a DTC site).

Likewise, on-site AI can be used for product recommendations and ‘frequently bought together’ suggestions, especially on DTC channels, where data insights can be leveraged to understand who the customer is. This is not only valuable for the customer experience and to ensure a seamless experience, but also to create value on-site. 

The role that tech plays in driving growth is huge. It can help brands introduce features such as loyalty programs that encourage consumers to shop again and engage with the brand ongoing. Features like ‘subscribe and save’ not only offer customers a positive experience and eliminate the need to go back and re-purchase, but also give brands the opportunity to have that retained revenue and ongoing conversion. 

The omnichannel experience is particularly important within beauty. It allows brands to reach consumers where they are and be present no matter the channel, communicating with them at every touchpoint while delivering the brand message holistically. Technology can enhance every step of the journey, inspiring customers, boosting innovation and creating experiences both online and in-store to drive growth.  

Ultimately, having an omnichannel approach that covers all the touchpoints of the customer journey allows brands to maximize the consumer-brand relationship and differentiate by creating specific propositions per channel with a targeted strategy for them. It also optimizes marketing efficiencies, as brands can directly market to customers where they want to be reached, and through this drive and repeat conversions, improve customer lifetime value and maximize brand to consumer relationships. 

Many thanks to the teams at this year’s Beauty Trends and Innovation for a great event.

If you’d like to learn how THG Ingenuity’s unique DTC expertise and capabilities can boost your omnichannel strategy, get in touchwith us today.

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