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Beauty boxes transform beauty marketing and e-commerce

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 09-Jan-2013
Last updated on 09-Jan-2013 at 15:58 GMT

Beauty boxes have revolutionised how consumers shop for beauty products, providing sensory elements to online shopping that was not present in the traditional retail format and this will continue to drive e-commerce.

The concept is that boxes are filled with samples delivered to your door for a small subscription fee, giving consumers the chance to try different brands and products in sample sizes before writing reviews online and deciding if they will purchase the full size product on the internet.

According to Rachel Lin, research analyst at Euromonitor, manufacturers should see samples in beauty boxes as the first step in engaging consumers, with teasers and links then driving traffic online and potentially influencing purchases.

“Some say beauty boxes will be a fad, but I think that the complex business model is one that benefits all parties and will transform the roles of marketing and e-commerce,” she comments.

Further insight

Lin explains that manufacturers can see subscription boxes as a way of getting a further insight into consumers.

As well as providing trial sizes to consumers, manufacturers can track each sample, judge how well they are received and see if they turn into sales. The profiles of consumers subscribing to beauty boxes can also be valuable to manufacturers.

“As with any other marketing tool, a clear message should be communicated to the consumer, and not just the sample on its own in the hope that the consumer will be attracted to the product,” Lin continues.

Along with the message, Lin believes the concept works so well with beauty products as consumers will ultimately have to make a purchase; so the box acts as a great way for them to gather information and form opinions.

“After all, if you take a skin care product for example – only continued use of a full size product over a period of time will help you to best realise the benefits of the product,” she says.

With great power comes great competition

Not surprisingly the beauty box craze has brought about great competition. With all the overcrowding of these on the market, it is as much about reviewing box subscriptions not just products.

“There is now a catfight between beauty box players to win the heart of the consumers – some may choose to do this through loyalty reward programmes, whereas others may look at creating online communities,” continues the Euromonitor expert.

“We have witnessed the power of the consumer’s voice in this new age of social media – creating online communities such as giving subscribers the platform to share and discuss what they like or dislike about the products in a beauty box, and this makes things more interesting.”

Beauty box subscriptions have now become a craze all across the world; from the US to France to the Philippines, carrying established brands like Lancome and OPI, as well as new and cult brands.

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