The most successful beauty ecommerce marketing strategies often include a combination of optimized product pages, custom email campaigns, and customer loyalty perks. Read on for more proven tactics to boost your online sales.

Here, you’ll find:

The cosmetics and beauty industry is forecasted to reach $716 billion worldwide by 2025, with about 28% of those purchases generated by ecommerce brands.

As a fast-growing industry with many companies vying for consumers’ attention, beauty ecommerce will only get more competitive. To stand out in this crowded market, you need a solid omnichannel marketing strategy that combines proven tactics with the latest beauty industry trends.

Let’s dive into the top ecommerce marketing strategies for beauty brands and the latest trends to watch for in the coming years.

What is beauty ecommerce marketing?

Beauty ecommerce marketing is focused on strategic organic and paid marketing campaigns that help beauty brands sell more products online.

Beyond increasing revenue, a beauty brand’s goals may include building brand awareness that draws in new potential customers and fostering a strong brand identity that encourages customer loyalty.

Beauty ecommerce marketing can include everything from search engine optimization and website design to social media and email marketing. Research on your audience and their buying habits is the foundation for creating a successful strategy for each digital marketing channel.

8 marketing strategies to boost online sales

Here are 8 marketing strategies beauty ecommerce brands can use to boost online sales this year and beyond:

  1. Optimize your product pages
  2. Optimize your site for mobile
  3. Create compelling, audience-targeted content
  4. Build custom email marketing campaigns
  5. Leverage UGC and beauty influencer collaborations
  6. Add social proof to product pages and beyond
  7. Develop abandoned cart email campaigns
  8. Reward customers for their loyalty

1. Optimize your product pages

Whether you’re using an ecommerce platform like Shopify or have a WordPress website, you’ll need to optimize product pages for ecommerce SEO. This will help improve your chances of appearing in organic search results on Google.

Start by conducting keyword research to find relevant keywords that align with the customer’s intent to buy. To find the sweet spot, focus on keywords with higher search volume and lower competition.

To optimize your product pages, use these keywords in the title, headings, product description, meta description, and alt-text. The best product descriptions find a balance between search-friendly keywords and persuasive copy.

To optimize product images, compress the files so you maintain the high quality of the images without sacrificing fast load times (here’s a walkthrough). Be sure to choose photos that are professional-quality, well-lit, and accurately represent your product.

Here’s a great example of an optimized product page from Birchbox, a beauty subscription box. The content above the fold clarifies what the product is and how it benefits the customer. The pricing is also clear with a simple “add to cart” button.

Birchbox product description

Below the top section, Birchbox breaks down the product’s highlights, gives instructions for using it, and includes a list of ingredients, so customers know exactly what to expect when they purchase.

Birchbox product details

2. Optimize your site for mobile

Make the online shopping experience as seamless as possible by optimizing your ecommerce website for mobile devices. Beauty shoppers should be able to find what they’re looking for and check out quickly from their phones.

Nobody likes scrolling through a clunky menu when all they want to do is grab their favorite lip gloss. Keep your mobile site simple with easy navigation, clean site design, and elements (like buttons, text, and pricing) that are large enough to read on small device screens.

Test your mobile site on various devices to make sure you can scroll, read, and look at your images without much trouble. The pages should also load quickly. If they don’t, you may need to compress your images.

Beauty store mobile site

3. Create compelling, audience-targeted content

Remember those keywords we talked about earlier? You’ll want to consistently update your keyword list to include new opportunities to rank. Then, use those keywords to develop compelling, optimized content like blog posts.

“Since beauty is such a visual industry and trends come and go rapidly, ongoing keyword research is a must in this vertical,” says Nicole Goodnough, senior paid social media manager at HawkSEM.

“Thinking like a consumer and creating blog and video content (yes, video is for SEO!) for tutorials and product reviews can be an effective way to boost SEO rankings and organic performance — for both on-site SEO and social SEO,” she adds.

Prose is a great example of a brand that regularly creates optimized blog content on different beauty topics and trends. The blog features tutorials and expert advice on hair and skin health.

Prose beauty blog

4. Build custom email marketing campaigns

Email marketing is one of the best channels for increasing ecommerce sales. It’s consent-based, affordable, and easy to personalize based on segmentation data.

As you collect emails through a pop-up or banner on your website, segment your list to send more relevant and personalized messages to your audience.

Here are just a few ways you can segment your audience and create custom email campaigns:

  • Demographics: If market research shows certain demographics are more likely to purchase certain products, you can use this information to target these groups when promoting relevant products.
  • Purchase history: Use purchase history data to make personalized product recommendations. You can recommend similar or complementary products or even remind customers when it’s time to purchase their favorite product again.
  • Customer journey: Send special promotions based on the customer journey stage. For instance, you might send an introductory promotion to new customers or a re-engagement campaign to customers who haven’t purchased in a while.
  • Event-based: Send email campaigns for events like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. You can even create campaigns around personal events like birthdays to make your loyal customers feel special.
  • Psychographics: Segment your list based on psychographic information like beauty interests and lifestyle. Send personalized product recommendations and special promotions based on this data.

Sephora is a great example of a beauty brand that uses the information it collects from its audience to create more relevant content. The company collects information from customers’ beauty profiles and quiz results to offer personalized product recommendations.

The following email was sent with the subject line “Beauty with your name on it.” The email not only recommends a relevant product based on the consumer’s buying behavior but also adds a sense of urgency by providing a promo code.

Sephora personalized product recommendations

5. Leverage UGC and beauty influencer collaborations

Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, the market size is expected to grow by nearly 13% to $19 billion in 2024.

Through sponsored content or gifted products, online beauty brands can use user-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing campaigns to grow online sales. These campaigns allow companies to leverage influencers’ audiences and the trust they’ve already built.

“UGC brings a level of authenticity that brand content can’t always achieve,” says Goodnough. “As consumers, we tend to trust our friends (IRL and online) and people we follow on social media more than a company because it feels more real.”

She adds that one of her clients, Sweet July Skin, has a great creator partnership program, and their UGC consistently outperforms content from the brand.

6. Add social proof to product pages and beyond

Product reviews are a form of social proof that can go a long way in helping potential customers see the value of your products. In fact, 97% of consumers say online reviews influence their buying decisions.

Ulta Beauty does an excellent job of including social proof on its product pages. Here’s an example of a fragrance product page on Ulta’s site:

Ulta-fragrance-product-page

Scrolling through the page, you’ll find a section where customers can leave reviews on the product. Shoppers can quickly see a 1-5 star rating and the pros and cons of the product based on written customer reviews.

Ulta product page reviews

These reviews allow Ulta Beauty to use social proof to its advantage while also helping buyers make an informed purchasing decision.

Product pages aren’t the only place to use social proof. You can also use quotes and images from reviews to show the benefits of your beauty products, like this email from Truly Beauty:

Truly social proof email

Truly goes beyond just sharing text from the reviews. It also shows the before and after photos customers have shared to show the transformation its products can offer.

7. Develop abandoned cart email campaigns

Abandoned cart emails encourage customers to return to your beauty ecommerce website and complete their purchase. These emails help remind customers of what they left behind with the goal of recovering lost sales.

Send the first abandoned cart email within a few hours of the cart being abandoned. Include images of the products they’ve left behind in the cart to take advantage of the consumer’s interest and recapture their attention.

Use a clear call-to-action that leads them back to the cart for checkout. By making it easy for them to checkout, you’re removing any friction in the sales process.

Offering an incentive with a deadline helps add urgency and encourages the consumer to check out sooner rather than later. For best results, make it clear in the email what the promotion is, how to use it, and when it expires.

Truly abandoned cart email

8. Reward customers for their loyalty

Loyalty programs are an often overlooked ecommerce growth strategy. However, these programs can be a game-changer for retaining customers, encouraging repeat purchases, and increasing the frequency of referrals.

To get started, choose a loyalty program that aligns with your brand. The most popular types are points-based programs and tiered rewards.

Points-based programs reward customers points for specific actions like repeat purchases, subscriptions, and referrals. MAC uses a points-based loyalty program that allows customers to redeem their points for different products.

MAC points based loyalty program

Tiered-based programs offer customers different types of rewards based on their spending level.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program is a hybrid program that allows members to earn 1 point per $1 spent, which they can redeem for free samples. The company combines this with a tiered system that gives you even more benefits, the more money you spend.

Sephora tiered rewards program

3 trends to watch for in 2024 and beyond

To stay ahead of your competitors, you need to keep an eye on beauty ecommerce trends. Here are three that we think will be most impactful this year and beyond:

1. Virtual shopping experiences

Augmented reality (AR) is transforming how consumers shop for beauty products online. From makeup try-ons to skincare analysis, this technology is used to provide a more personalized experience for customers who are shopping for cosmetics, skincare, and hair care products.

Fenty Beauty is a popular brand that’s using AR filters on TikTok to help customers find the products that work best for them. The Eaze Drop Shade Match filter, which allows people to find their foundation shade, currently has 27.1k videos.

Fenty Beauty TikTok AR filter

Gone are the days of having to go to try cosmetics in-store before buying. Now, you can just pop into TikTok and find the perfect shade before ordering it online.

2. Influencer and brand partnerships

While influencer marketing has seen some changes over the years, it remains an impactful way for hair, makeup, and skincare brands to reach their target audiences. Shopify reports that 69% of consumers say they trust influencer recommendations, especially when it comes to beauty and personal care.

“Building brand trust with something as personal as beauty, skincare, health, and lifestyle is difficult,” Goodnough says. “Partnering with influencers and creators who mirror your company’s values and can connect with your target market is a wonderful way to introduce your brand to new customers and establish trust.”

Influencer marketing is no longer just for celebrities with over a million followers. More brands are starting to work with nano-influencers (1,000-5,000 followers), micro-influencers (5,000-20,000 followers), and mid-tier influencers (20,000-100,000 followers) because they tend to have higher engagement rates than those with 100,000+ followers.

Glossier is a great example of a beauty ecommerce brand that used influencer marketing to build an audience of loyal fans. The company works with everyone from major celebrities to smaller beauty influencers to showcase their cosmetics and skincare products.

Glossier influencer content example

CEO Emily Weiss told Shopify she actually credits “regular women who promote the brand devoutly” for Glossier’s success. The beauty brand’s continued commitment to brand partnerships with beauty creators at all levels shows just how successful skincare and cosmetics brands can be by leveraging the power of user-generated content.

Glossier Instagram profile

3. Hyper personalization

Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have in the beauty ecommerce industry. In reality, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver a personalized shopping experience, and 76% get frustrated when they don’t.

Personalization not only helps set you apart from other ecommerce beauty companies, but it also provides better customer outcomes, thus boosting conversion rates.

Sephora is a beauty retailer that excels at providing a personalized customer experience.

When you log into their site, you create a beauty profile that includes personal information like your skin type, skin concerns, skin tone, hair type, hair texture, hair color, ingredient preferences, shopping preferences, and favorite brands.

Sephora beauty preferences

Sephora uses this information to provide personalized product recommendations on the site and in-app. The company also includes information from previous purchases and interactions with the site in its recommendations.

Sephora personalized product picks

(Image: Sephora screenshot)

To take personalization one step further, Sephora has quizzes customers can take to find the products that fit their needs. The company also factors in the quiz responses when making product recommendations.

Sephora beauty quizzes

The takeaway

As the direct-to-consumer beauty market continues to grow, brands will need to use a variety of strategies and tactics to get their new beauty products in front of online shoppers. The trends and tactics you’ve learned here will help your brand stay ahead of the competition and drive more online sales.

If you need support with beauty ecommerce marketing, we’d love to help. HawkSEM’s seasoned team includes ecommerce marketing experts with experience developing both organic and paid marketing campaigns.

Book a consultation to see how we can help you reach your ecommerce goals.

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