Being inspired by those millennial-minded consumers is crucial. “Millennial minded,” that’s Megan McIntyre’s phrase. As Beauty Director of Refinery29, she has her finger on the pulse of consumer beauty trends, product launches, DIY techniques, and more. Her audience is not only millennials aged 18 – 34 but also readers 39-45 who “think like millennials and do a lot if their living online.”
Speaking on the CEW panel this week, McIntyre described how she’s tuned in to a beauty conversation so big that it’s happening everywhere. To start with, she pays close attention to celebrity Instagrams, Reddit forums, and the publication’s own Facebook page.
Listening and responding to what people want is key to satisfying millennial beauty consumers, according to the panellists: McIntyre; Anastasia Soare, CEO and founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills; Tara Simon, senior VP of merchandising for ULTA Beauty; and Kathryn Fernandez, senior manager of earned media, hair, skin, personal care scale for Unilever.
It’s no surprise that social is integral to millennial engagement. Taking this fact a bit further, moderator Jenny B. Fine, EIC of Beauty Inc. and WWD, distilled the panel’s remarks, saying, “social media is the new instore experience.”
By speaking directly with consumers on social platforms, responsive brands can innovate to meet real-time shopper demands. Soare says that for Anastasia Beverly Hills, “this is how a product starts.” She asks her 6.2 million social followers what products and colors they would like to see and develops what’s needed from there.
M-commerce and e-commerce then are the new cash wrap. Brands simply must have desktop and mobile sites that give consumers a place to explore and make it easy to shop, says McIntyre. “If you don't have an e-commerce site that's easy to navigate, you'll lose that consumer. She's not going to come into your store,” she adds.
Case in point, “70% of Anastasia Beverly Hills sales come from mobile,” according to Soare. And that translates into international business. Working with e-commerce solutions provider PFS, the company sees 39% of online sales coming from the States and the rest from other regions, namely Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia, says Soare.
Women without limits
Just as millennial women extend beyond the bounds of single generation, they encompass a multitude of other categories too.
Women appreciate connecting with brand founders and recognize these entrepreneurs as their peers. This is why when her followers post to social media about their aspirations and challenges, Soare responds with comments encouraging the entrepreneurs and all women to strive for a comfortable live.
Plus, the contemporary consumer is unabashedly multicultural. “Ethnic diversity is greater [among millennials] than generations that came before them” Simon affirms.