Influencers have serious sway in the beauty industry. 74% of generation Z consumers said their beauty buying habits were driven by influencers, with 66% of millennials and 50% of gen X customers saying the same.
As a beauty influencer, it’s only natural to want to take advantage of this impact among your followers.
In this post, we’ll run through 12 steps to consider when launching eCommerce products. With our help, you can take the stress out of the process and maximise your profits when launching beauty products to sell online.
Identify your target market
First and foremost, it’s important to know your audience. This means identifying their demographics, such as age, gender, location, income level, and employment status. But it also means understanding their preferences when it comes to content, marketing, and beauty trends. Not to mention their spending habits. Do they make impulse purchases on payday? Or are they interested in affordable ongoing subscriptions?
This information will help guide your strategies for product development, marketing, and sales.
Select the right eCommerce platform
When selling online, your choice of eCommerce platform is vital. You can sell through your own website using platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. Or you can set up a store with online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
The latter have the advantage of convenience and upfront cost. There’s no need to build or maintain a website, which saves time and money. That said, you’ll lose a percentage of sales revenue and customers have been found to trust brands more when they have a good website.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing your eCommerce platform:
- Ease of use – Research how easy is it to build your store, add products and manage sales.
- Scalability – Find out how different platforms handle a growing number of users.
- Integration with other tools – Autofulfil can integrate with a vast array of eCommerce platforms, so you don’t have to worry about fulfillment integration!
Consider regulatory compliance
Cosmetic products are subject to regulations for quality control, safety, and labelling. Crucially, these regulations can vary from region to region. Whether you’re selling domestically or internationally, it’s important to be fully aware of any requirements and how they affect product development, marketing, and sales.
Plan for strategic product launches
Ready to launch your products? Be sure to plan launches strategically. Rather than diving in headfirst, you can create more anticipation with a little foresight. Teaser videos, sneak peeks, and launch countdowns will all get your audience excited, which could result in more sales when the product is (finally) launched.
Organise pre-launches for collaborations
As an influencer, you might think your audience is pretty sizeable on its own. But there’s no harm in trying to expand your reach. Consider collaborating with other influencers or brands to foster cross-promotion opportunities and tap into new audiences.
Linking with the previous point, some beauty brands will send out their new product to other influencers a day or two before the official launch to create more of a buzz just before launch.
Maximise sales with product bundling
Product bundling is a win-win for beauty influencers. Consider how your new launch could complement other, existing products as part of a curated set. Doing so can provide added value to customers and encourage upsells. Customers will be enticed by a lower price for the newly launched item but spend more overall due to the convenient bundle.
Create limited-edition allure
Limited-edition releases can instil a sense of exclusivity and urgency among your audience. They motivate customers to make prompt purchase decisions, but can also increase value. According to YPulse, one in three young people would pay more for a limited-edition product.
Limited edition doesn’t have to mean limiting production long-term. You could limit sales to 100 per month, for example, creating continued interest in your new product.
Invest in custom packaging
Packaging is an important part of the customer experience. Beyond protecting products, it can provide a memorable unboxing experience and improve your brand image.
Remember that too much packaging can be detrimental. Customers may question the need for too much unnecessary packaging due to its environmental impact. According to McKinsey, more than half of consumers are highly concerned about the environmental impact of packaging.
It’s also important to remember that simpler packing instructions can improve speed in the fulfillment process. Simpler packaging means that orders can be verified and shipped to customers faster and more cost-effectively.
Forecast sales to improve fulfillment
When it comes to fulfillment, liaising closely with your fulfillment centre ahead of launch dates can ensure adequate staff is on hand to get all of your orders out. Always try to provide your fulfillment centre with the most accurate possible order forecast to assist with preparation and processing, and ensure stock lands in good time to allow for goods-in processes.
Plan for international shipping
To manage customer expectations, it’s vital to consider the different delivery times for domestic, EU, and global shipping. You should also check the difference in pricing depending on your service-level agreement with your shipping or fulfillment partners. You can then charge customers accordingly to avoid a hit to your own margins.
Last but not least, check what paperwork is required for customs on international orders. Your fulfillment centre should be able to produce this for you, ensuring that the potential audience for your product launch is as big as possible.
Keep up with customer service and engagement
Excellent customer service can set you apart from other beauty brands and improve sales in the long run. Here are some key points to bear in mind:
- Enquiries – Set aside time to manage customer enquiries, ensuring customers’ questions about your products don’t go unanswered.
- Feedback – Monitor feedback to eliminate recurring issues and reduce the chance of customer issues going unresolved.
- Returns – Quick, simple returns can keep customers happy even when returning their purchase. A good fulfillment centre can assist with returns management to take that job off your list.
- Engagement – Engaging with customers post-purchase can build brand loyalty. You can also share positive customer posts (with permission) as an additional form of marketing.
Plan for growth and scalability
Last, but certainly not least, plan for growth after your eCommerce product launch. Be prepared for higher order volumes following your initial success. You can also capitalise on that success by expanding your product line. Of course, product development, design, and production all take time, which is why it helps to plan ahead – being proactive rather than reactive. It’s also wise to consider the capabilities of your fulfilment operations to ensure you can quickly and easily scale your order fulfilment along with your increased sales volumes.
Ready to grow your beauty brand?
If you’re an influencer ready to launch eCommerce products, Autofulfil can help. Our fulfillment centre in Ireland provides fast, accurate fulfillment for beauty products to save you time, improve the customer experience, and give you the resources to grow without limits. To find out more, request a call with our team.