5 e-commerce implementations for the skincare and beauty industry
The skincare industry has long struggled to translate it’s personal service and experiential buying process into a seamless online journey. The global pandemic however, has accelerated the need to invest in e-commerce, which is why we at Flaunt Digital created the Skincare Report to help overcome key industry challenges.
The 5 simple tips below give practical implementations that will help brands cope with the changing face of skincare e-commerce.
1. Get product photography right
When customers can’t physically touch your products, you can convey the textures and skin-feel through well-executed product photography.
Use well-positioned lighting and consider light direction to convey highlights and shadow. This will show how a cream or serum sits as well as thickness, richness and texture.
Light can also be used to highlight sheen on a product and even convey oil content.
LUSH Ltd are an exceptional example of good product swatch photography. They highlight the product first, not the packaging, which means you can browse via look and perceived feel rather than which has the prettiest, sleekest packaging – which is good for LUSH as their products come in relatively uniform or with no packaging at all.
The Body Shop has made good headway with their swatch photography too but, would benefit from the points outlined above. Currently their lighting and swatch style make it difficult to discern texture, weight, and thickness. Increasing brightness and contrast, brighter studio lighting and tweaking the ISO, exposure and f-stop balance may make these samples easier to interpret.
2. Pay attention to your category pages and filtering
When displaying products in a grid-based category (like most ecommerce stores do) you are relying almost entirely on the image to sell the product. If you have a 20-strong moisturiser selection, and present that in ‘Moisturisers’, how do customers decide which one is best for them?
Use well considered and thought out category filters (faceted navigation).
Allow for multi-filtering options dependent on more than one variable.
Feel Unique are a great example of a brand getting this right. Their moisturiser category allows multi-filtering i.e. the ability to choose more than one of each facet. Their facets are: is it featured; brand; offers; skin type; price; gender; speciality (alcohol free, vegan etc.); key ingredients and product options (try before you buy, subscription etc).
This means that without the need for a skincare diagnostics tool, users can filter by the things they care about the most with an excellent mix of commercial and skincare-related facet options.
3. Create expert concern and results content
If you have a product, or range of products, that tackle a specific skin concern, create content that explains how your brand views this concern and your approach to treating it. For example, does your brand differentiate between dryness and dehydration? (Tip: it should).
Work with product experts to produce onsite content that is accurate and really helps users find the right product for their needs.
Make sure any medical or health information is accurate and reliable.
Use good photos to illustrate concerns that customers can relate to, keeping them as well-lit and as tasteful as possible.
Use these pages as an opportunity to demonstrate the expertise and authority of your brand by highlighting the knowledge of your founders, skincare experts, formulators, or consultants. Anything even vaguely medical should be referenced by relevant academic and medical sources as this content is analysed by Google to prevent the spread of misinformation.
4. Showcase brand storytelling and heritage
Today’s consumers buy into the founders of a brand, Heritage can help separate those who are creating products through passion rather than wanting to make a quick buck.
Create content around founder stories. What can you share about their backgrounds, why they started their business?
Is there any behind-the-scenes footage and insights from the creation of your products that could be shared?
Five Dot Botanics are a great example of a brand that has found its voice and purpose through storytelling. They share history, insights and wisdom effectively across their multiple channels – social, blog posts and podcast guest appearances.
5. Show your reviews and show them honestly
When it comes to displaying your reviews onsite, there are lots of 3rd party suppliers that you can choose from, including Trustpilot, Reviews.io, Bazaarvoice to name a few. But what is important when considering a reviews technology partner?
To maximise the impact of reviews on your site, you need to make sure that their coding implementation embraces features such as schema markup that would allow you to appear in Google’s rich results, as well as onsite visibility that works across all devices.
Consider where the reviews are displayed, too. Where will they have most impact?
Below is an example of a Bazaarvoice implementation on Beautybay.com, who have their reviews in line with product listings.
The image shows a category page where review stars and counts are clearly displayed and form part of the aesthetic of the page. It is important to be more sensitive if you are a brand versus a reseller, as it’s easier for a reseller to drop a product or a skincare line versus the brand who created it.
These are just 5 of the top tips I pulled out from the report but, if you’re interested in finding out more about how to overcome the challenges surrounding skincare e-commerce? Read the full report from me and the Flaunt Digital or download it now.
You can also reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Thom Watson is a digital marketing specialist with over a decade of experience working with luxury and niche, beauty and lifestyle brands. He currently heads up the SEO offering at Flaunt Digital, specialising in CRO, Digital PR, Editorial and Technical SEO Development.