Making your retail debut is a huge win for your beauty brand. But if the weeks go by and your in-store sales are lackluster, your time on shelf may be short-lived. With thousands of brands to choose from and and their job performance directly tied to sales numbers, retail buyers are incentivized to cycle out brands that don’t show momentum quickly. So why aren’t consumers clamoring to buy your product? Here are three possible reasons for low in-store sell-through and what you can do to boost your numbers.
They Don’t Know It Exists
In a crowded industry like beauty, customer awareness is an enormous hurdle for newcomers. Even for DTC brands that have built a sizable online presence, expanding that audience to satisfy the volumes required in the retail environment can be a challenge. In addition to robust marketing campaigns, sampling programs, and participation in retailer promos, retail training has long been considered one of the most effective ways for small brands to boost brand awareness in stores.
Training empowers the beauty advisors that work in retail to advocate for your brand on the sales floor–helping customers find your display and purchase your products. But in order to do that, beauty advisors first must know your brand exists. That’s where retail training comes in. Brands are responsible for educating beauty associates about their products so they can help customers discover their offering when they come into store.
In a survey of beauty advisors from Ulta and JCPenney, an astounding 100% of respondents concluded that they are either more likely or much more likely to recommend a product to customers after receiving training on that product. Yet, 91% of the same beauty advisors said that customers sometimes or often ask them about products that they know little about. This gap is a symptom of both the massive number of products that beauty advisors are expected to know and gaps in the current training system for these retail professionals.
They Don’t Understand How It’s Different
Beauty consumers are spoiled by options: hundreds of quality brands and thousands of effective products at any one beauty retail location. If you hope to catch their attention, it’s important to clearly communicate how your brand and products are different. Take a hard look at the messaging on your shelf strips and packaging to make sure that you’re differentiating yourself from other similar brands and products available in the same stores. And when it’s time to execute that training program, make sure to clearly communicate your points of difference to beauty advisors so they can repeat these points to curious customers.
They Don’t Know How to Use It
In our survey of beauty advisors from Ulta and JCPenney, the majority of respondents agreed that the top reason that customers don’t see results from products is that they are using them incorrectly. When a customer is unhappy with their results, they are unlikely to repurchase or recommend it to a friend–and they might even return the product to the store, eroding your precious sales results. HIghlighting the correct way to use your product can help increase customer satisfaction and build repeat business. If consistency is important for seeing results, make sure to specify how often a customer should use your product and for how long before expecting to see a difference.
As you prepare to support your brand’s debut in store, lean on your retail buyer for their expertise. They can give you greater insight into what kinds of marketing initiatives work best in their stores. Above all, do not underestimate the influence of the beauty advisors that work with your customers every day–they have the power to make the personal connections that drive conversions.
Not sure where to start with a training program? Our new training app, BeautyFluent, was designed to connect beauty advisors with the brands they love and reward them for their influence. By scanning a product barcode on their phones, beauty advisors can instantly pull up product info and demo tips so they can learn on the fly or on their own time. Every time they train and complete fun quizzes, beauty advisors earn points to cash in for products they’re interested in trying. Rewards get sent directly to the beauty advisors at home so they are sure to receive the products they really want to try. Plus, beauty advisors can send feedback directly to brands–creating a personal connection between brands and the salespeople that influence their success every day.
To learn how to join BeautyFluent as a brand partner, get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.