'Converting uncertainty into an order’ easier than ever via 1:1 texting model, says Wizard CEO
The impact of digital marketing cannot be understated when considering cosmetics and personal beauty product companies’ ability to reach their targeted consumer demographic. From social media content creators to the ‘tiktokification’ of ads, there are many strategies that companies are working on to drive consumer interest towards the unique attributes of their product offerings through targeted marketing techniques.
Now more than ever, consumers need information to make educated purchasing decisions. As noted in NIQ’s 2023 State of the Beauty Industry Report, “82% of US beauty shoppers have noticed an increase in prices over the past year,” and the perception of economic uncertainty is driving American consumers to “shop like the recession is already here.”
As shoppers become more judicious in their cosmetic and personal beauty care product selection, they increasingly rely on brand transparency regarding potential benefits and ingredient formulation to convert to purchase. The Report also emphasizes that for cosmetics and personal beauty care companies “to remain in lockstep with the needs of shoppers, brands, and retailers will need to continuously optimize their omnichannel strategy and digital shelf.”
One emergent strategy for companies in these categories is communicating directly with consumers via SMS. While mass text marketing is a technique that has been utilized across multiple categories for some years, the advent of a different option, 1:1 direct texting, is a relatively new opportunity that readily lends itself to the unique needs of the cosmetics or personal beauty care product consumer.
To learn more about this marketing technique, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Melissa Bridgeford, CEO and co-founder of Wizard. This marketing services company specializes in connecting brands directly with consumers through SMS messaging.
How it works
Wizard’s model, which can be applied to brands across categories including cosmetics, skin care, and other personal beauty product companies, works by enabling “two-way text, which provides many value propositions for brands, including marketing, product search, orders, engagement and zero-party data,” Bridgeford explained. This is particularly valuable for beauty-related categories “given the repeat nature of the products, as text helps drive repeat purchases and subscriptions, thereby driving the lifetime value of the customer.”
The cosmetic and personal beauty care product purchasing experience is mainly subjective. Each consumer has unique needs and is searching for a specific benefit, color pallet, or ingredient focus directly tied to their skin. Matching consumers with the particular product that will benefit them best becomes more challenging for direct-to-consumer eCommerce brands – if consumers cannot touch, smell, or swatch products, this can make converting to purchase an even more significant challenge.
1:1 texting allows consumers to directly “learn about products, share feedback, and place quick orders (and reorders),” said Bridgeford. Further, she added, “customers often need reassurance, information, or validation before making a personal purchase. Questions like ‘Wait, is it safe for nursing women?’ or ‘Is it hypoallergenic’ often come up for customers just before checkout and expert reassurance goes a long way towards converting uncertainty into an order.”
Benefits of 1:1 messaging
Texting is not new to marketing strategies but has traditionally been used to engage consumers by “blasting coupon codes and weblinks” and are often unsolicited methods of communication. Converting to a 1:1 texting relationship, which the consumer usually initiates, allows the consumer more control over the conversation and allows them to instantly receive the information they need to determine if they will convert to purchase.
“Text is ubiquitous across consumer demographics,” explained Bridgeford, and “meets consumers where they’re spending their time, which allows all consumers to benefit from this form of engagement and convenience.” A recent example of the successful pairing between the 1:1 texting method and a beauty industry brand is the relationship between Wizard and AAVRANI, “a skincare brand that bridges the gap between beauty and wellness.”
By “enabling two-way texts to not only market, but also allow product discovery, product search, orders, repeat purchases, and subscriptions – all of which drive customer lifetime value and retention,” AAVRANI has “seen a 23% increase in Gross Merchandise Value over their web sales and up to 37x ROl,” Bridgeford noted. She added, “interactive campaigns have helped AAVRANI collect rich customer testimonials to share across their social channels, learn about their consumer’s ayurvedic beauty rituals, and tap a community of loyalists united by their shared passions and love of their brand.”
Potential industry impact
Ultimately, Bridgeford concluded, “text is bridging the relationship between the brand and the end consumer, and higher sales by beauty brands would have a positive impact on those brands’ relationships with their suppliers.” For brands focusing on consumer engagement as a primary pillar of their 2023 marketing strategy, a 1:1 texting service allows for a direct connection between the company and the consumer. This service can be applied to companies that maintain an online and in-store brand presence, as the service can be utilized anytime and anywhere.
As cosmetics and personal beauty care companies continue to trend towards more diverse omnichannel marketing strategies, it is crucial to understand the growing number of opportunities to do so in a unique way. Considering that “text commerce drives sales conversion rates 10x higher than traditional websites,” it is prudent for brands across these categories to consider how 1:1 texting can potentially be a lucrative option to increase their market share by encouraging natural growth and consumer product education.