While the pivot to online selling has left some beauty brands struggling to readjust, other labels have embraced the venture as an opportunity to diversify marketing strategies during the Coronavirus pandemic.
With stores closed during the pandemic, Bobbi Brown turned to online makeup consultations. The brand introduced its new Artistry Like Never Before program at the beginning of May, with tiered consultation options available to fit consumer needs. The program rolled out initially to top loyalty customers only, before extending to all loyalty members in June. Virtual shoppers choose from three types of consultations: a 15-minute foundation-matching session, a 30-minute makeup look session, or an hour-long group learning session for up to four people. During the consultations, Bobbi Brown makeup artists recommend a variety of products that customers can then buy through purchasing links sent in a follow-up email.
In the two months since Bobbi Brown introduced virtual consultations, it has seen almost 50% sales conversions from the program. Within three hours of a consultation, 46% of shoppers make a purchase and 51% of those return for a repurchase, according to the brand. The program encourages customers to refer friends, which could help the beauty brand extend its reach and grow a loyal customer base of digital consultation shoppers. The digital experience could draw in shoppers who favor the familiarity of learning about a product from a sales assistant before purchasing. By mirroring an in-person experience during the pandemic, Bobbi Brown could provide customers with a way to return to normal shopping circumstances.
A large focus on the Artistry Like Never Before program falls on email marketing. Not only are customers encouraged to email their friends about the program, but are also inspired to buy products from their consultations through follow-up emails. Additionally, Bobbi Brown is promoting the program through social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The beauty brand is also launching a test program with Pinterest and working with influencers to promote the push across social channels. By relying on digital and social media marketing, Bobbi Brown’s new program could see an increase in site traffic and online sales growth, according to a Gartner report, particularly as more consumers use their mobile devices for beauty shopping.
Digital beauty consultations allow Bobbi Brown to engage with consumers wherever they are, providing a personalized shopping experience that is hard to come by during the pandemic. By introducing its new shopping concept during the crisis, the brand could strengthen online loyalty with consumers and set the stage for a buying experience to be used for years to come.