Creating a Cross-channel Customer Journey in Health and Beauty Published July 12, 2018 When it comes to health and beauty it’s all about the customer experience. Customers don’t just want a product – they also want to feel a certain way and customer experience helps achieve that. But having lots of channels can make multi-channel marketing a nightmare. It can be difficult to get the channels working together in a way that creates a seamless customer journey. We look at how health and beauty marketers can join up their marketing channels. How they can create a cross-channel customer journey which delivers both great experiences and sales. Introducing new channels Research shows that customers who use four or more channels spend 9% more when compared to shoppers who just uses one channel. It’s exactly the reason you need to join up your marketing efforts and start introducing more touchpoints. But encouraging customers to engage with more channels is not as simple as it seems. Browsers have become blind to social media icons and website URLs – to promote different channels you need to try harder. Beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury shows us exactly how you can promote multiple marketing channels in an engaging way. Before the store in London’s Westfield shopping centre opened, it use the shop’s hoarding to promote its online channel. But unlike most brands it didn’t just slap its web address on the front. Instead it installed interactive kiosks to invite passers-by to take part in an online quiz. It’s an inventive way of capturing attention, data and introducing people to the store and their online channel. It also meant Charlotte Tilbury could use the customer data they gathered to personalise their marketing from the get-go! Offering digital assistance According to research by Mintel, 67% of US beauty buyers aged 18-22 prefer to search for product information on their mobile than ask a sales representative. So if you want to assist a sale then make sure the digital world is easy to access within your store. Simple things like offering wifi and promoting your website in-store can help the customer. Tell them about your customers’ reviews, product videos and crowdsourced bestsellers which can all be found on your website. And don’t forget that personalised suggestions displayed on your website can help guide a shopper in store too. They’re far less obtrusive than the sales patter of a store assistant. It’s a nice way to guide shoppers who may well be browsing on the shop floor as well as online. And if you want to take things further then look to the likes of Sephora for inspiration. They offer both information kiosks and an in-store program called Color IQ which uses digital devices to scan someone’s skin. They use the results to find the right shade for foundation, concealer, lip and powder product recommendations. Gathering information like this in store means you can feed the data straight into your CRM system to personalise your approach next time. Rewarding engagement Loyalty programs for health and beauty brands are pretty common – just think of Boots Advantage points or Aveda’s Reward program. But loyalty schemes like these are missing a trick because they’re only rewarding customers when they buy. It means the customer has no motivation to engage with brands in ways that might influence a purchase. This might include anything that increases brand exposure from connecting with them on social media to viewing videos. Lancôme spotted this gap in the market and decided to fill it with its Elite Rewards. Customers will receive points and rewards for a whole host of activities – from watching videos to sharing content and buying. A member might receive 25 points for connecting to Lancôme’s social accounts including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They then receive 10 points for each dollar they spend online and receive rewards from watching branded videos. It’s a good way to encourage loyalty from awareness to consideration and purchase. It’s also a smart tactic to use to join up channels and put the focus on the entire sales funnel. Getting social The digital world is assisting over half of in-store transactions. It’s stats like these that are the reason why brands like Nike are integrating digital into their store experiences. Step into one of their flagship stores and you’ll be confronted with a social media wall. These impressive installations aggregate a never-ending stream of social media posts by fans and brand ambassadors. In 2016 cosmetics giant L’Oréal launched its Makeup Genius app. It uses facial mapping technology to turn the front-facing camera of a smartphone into a virtual mirror. Beauty fans can try on products virtually, save their look and add products to a wish list. It can also be used in store to try on products before purchasing by simply scanning the product’s barcode. It takes the hassle out of shopping and converts our fascination with selfies into sales. But if your budget isn’t as big as Nike’s or L’Oréal’s then don’t panic. There are still plenty of ways you can make an impact by introducing social proof into your cross-channel customer journey. You can simply feature ratings and reviews on emails or display them in store. You can promote the hashtags across your marketing to encourage people to explore how others have used the products before. Simple tactics like these show there’s always a way to integrate social media into every customer journey. Beating Amazon Nearly half of US women have purchased a beauty product on Amazon last year and – let’s face it – for retailers it’s pretty hard to beat Amazon when it comes to price, convenience or delivery. That’s why health and beauty retailers are now optimising their onsite experience. They’re providing the bits that Amazon just can’t do – beauty tutorials, informative content and free product samples. Each of these elements increases the likelihood of the customer coming to them directly. These tactics also work well when it comes to influencing in-store health and beauty buys which are informed by the online world. And for brands such as Kiehl’s who are renowned for their generous sampling policy in store, online samples are an easy way to bring one of their unique selling points to life, online. Remember that quality content and experiences are the secret to being found both online and offline. And when people are often browsing on their phones, this interest can also quickly convert to footfall on the high-street. Bringing in-store transactions into digital experiences Despite the rapid growth of online beauty sales, in-store still plays a prominent role in the path to purchase. Consumers still want to see and try products in purchase after researching online. In these instances it’s vital for you to be able to reshape your digital experiences to reflect in-store purchases. Bringing in-store transactional data into our personalisation platform prevents you from retargeting customers with products they’ve already purchased, and helps you deliver more targeted product recommendations. Takeaway These are just some of the ways you can connect your online and offline worlds when it comes to health and beauty marketing. They show how both digital and offline marketing can work in harmony to improve customer experiences, loyalty and sales. If you want to create a better cross-channel customer journey then we’re here to help. Our software helps you personalise, target and join up channels to deliver better experiences, seamless customer journeys and more sales. To take your next step in customer journey development book a free demo of our personalisation platform.