Beauty e-commerce trends 2019 - Yieldify | Customer Journey Tools

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Beauty e-commerce trends 2019

What can e-commerce marketers learn from the beauty e-commerce trends driving a $750bn industry?

As a wide array of industries are disrupted or destroyed by e-commerce giants, the beauty industry has been remarkably resilient. In fact, many are saying it’s going through a massive reinvention — which has put the industry on pace to be valued at $750 billion by 2024. Key to this growth are a number of beauty e-commerce trends that have enabled a diverse range of brands to own the customer journey like never before.

So how are beauty brands owning the customer journey in 2019? Between social media, organic and paid search, and the rise of omnichannel, multi-brand retailers like Sephora and Ulta Beauty, the path to purchase is more complex than ever.

While this complex customer journey presents a challenge for brands, it’s also an opportunity to present unique omnichannel experiences. In short, the growth of the beauty sector isn’t random. New, exciting brands are popping up regularly and launching creative marketing efforts that are becoming the talk of the industry.

Here are a few beauty e-commerce trends to keep an eye on (and learn from) in 2019…

Insta-upstarts take on established brands

Social media has levelled the playing field for brands, making it easier for young challengers to quickly establish a foothold and take on more established industry players. These new direct-to-consumer kids on the block have risen to prominence off the back of unique brand stories.

Glossier, for instance, has grown dramatically over the past few years thanks to a simple but compelling ethos: “The individual should be celebrated.” Many of these new companies are leveraging their ‘newness’ to brand themselves as fresh alternatives to older industry giants.

In response, these same industry giants are evolving. Taking a page out of these new brands’ playbooks and investing in social media influencers who can provide an injection of freshness and authenticity. Or they’re altering their aesthetics, aligning with industry trends to offer more minimal, millennial-friendly, products and e-commerce sites.

Photo: @covergirl/Instagram

Social shopping – is 2019 the year?

Linked with the rise of direct-to-consumer indie brands, is the continued dominance of social media. Monitoring of beauty e-commerce trends show that king among the platforms is Instagram, which many brands have mastered to gather useful user-generated content and compelling visual assets. Even as major social players such as Kylie Cosmetics have taken up a large share of the space, more and more brands continue to invest in building followings. It proves one thing: Social isn’t going anywhere, but will 2019 be the year it pays off, in terms of actual sales?

As shoppable posts on Instagram became available in 44 countries in 2018 the dream of creating a seamless shopping experience on mobile is becoming more of a reality. The number of beauty brands using the functionality will only grow in 2019 as 72% of consumers say they have made fashion, beauty or style related purchase directly after seeing something on Instagram. Stories, in particular, offer an almost seamless way to facilitate e-commerce from content, and beauty brands have taken advantage of this, now representing 38% of Stories posts, ahead of retail (26%), and luxury (21%) brands.

Beauty e-commerce trends: Instagram Stories
Source: Gartner L2

Personalization continues to proliferate

Beauty e-commerce trends are reflective of wider industry trends, but none more-so than personalization. One major reason beauty brands have grown amid e-commerce upheaval is their ability to leverage the inherently personal aspect of beauty shopping, to serve the growing consumer demand for personalization.

Each buyer is different and has different needs. Varied skin types and body shapes lead customers down different paths as they shop for beauty products. When Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty burst onto the scene, one of the major factors in it’s huge success was a product range catering to a wide array of skin types previously underserved by the industry. Brands have taken notice of this demand, and are now celebrating these differences right through from the products they produce to the assistive, personalized customer experiences they create online.

Beauty e-commerce trends: Charlotte Tilbury
Source: Charlotte Tilbury

Online shade selectors, like the above from Charlotte Tilbury, help customers find just the right foundation for their skin. Guided selling tactics such as this, mimic the in-store experience of conversing with a sales assistant, aiding product discovery, encouraging purchases and offer the added bonus of cutting down on returns.

New approaches to building loyalty

With a crowded field making acquisition in beauty harder than ever, building loyalty to retain customers is becoming more and more valuable. Loyalty schemes that encourage retention have long been a staple, for instance, Sephora has remained an industry heavyweight thanks to its effective points-based system. Subscription-based services, such as Birchbox and Cornerstone, have also seen sizeable growth, with consumer appetite for a regular beauty fix high.

But some methods for building loyalty are more abstract. Take, for instance, a newer entrant to beauty e-commerce trends – brands as communities. By leveraging social media to encourage interaction among customers, more brands are creating a tight-knit, communal feel to increase customer loyalty. In this way, a brand becomes part of the customer’s identity, building a more meaningful type of customer-brand interaction. Some are even bringing social to the supply chain, such as Glossier’s leveraging of its online community to crowd-source products, or ColourPop’s showcase of the process behind the products.

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Evolution of the Milky Jelly bottle ?

A post shared by Glossier (@glossier) on

Source: Glossier / Instagram

Beauty e-commerce trends: what’s next?

Beauty brands are in a unique position to build strong personal bonds with their customers, and there’s a lot that can be learned from how they’ve done this to date. From optimizing the journey between social and commerce to baking-in personalization across the business there are more ways than ever to connect with customers. E-commerce marketers in all industries have the chance to launch creative campaigns that improve the customer journey. These beauty e-commerce trends give us a taste of where the industry is headed – for ideas on how you can leverage them, check out our Beauty E-commerce Lookbook featuring three examples of customer journeys made personal.

Beauty E-commerce Lookbook