Just two short years ago, economists and cosmetics industry experts wondered if COVID would be the final nail in retail’s coffin. Over 12,000 stores closed in 2020, on the heels of a similar downturn in 2019 that some labeled “The Retail Apocalypse.” But as we emerge from the darkest days of the pandemic, retail is experiencing a renaissance unlike anything predicted. As reported by The New York Times, even traditionally DTC-only brands are making their retail debut, fueled by rising digital customer acquisition costs and growing consumer demand for in-person shopping experiences.
Extend Your Reach to the Front Line
As more beauty brands make their way into traditional retail channels, vying for the customer’s attention in-store is becoming increasingly competitive. While robust marketing programs, sampling, and promo participation are essential, brands are now renewing their attention to an often overlooked opportunity: building influence with beauty advisors who engage with customers every day on the sales floor. As training takes on new importance, it’s time to elevate the role of beauty advisors to reflect their impact on brand success–from frontline worker to valued beauty influencer. Here are three simple reasons why we think beauty advisors are the new beauty influencers.
They Are Key to Brand Awareness
One of the biggest hurdles for emerging brands to overcome once they break into retail is customer awareness. With hundreds of brands and thousands of products in the average Ulta or Sephora location, indie and emerging brands are competing with household names for customer awareness. And with digital advertising becoming more difficult for building awareness, many emerging brands fail to gain the momentum they need to drive curious customers into stores. This is where retail beauty advisors are essential. When customers come in asking for a product to address a specific need, beauty advisors have the power to direct them to a newer brand–sharing the brand story and making a specific product recommendation. Overcoming this initial awareness hurdle is essential, making it more likely that brands will be able to build momentum and retain customers.
They Influence at the Point of Sale
As any brand marketer can tell you, converting customers from awareness to purchase is no small task. This is where even influencers with a robust online following and engagement often fall short. Online conversion rates are notoriously challenging–the more steps before checkout, the less likely a customer is to actually complete a purchase. This is another area where beauty advisors have the upper hand over digital influencers. By influencing customers at the point of sale where they have a high intention to make a purchase, beauty advisors are more likely to convert the customers they reach. Sharing beauty hacks, skincare routines and makeup tips directly with customers is what makes each retail beauty influencer valuable to your brand.
They Are Experts in Beauty Products
Many BAs seek jobs in beauty retail because they are passionate about all things skincare, makeup and hair care. They like to keep up to date on all the top beauty brands, makeup and beauty trends though social media and online beauty tutorials. While this passion alone often means they are well-versed in beauty, they also become subject-matter experts through training. The more time they spend on the job, the more training they are exposed to–getting expert and insider insight into hundreds of brands. This makes them uniquely positioned to understand what makes your brand or product different from others. By arming them with the tools to clearly communicate your product difference, you can empower these retail beauty influencers to be qualified advocates for your brand–flexing their beauty expertise to strengthen your narrative.
Utilize Retail Beauty Influencers with BeautyFluent
As brands return to retail to connect with a new customer cohort, it’s time to put the importance of beauty advisors at the forefront. Landing’s first-of-its-kind beauty education app, BeautyFluent, improves training outcomes for brands and rewards beauty advisors for their influence. It was designed to create a more fulfilling experience for beauty retail professionals that have been historically undervalued and underestimated–unlocking a rewarding relationship between beauty advisors and the brands they love.
To learn how to join BeautyFluent as a brand partner, get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.