[Perfume and cosmetics marketing] The 8 best sales strategies for your online perfume shop

Do you have an online perfume shop?

Then you should know that it’s a type of ecommerce that’s growing. People are ordering more and more perfume and cosmetics products online each and every day.

Which means more competition.

And there’s only one thing you can do to stand out and attract clients: design a good online marketing strategy for your shop.

In this post, we’re showing you the marketing strategies that work best for online perfume and cosmetics shops in 2022. Here are all the tips so that your ecommerce really stands out from the crowd!

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Why you should have an online shop window for your perfume or cosmetics shop

According to a study by IAB Spain 2018, online perfume shops’ sales increased by 35% with respect to the previous year. That’s quite a high figure, isn’t it?

That’s why it should come as no surprise that more and more people are selling perfumes and cosmetics online. However, if you really want to be successful, you need to think about the following before you get started:

  • What do perfume, make-up, or lotions buyers need?
  • Why are they going to choose you instead of their local physical shop?
  • What can you offer that others can’t?

There’s no easy answer to those questions, but what we can tell you is that online shoppers always look for:

  • Savings: Cosmetics eCommerce shops can offer prices up to 70% lower than those in physical shops (besides the opportunity to compare prices in different online shops).
  • Convenience: It’s the ease of looking for a product from different catalogs, with no time restrictions, and delivered to your doorstep, sometimes within 24 hours.
  • Comprehensive information: In addition to knowing each product’s characteristics, you can check other buyers’ opinions and reviews, which can help you make the final decision.

These are the three main attributes that your cosmetics business should offer, but the problem is that just offering these three isn’t enough (it’s just the starting point).

You need to use different marketing strategies to help differentiate your shop from your competitors and attract the greatest number of clients.

Pay attention to what comes next.

👉 How the perfume and cosmetics eCommerce sector has evolved

The real beauty is on the inside … but the outside must also be pampered a bit. 

And that is something that worries us more and more.

The data is clear: the sales of perfumery and cosmetic products (including online) has grown steadily over the last decade.

A positive trend that was only interrupted, on a specific basis, in 2020, but which has quickly returned to the path of growth. 

And experts predict that demand will continue to increase between now and 2030.

This is great news for eCommerce in the perfume and cosmetics sector. But as in any burgeoning market for opportunity, the challenges are also multiplying.

The first and most obvious, the high competition.

In addition to the threat posed by other retail stores (and giants like Amazon), the manufacturers themselves have also launched into selling their products directly to the final public.

That makes it increasingly difficult to stand out with your eCommerce. 

In addition, it is also an extra obstacle when it comes to building customer loyalty (which, according to the study “Global Beauty and Personal Care Trends 2030“, will be a vital factor for the survival of online stores in this sector).

But the real workhorse is in the new consumer trends.

The needs and demands of this customer profile are changing little by little. For example, environmental awareness is becoming increasingly important, which means that the public demands articles:

  • Made with organic products.
  • Not tested on animals (cruelty free).
  • Plastic free.

In addition, the online shopper is also looking for an increasingly personalized shopping experience.

They want to feel like they are shopping in a physical store, but from the comfort of their home.

And to this scene, we can add the complexity of “breaking the screen barrier” in a sector like this, where the sensations generated by the product (smell, texture, etc.) are decisive in the purchase process.

To achieve success in this scenario and take advantage of all the possibilities that the online world offers you, the path is clear:

You need a solid digital marketing and sales strategy.

Challenges for personal care and beauty eCommerce

  • Increase awareness for the environment
  • Building customer loyalty is more important (and complicated) than ever
  • The user demands a 1: 1 experience
  • You need to evoke sensations to motivate the purchase

👉 The 8 essences of the perfume and cosmetics eCommerce strategy

It’s important to know that selling cosmetics products online is more difficult than selling any other product online:

  • How can you promote perfume or make-up products that are completely subjective and depend on each person’s likes?
  • How can you explain the scent of a specific perfume to convince buyers without trying it?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to explain now!

1. Emphasize your product’s attributes

Perfumes are normally chosen because of the characteristics they represent more so than their scent.

Your client will buy a perfume depending on the feelings it transmits. Since they can’t smell it, they’ll value the more relevant characteristics.

That’s why you should write your product cards taking into account these 2 factors:

  • The characteristics that can describe the scent: the aromatic notes, the ingredients, where it’s made, and so on.
  • The emotions and feelings that they transmit: seduction, elegance, power, rebellion, magnetism, etc.

This way, they’ll know if they’re buying the right perfume for themselves. And the same also applies to creams and make-up.

How can you emphasize the characteristics of a product so that your ideal client buys it? ➡️ Hitting their specific pain points, as we explained in this post.

Don’t know how to write a product card so that it works? ➡️ Read this post where we explain it in detail.

2. Use a search engine to make buying easier for your clients

In any physical shop, clients would go directly to the shop assistant to ask for specific information about a product.

Most perfume buyers are looking for a specific brand or perfume.

Actually, the top 3 most sought after brands are:

  • Creed
  • The ordinary
  • Mancera

If you already know this, why don’t you take advantage and use it to stand out from your competitors?

By using Doofinder (our professional search engine), clients only need to type the brand name or the perfume they are looking for and they’ll automatically be shown:

  • Products: with images of all the perfumes from that brand.
  • Categories: which they can even filter by price.
  • Offers: if they are activated for that product or category.

Have a look at how it works on the website from our client Just My Look:

perfume-cosmetic-marketing

Do you speak the same language as your clients?

It may sound silly, but it’s not.

Imagine someone enters your shop and types “lip rouge” in your normal search engine. Despite having lots, the results page shows that there aren’t any.

What happened?

You categorized them by “lipstick”.

That’s why a normal search engine won’t find it. And there are even more synonyms for similar products, such as “lip gloss”, that they could use (and that your search engine won’t recognize).

Again, this can also happen with other products such as mascara, eye liner, foundation, and so on.

However, with a professional search engine such as Doofinder, you can type several synonyms for each product without having to change the descriptions.

Here you have an example. Have a look at what happens just by typing “lips”:

They show you all the products related to that part of the face. 😉

Want to check out how this search engine (that increases sales 25-30% on average) really works?

Click here and try Doofinder free for 30 days.

3. Harness your happy clients’ testimonies

We already know that choosing this type of product is a very subjective decision and it’s difficult to explain a smell or a lipstick’s benefits.

What can you do?

Highlight the social proof in your online perfume shop.

A social proof in marketing is showing users clear evidence that their buying decision is backed by other clients like them.

That’s to say, posting other users’ opinions about your products on your website may lead another new client to make a purchase.

✅ 4. Study your market (and find a way to stand out)

The high competition and the difficulty to retain your customers force you to look for something that differentiates you from the rest of eCommerce.

The first step to achieve this is to fully understand the needs and objectives of your clients.

A. Give your ideal client a name and face

If you have not done so yet, it is essential that you define the profile of your buyer persona.

This profile is a fictitious representation of your ideal buyer. A file of an “invented person” that meets the common characteristics of your target audience.

This file must include data such as:

  • Your demographic information: age, education, income level, etc.
  • Their main need: the problem they hope to solve by purchasing your product.
  • Your main obstacles: what reasons prevent you from solving that need you have.
  • What can you offer them that your competition cannot: this will allow you to define your value proposition and refine your sales message.

In addition, it is also interesting that you include information such as their hobbies, their daily routine, what type of media they consume (both traditional media such as blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc.).

It is even recommended that you assign this invented person a proper name and a photo taken from Google.

All this will help you put yourself in the shoes of your customers, better understand their needs and humanize your sales message.

We give you a couple of examples:

Profile 1: Nerea, fond of cosmetics

Nerea is a young woman, 27, who has just entered the labor market. 

She is very conscientious about of environment. She likes to take care of her beauty and often uses personal care and makeup products, but only buys cosmetic brands that share her values.

For example, those whose products have not been tested on animals. 

In addition, she values positively that the stores she buys from work to reduce waste (for example, avoiding excessive packaging or the use of plastics).

When it comes to consuming videos related to cosmetics, she prefers the video format. She follows influencers who share makeup and styling tips on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

In my eCommerce I can offer her cruelty free brand products. In addition, we only use recyclable materials to package the products. 

Additionally, on my blog and my social networks I share tips on cosmetics and beauty, and I collaborate with some of the influencers that Nerea follows.

Profile 2: Elena, middle-aged executive 

Elena is a 47-year-old woman. She occupies a position of high responsibility in her company, for which she receives a good salary.

Elena likes to take care of her image, both inside and outside of work.

She uses perfume on a daily basis, and prefers to have several different ones to be able to alternate them according to the occasion.

Before, she used to buy these products in a physical store to be able to try them, but due to lack of time she has had to start buying online. 

However, she is concerned about not finding the correct fragrance.

To give her more confidence when shopping on my eCommerce, I can send her free perfume samples with every order.

In addition, Elena has been consuming digital press and blogs specialized in fashion and cosmetics for a long time. She likes to keep up to date with news and new launches in this sector.

For this reason, on my blog I publish news related to the brands that I distribute, as well as advice on personal care, fashion and beauty.

B. Look at other stores in your sector

To distance yourself from your competition, you must first know what they are doing.

In addition, analyzing the strategy of your competitors can also help you better understand your target audience, know their needs and detect possible objections that you may have overlooked.

For that:

1. Identify who your main competitors are:

  • Start searching on Google: use terms related to your business to see which stores appear in the first results.
  • Write down the 5 or 10 websites that you see better positioned: that is a sign that they have a good marketing strategy, so it will be those that you must overcome.

2. Analyze their strategy:

  • Their communication: how do they describe their products? What tone do they use to address their customers? In which social networks do they have a presence? Do they publish content on their blogs? Do they have a lead magnet to attract subscribers? What brand values do they highlight?
  • Their product catalog: What brands do they distribute? What products stand out on the homepage? Do they follow any pricing strategy?
  • Their sales strategy: Do they offer discounts? Add-on product bundles or suggestions? Do they have a loyalty program?

Extra tip: try doing the same research with eCommerce sites from other countries. This could help you spot new trends and opportunities.

✅ 5. Online traffic: the basis of your strategy

To get sales, you need to bring online traffic (visits) to your website. We have several ways to achieve it.

A. Online advertising

When you have an eCommerce, the normal thing is that a significant part of your sales come from online ad campaigns (paid traffic).

There are several platforms, but the most used are:

  • Google Ads: Google’s online advertising system (formerly known as Google Adwords) allows you to create different types of ads, including YouTube campaigns.
  • Advertising on social networks: practically all networks allow you to create advertising campaigns, although the most used is Facebook Ads (to launch ads on Facebook and Instagram). But if you are targeting a young audience, you may also be interested in Snapchat and TikTok.

In addition, Amazon has also launched its own advertising service: Amazon Advertising.

All these platforms work under a CPC or Cost per Click  system (you only pay when a user clicks on your ads).

B. SEO positioning

SEO is the main way to get organic traffic; that is, “free” visits.

That makes it a much more profitable strategy than advertising (although on the other hand, SEO positioning can take several months to pay off).

These are the steps to follow to optimize your website for SEO:

  • Study of keywords or keyword research: make a list of terms that your customers could search in Google (names of your products, brands, etc.). Then use a SEO tool to find out how many searches they have per month and which ones you are most interested in ranking for. Here we tell you some of the most used.
  • Design a web structure optimized for these keywords: the most generic keywords (such as “makeup”, “blushes”, “body lotions” etc.) you tackle with the categories and subcategories, and the keywords of specific articles (“Moisturizing Mask and Repara Pantene ”), with the corresponding product sheets.
  • Beware of cannibalizations: a very common mistake is having two pages trying to position themselves for the same keyword (SEO cannibalization). It would be the case of the same product file that appears in two different categories at the same time. This will make both tabs hold each other back and neither will rank in Google. 

This is just a summary, but if you want to know more we recommend that you take a look at this SEO mega guide for eCommerce.

C. Content marketing

Although we dedicate our own section to it, in reality content marketing could be considered as one more component of SEO.

And keywords are also tackled with blog posts.

This strategy consists of publishing useful content for your audience, and in this way attracting them to your website, earning their trust and getting them to buy from you.

For example, these are some types of content that you could publish in your cosmetics eCommerce:

  • Tips for caring for skin, hair, etc.
  • Makeup tutorials.
  • Interviews with experts (image consultants, beauticians, dermatologists, etc.).
  • Product reviews.

If you want to know more about content marketing, we leave you some posts from our blog:

D. Social networks

In the beauty and cosmetics industry, one of the biggest influencing factors in sales is social proof.

Users rely heavily on the opinions of other customers (or the influencers they follow) to decide which products to buy.

And social media is the perfect place to exploit this strategy.

These are some practices that you can apply:

  • User-generated content: share posts that have tagged you, run contests for users to upload photos using your products … 
  • Share reviews from your clients: if your clients have given you positive feedback (on their own networks, on product sheets, on your Google My Business profile…) give them visibility.
  • Make collaborations with influencers: in this sector it is very common to send free samples to the influencers so that they can try your products and do a review.

In addition, of course, it is also important that you publish your own content that adds value to your followers.

✅ 6. A shopping experience that converts visits into customers

Capturing online traffic is only the first step.

In addition, you have to make sure that the visitors you attract end up buying you. To do this, offering your customers a personalized experience is an essential component of the strategy.

A. First impressions count (take care of the user experience)

User experience is the positive or negative perception that a user has after browsing your website.

And if it’s negative, you run the risk of losing customers. 

For example, yes:

  • The loading speed is extremely slow.
  • The homepage  is very disorganized and does not help to continue browsing.
  • The design has an unprofessional look.
  • Pop-ups pop up everywhere that interrupt the user.

All this can make the user leave and never return.

And not only that; a bad user experience can even affect SEO (because Google penalizes you).

B. Evocative Product Sheets Sell More

We said that one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to selling cosmetics online is that the user does not have direct contact with the product.

For example, you cannot know:

  • How a certain perfume smells.
  • If the makeup base you are thinking of buying is the right one for your skin tone.
  • Which specific lipstick color will flatter you the most.

That is why the descriptions of the product sheets play a fundamental role.

Here are some tips to increase conversion with them:

  • Use adjectives that evoke sensations: refreshing, silky, etc.
  • Relate the scent of a perfume with recognizable scents: citrus notes, lavender scent, fruity touches, etc.
  • Offer customer guidance: for example, “This lipstick is ideal for fair skin.”
  • Includes images with models: so that the user can get an idea of how the product looks when applied. 

Also, another very common strategy is to include free samples.

For example, in their perfume orders the Laconicum store includes a small sample outside the package for the customer to test the fragrance they have purchased.

If it turns out you don’t like it, you can return it.

You can apply this same strategy so that your customers try other products different from the ones they have bought.

Tip: virtual reality, an ally of personal care eCommerce

Another trend that has also become very successful is the use of augmented reality in beauty eCommerce.

This technology (which superimposes a digital design on a real image) allows your clients to get an idea of what a certain product would look like (makeup, accessories such as eyelashes or false nails, etc.).

For instance:

• The Sephora store has its own augmented reality App, Virtual Artist.

• Alibaba, in collaboration with technology company Perfect Corp, designed the YouCam Makeup system.

• L’Oreal, through its Maybelline brand, also has a virtual reality application for its makeup products, called Virtual try-on makeup tool.

C. Product packs: a complete beauty session in one click

Having a large catalog has many advantages, but also some disadvantages.

And it is that, sometimes, an excess of options causes that the client is lost and does not know exactly what products to buy.

For these cases, a good solution is to offer packs or bundles of products.

For example, you could create a complete facial care pack, with:

  • Cleansing lotion.
  • Exfoliator.
  • Face mask.
  • Eye contour.
  • Lip balm.

You can even go further and offer specific packs for each skin type (as the Makari store does).

D. Simplify checkout and reduce abandoned carts

On average, the rate of abandoned carts in eCommerce is close to 70%. 

And a large part of those abandonments occurs during checkout, a critical phase of the purchase process.

To avoid this, there are some keys that you should keep in mind:

  • Be flexible with payment methods: offer different gateways, including PayPal, Stripe or even Bizum.
  • Do not force the user to create an account: allow purchases as a guest and, once the customer has placed their order, you invite them to create an account. Another option is to activate the social login, so that the user registers in a single click using the data from their social networks.
  • Activate autofill: so that the most generic fields (name, address, etc.) are automatically filled in and the customer can make their purchase faster.
  • Avoid surprise shipping costs: if you wait until the time of payment to add the shipping costs, the customer will have the feeling that you have tried to “cheat” them. Indicate them on the product sheet itself.

If you apply all these steps you will make the rate of abandoned carts in your store plummet.

And for customers who continue to leave their purchase halfway, we leave you some extra strategies that you can apply:

Extra: The internal search engine, the key piece to trigger conversions

Did you know…?

  • Between 15 and 30% of users prefer to use the internal search engine to find the product they want.
  • In addition, those users who do a search are between 4 and 6 times more likely to end up buying. But not all are good news.

But not all are good news.

The reality is that most search engines (especially basic search engines, the ones that come with the store template by default) do not meet user expectations.

To give you an idea, with a default search engine 15% of the queries end in a frustrating “No results” …

… And that even if you do have the product the customer was looking for in stock.

Hence the importance of having an advanced search engine in your eCommerce. Or as we say, a “smart” one.

One that:

A. Analyze the behavior of your customers and learn from them

An intelligent search engine is able to “guess” what the user wants and offer them personalized results.

For example, let’s say you have a client (we’ll call her Gema) who was a few days ago in your eCommerce looking at hair masks.

After comparing several, she ended up buying one from the Kérastase brand.

Shortly after she returns, but this time she goes to the search engine and writes “conditioner” … and the first thing that appears are Kérastase products.

Chance? 

Clearly not; what happens is that the search engine remembers Gema and knows that, if she is looking for more hair care products, she will surely want to buy the same brand as last time.

Thanks to that, Gema has very easily found the conditioner she needed and has completed her order. 

B. ¿Meibelin, Maybelin, Meybellin…?

It does not matter, the search engine understands you anyway

Because typos happen to everyone.

Imagine that Gema (the same client from the previous example) enters your store to buy a lipstick, but when she types, her finger goes off and she writes “lipstip” in the search engine.

Or instead of “lipstick”, which is what you call them on your product sheets, puts “rouge”. 

A normal search engine would not have understood what kind of product Gema was referring to, so it would have returned a “No results“.

In contrast, an advanced search engine is capable of handling both synonyms and misprints, so it would have had no problem showing Gema the lipstick tabs.

C. It makes it easy for the user to find what they are looking for

Now let’s take the case of Beatriz. 

Beatriz comes to your store with the idea of buying a scrub for oily skin. 

She goes to the search engine and types “exf” and:

In a matter of seconds, she finds the product she wanted and puts it in the cart.

And all without ever leaving the homepage.

Did you know…?

With Doofinder you can know that the most sought after brands in the cosmetics and perfumery eCommerce sector right now are:

1. Chanel

2. Dior

3. Guerlain

4. Kenzo

5. Hermés

6. Wella

7. Kerastase

8. Redken

9. Maybelline

10. L’Oreal

Knowing this you can choose much better what products or brands in your store to promote.

D. Searchandising: add a touch of color to your offers and promotions

Because a good search engine not only guides your clients; It also works for you, promoting the products that you are most interested in selling.

For example, is it summer and you just launched a tanning lotion sale?

Then you can create a banner for the search engine to show it next to the search results in all related queries (“bronzers”, “sun creams”, etc.).

E. Notifies you of searches without results

Suppose you are thinking of expanding your catalog with new brands, but you don’t know which ones will be more in demand among your audience.

If you have a smart search engine, the solution is simple.

You enter the statistics panel, go to the “Searches without results” section and check which brands your customers are looking for that you do not sell.

So you discover that the 3 most repeated are:

  • Guerlain.
  • Maybelline.
  • Redken.

With that information in hand, you can invest in stock without fear of being left with the boxes gathering dust in the warehouse, because you know that your audience is asking for those products.

✅ 7. Make your customers loyal regulars

Capturing a new customer costs between 5 and 10 times more than getting a person who has already bought from us to do it again.

Therefore, in the long term what interests you is to retain as many customers as possible.

Let’s see how to get it.

A. Discounts and loyalty programs

A classic strategy to get your customers to buy from you again and again.

Some of the ideas that you can apply are:

  • Points programs: which are added with each purchase and allow the customer to enjoy discounts, gifts, etc.
  • Reward system: in this case, the customer receives points for certain “milestones” (making their first purchase, subscribing to the newsletter, sharing content on their social networks, etc.).
  • Preferential treatment: some stores create “VIP clubs” where they offer exclusive benefits or content.

However, to retain your buyers in a sector as competitive as personal beauty, you must go much further.

B. Hyper-personalized attention

We said that today eCommerce clients in this sector expect to receive very personalized attention.

Throughout this document we have already explained some possible strategies (such as product packs, personalized search suggestions …) but another very powerful method has remained in the pipeline.

Segmentation in email marketing.

A strategy that allows you to divide your subscribers into “sub-profiles” to send them specific content.

For example, if a customer has bought a cream for dry skin, she will surely be interested in receiving offers for similar products, guides on the best makeup for her skin type, comparison of moisturizers, etc.

If you want to know more, take a look at these posts on our blog:

C. Subscription model

Another very interesting option to retain your customers.

Many cosmetic products are consumed on a recurring basis. Thus, if a person finds a moisturizer that works for their skin, they will want to continue using it in the future.

The same with a perfume or with any other cosmetic product.

We can take advantage of this to implement a subscription service. In this way, your customers do not have to worry about placing the exact same order every so often, but they receive the product at home automatically.

✅ 8. Measure results and apply improvements (to increase profitability)

Once you have your strategy in place, it is essential to collect data to know how to optimize it.

And this is where the meters or KPIs come into play.

These are the essentials for an eCommerce:

To record some of these KPIs you will need specific web analytics tools such as Google Analytics  or Google Search Console

Note: depending on the lifetime of your eCommerce there will be some meters that are more important than others.

>>>> What if you had a tool that…?

  • Serve your customers 24/7 and help them find the product they need
  • Show them personalized results to increase conversion and average ticket
  • Improve the user experience of your website (and SEO)
  • Reduces searches with no results (from 15% to 1.3%)
  • Makes sure everyone sees your promotions
  • Offers you key data to optimize your sales strategy

👉 Doofinder is the smart search engine that increases your sales up to 20%

And it does so thanks to:

  • The intelligent search: autocomplete function, management of synonyms, misspelling correction and use of search filters.
  • Results customization: Doofinder’s AI analyzes the behavior of each user to offer you more relevant results.
  • Searchandising:Doofinder shows first the products that interest you the most and you can also configure banners with offers, promotions or striking images.
  • Mobile Search: our mobile layer adapts to any device. It also supports voice and visual search to deliver a state of the art user experience.
  • Real-time statistics: to analyze what your visitors are looking for and make decisions based on first hand information, optimize your strategy to grow faster.

Would you like to check it out for yourself?

You can try Doofinder for 30 days for free (and without entering your payment info). 

Just click, download it and install it in 5 minutes, without writing code or programming anything, you will have it installed and working.

 

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