Customer management can be quite simple but also difficult. Turning customers into regulars and keeping them for a long time are not an easy thing to do. According to McKinsey, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer. According to a study, the top 10% of your customers generate 70% of your total sales while the bottom 30% of your customers contribute to loss rather than profit. It is important to bring a new customer, but it is necessary to maintain good relationships with existing customers and turn them into regular customers. Many beauty supplies have their own way of marketing including various promotions. Are they making positive impacts? Are there any problems with current customer management? Let’s look at successful marketing tactics utilized by big beauty chains and a few examples of online marketing.
Point/rewards programs to steal customers’ heart
Point/rewards programs can boost customer loyalty by creating incentive to shop more frequently. It is one of popular customer retention strategies. Customers can earn points per dollar spent and get perks and discounts when they come back. According to the survey of Invesp, 69% of customers consider customer loyalty/rewards programs when they are choosing a retailer.
Many Korean-owned beauty supplies ran point programs, beautician discounts, and so on. Some beauty supplies gave customers a stamp per a certain dollar amount of purchase, and customers could get a $5 to $10 discount every ten stamps. Also, at many beauty supplies, customers were asked to create an account to accumulate points per dollar spent that could be used as a credit for the next purchase. A lot of beauty supplies provided discounts for beauticians, students, and the military.
Point programs and related promotions at big chains
1. Ulta Beauty
You can earn 1 point per dollar spent at Ulta Beauty with the Ultamate Rewards Program. When you spend $500 or more, you are promoted to a Platinum member, and when you spend $1,200 or more, to a Diamond, allowing you to earn more points per dollar spent. You will get a $3 discount for 100 points, $8 for 250 points, and $50 for 1,000 points. To summarize, you will get a $3 discount for every $100 spent or $50 discount for every $1,000 spent. Although it may not seem a lot, you can get double points on your birthday with free gifts and earn more points per dollar as you are promoted. The point accumulation can accelerate if you stay loyal.
In addition, customers who spend $35 or more online get free shipping, and the website offers time-limited coupons for discounts with minimum purchase requirements. These coupons can be used both online and in-store.
Customers can also subscribe to promotional emails or texts and purchase digital or physical gift cards.
Sephora runs a rewards program known as Beauty Insider. Like Ulta Beauty, you can earn a point per dollar, but they offer a flat discount at $10 per 500 points. If you spend $350 or more per year, you become a VIB, and if you spend $1,000 or more, a Rouge. VIB and Rouge customers get free shipping without minimum purchase. Rouge customers also get a $100 discount per 2,500 points.
Separately, you can enjoy Same-Day Unlimited shipping for $49 a year. Same-Day Unlimited service provides delivery of items within two hours from purchase.
Additionally, Sephora website has a section where you can shop all $20 or under items and discounted items.It is great for looking at all relatively low-priced items, and you can browse by category such as fragrances and make-up products.
Although CVS is not a beauty-exclusive retailer, it offers a separate Beauty Club in addition to its store membership program Care Pass.
Customers get a gift when they spend $30 or more during a calendar month online and in-store. You can choose from a variety of options including shavers, nail nippers, lip balms, and eyeshadows. You can apply for a gift in the following month if you did not apply for a free gift. Customers can also get 10% rewards for purchases made during bi-annual Epic Beauty events and private sales events available exclusively for Beauty Club members. These events are announced via email to registered members.
In addition to coupons offering up to 40% discount, customers receive information about discounts by brand. If you download the CVS app, you can receive it via notification. Otherwise, you will get text messages. Also, you can easily track your rewards earned and available benefits using Reward Tracker.
Notable example: SHEIN
SHEIN is an online only retailer without a single physical store, but still, it boasts a hoard of loyal customers. SHEIN is well known for running sales events non-stop. Once you open their website, you will first see available coupons. Because the price range is already low, the coupons will make the deal even sweeter. The coupons are typically time-limited, typically two weeks, encouraging customers to hurry.
SHEIN started as a clothing retailer, but it also carries items typically offered at beauty supplies. A key driving force behind SHEIN’s quick rise in the U.S. market was social media marketing. SHEIN collaborated with celebrities and influencers to make itself known to the public, and it ran a very successful TikTok marketing campaign. “SHEIN Hauls” are challenge videos where customers share their outfits featuring clothes purchased at SHEIN. Many videos went viral on TikTok and gained popularity. Customers who recorded themselves trying on SHEIN clothes enjoyed many views, and they kept uploading more challenges. These volunteers have driven the success of SHEIN.
How are successful beauty supplies doing?
Cloré Beauty (based in Canada) led by Chairman Yongsu Kim is actively communicating with customers on Instagram. They promote new products, run promotions, hire employees, and provide sales information. Their popular makeup tutorials for special occasions like Halloweens include a list of required cosmetics and hair products in a short video or photos.
When you access the TikTok account of Waba Beauty (based in Arizona) led by CEO Sungjin Cho, you will first see a short video lasting 5-10 seconds that stimulates curiosity of customers. The videos feature wig fitting shots and close-ups of new products available at the store.
Social media marketing can be easier than you think
To attract younger customers who are accustomed to getting product information from videos, you ought to utilize online marketing. It is easy to set up a TikTok or Instagram account. Facebook and Instagram also feature Shop services where you can sell goods. You can simply add the Shops section to your account and list your merchandise.
You can create an account for Instagram or TikTok with basic information, and once you are logged into your account, you can upload photos and videos freely. If your account has Shop feature, you will also have access to the e-commerce administrator page where you can state your Shop’s purpose and basic information about the seller and agree to the terms. It is not difficult to run these accounts without a designated employee for e-commerce or promotion.
You can simply record a short video and use the provided tools on the platforms you are using to add caption and music for a great looking video. If you cannot even do that, you can always settle for photos. Customers will enjoy and respond to any interesting posts shared by your beauty supply business.
You may analyze the customer behavior and interest on social media to reflect on future product plans as well. Most of all, you must pay attention to the trend displayed on music videos and fashion shows featuring celebrities your customers love.
Good customer service and customer complaint management
Small things can make a difference in sales.
Good customer service and attentively addressing customer complaints can go farther than any promotions. When asked about a marketing strategy, a beauty supply owner confidently stated that nothing beat “getting closer to your customer.” He put a particular emphasis on well-known good practices of customer service.
Learning your customer’s name and welcoming them on your next visit. Asking about the products they purchased last time. Complementing their outfit and makeup. These are how he acquired many regular customers over the decade. He also mentioned that he always asks his employees to put on a smile and be friendly with customers.
Responsive complaint management
Complaint management is also important. When a customer expresses dissatisfaction, you should never ignore but promptly investigate and address the issue. Although complaints can be annoying, they provide valuable feedback to assist your product plans and business management strategies. According to a Goodman Report, 91% of dissatisfied customers can discourage 20 new customers each, and 13% of them will spread bad words.
When there is an issue, a retail business can minimize negative impact by acting appropriately and quickly. Nowadays, people often share their unpleasant experience on the internet as well as to their friends and family, making it important to address each incident. People write freely on Google Reviews and other platforms. If you keep ignoring complaints, your business will likely get a low rating on Google Review.
When you go to big beauty chains or grocery stores, you will see a customer service department. This is a department where customers can easily relay their dissatisfaction to the management. Although most beauty supplies may not have enough space for a dedicated service counter, you can designate an employee for such duties and post a sign to encourage casual chatting with the designated person when there are any complaints.
If you analyze why you are losing customers and come up with plans to retain customers with similar issues, you can avoid losing more customers.
Special treatment for important customers: VIP marketing
Good customers deserve even better service. In other words, you must go extra miles for loyal customers. The definition of a VIP customer might vary by store, but largely you can think about customers who purchase regularly, in large quality, and expensive goods. Or think about RFM, which stands for recency, frequency, and monetary value. You may have heard of department stores that offer designated parking space, lounge, and elevators for VIP customers.
Although beauty supplies may not be able to provide dedicated space, you can keep track of their anniversaries, give more points, provide more free samples of new products, and so on. The point is that the customer should feel that they are receiving special care at the store. Let’s make somebody a somebody.
Real impact is more important than running a program
You should not forget to monitor the progress of your marketing strategies especially whether they are making real impacts. Find out if your customers are aware of them and actively participating in them. If you are registering customers using phone numbers instead of issuing physical cards, it might fail to make a real impact because cashiers are providing inadequate information about the benefits of registration and customers do not know how to use their points. Take this opportunity to review your rewards program and see if your program has more appeal than big chains.
If you are running a website or social media account, you should promote them actively. You can promote them by generating QR codes and place them where your customers can see. Online is a great channel to communicate directly with your customers. Do not forget good customer service and complaint management as well.
How to generate a QR code
- Access a QR code generator page (we will use Adobe’s as an example but there are many)
- Enter the web address you want to link and choose a design.
- Download a generated QR code.
- Print the downloaded QR code.
Adobe Express Free custom QR code generator
Because of inflation and recession, business management is getting harder than ever. Losing your existing customers could be the worst thing that can happen now. Think about the customers you know well. They are likely your VIP customers. Why don’t you come up with a plan to make them happy?