How Personalisation is Transforming the Health and Beauty Industry

Per ounce, the cost of makeup can be more than gold.

It’s facts like this that make the cosmetics industry big business. But how do you sell products online that people normally want to smell, touch and try before they buy?

The answer is personalisation.

We take a look at the power of personalisation for the health and beauty industry.

We’ll show you how you can:

  • learn more about health and beauty buyers
  • personalise your marketing
  • create unique website experiences for each customer
  • increase customer loyalty

The changing face of the health and beauty industry

The online health and beauty market in the UK is forecast to grow 21.1% over the next five years. That makes health and beauty the fastest growing retail sector in eCommerce. It’s pretty impressive for an industry which previously pushed products through in-store demos and makeovers!

Yet thanks to YouTube, social media and bloggers, people are now getting their health and beauty hit on the web. And when the products promoted are just a click away, it makes shopping online the easiest option.


But with so many online health and beauty retailers, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. The overwhelming choice means 43% of shoppers visit up to five or more websites before making a decision. So if you want to get a slice of the action then you’ve got to get your marketing spot on. You need to grab the browser’s attention, make your marketing relevant and appeal to them personally.

Creating a beautiful relationship

Health and beauty retailers take great pride in a personal approach. In fact they’re not shy of asking their customers questions. They use preference centres, send surveys and gather data from online registrations to build up a picture of the customer.

We love this example by Boots from its Parenting Club. They use the basic registration information to create a truly personalised message. It makes for addictive reading and creates a real rapport between the brand and recipient at a very personal time.


Quizzes, consultations and customer profiling

Foundation pickers and skincare consultations are powerful tools for online retailers. They help the customer identify exactly they need when they’re faced with so many possibilities.

By using these tools retailer can create a profile of each customer. This information can then be used to serve the most relevant content and products in marketing campaigns and with personalised website experiences.

Here’s how The Body Shop learns about its customers with a few carefully chosen questions in its online skincare consultation.

Personalised recommendations

There’s no better way to guide the customer through the minefield of health and beauty buys than with a few personal recommendations. After all they need a bit of a helping hand when they can’t experience the product for themselves when they’re shopping online.

Like Boots, Clinique have asked all the right questions. The brand has found out about its customer’s complexion, problems and beauty needs. It then uses machine learning technology to spot what similar customers purchased and make recommendations based on these trends.

Personalised promotions

Health and beauty personalisation doesn’t just mean suggesting a few well chosen products – it’s even about the offers! If your customers have an account or loyalty card then it’s easy to see exactly what and when they’re buying.

It means you can reach out to them with personalised promotions based on their favourite products, categories or spending patterns. Here’s how Boots personalise promotions on its app to maximise appeal and increase conversion rates.

Virtual makeovers

A makeover no longer means a trip to the beauty counter because you can now have one virtually. Retailers are asking customers to upload selfies and then overlaying looks using facial recognition technology and augmented reality.

We particularly like Sephora’s Virtual Artist. It lets users ‘try on’ makeup trends while tailoring the personalised suggestions based on their skin tone and face shape. It combines this with personal tips and tailored tutorials to convince them to try the products in person.

Replenishing firm favourites

Once you’ve found a health and beauty product that works, you tend to stay loyal.
It’s great news for the health and beauty industry which benefits from ongoing custom from loyal fans. All you need to do is make it easy and convenient for them to buy again.

Replenishment email campaigns are a great way to secure repeat purchases. You can send previous purchasers an automated email reminding them to stock up before they run out. And as they’ve bought before, you have all the data you need to tailor this very timely, personal reminder.

Lancome do a great job on this, offering a subscription to an dedicated automated replenishment service to lock in loyalty.

Tempting health and beauty addicts to buy more

Health and beauty products often come in collections which are ideal for upselling and cross-selling. If a customer has selected a cleanser then the timing is probably right to tell them about the toner. If they’re browsing moisturisers then tell them all about your best-selling day cream.

Japonesque show the perfect items to complete a purchase at the checkout. It’s a nice way to build up the order value by suggesting additional accessories.

Delivering a beautifully joined-up experience

Health and beauty buyers flit between offline and online so to maximise conversion you need to personalise experiences in both. And as long as you have the right technology anything’s possible. Customer insight software lets you track your customers’ online and offline actions. It means you can make your marketing relevant regardless of where the interactions take place.

You can send relevant, post-purchase emails after a store transaction. Or ensure you aren’t promoting or retargeting customers with products which they’ve already purchased in-store.

Creating loyalty

Loyalty, reward and subscription schemes are big news in health and beauty retailing – just think Boots Advantage Card, Sephora or Birchbox. They’re all poised to do one thing – keep the health and beauty addict hooked.

They keep customers coming back by incentivising them, rewarding them and personalising their service each time. Birchbox track people’s browsing and buying habits to deliver a personal package every month.


Health and beauty will always be a very personal purchase. It’s tailored to the individual’s preferences, appearance and personal goals, which is exactly the reason you should be personalising your marketing and website experiences.

And if you try and skip it you will make your product or brand instantly irrelevant. Worse still you risk offending others by incorrectly targeting them with anti-aging creams, misgendered products or recommendations that don’t match their personal goals.

Personalisation is undoubtedly a huge opportunity for health and beauty brands. We hope this blog post has inspired to take your personalisation strategy forward.

Our personalisation technology is already helping retailers deliver better experiences for each customer.

Ready to learn more?

Learn how our technology helps retailers. Or see our technology in action by booking a demo.

Download 8 Glowing Examples of Health and Beauty Email Marketing