A solid customer experience strategy is based on consumer feedback. The CX strategy for beauty and cosmetics company – CPG Beauty and Beyond – also includes reading into the insights derived from customer conversations and understanding the ‘Why’ behind their customer experience.
Loren Taylor West, the Founder and CEO at CPG Beauty and Beyond, says customer data helps a company choose which direction to take and what to prioritize, especially when it comes to tracking trends in the makeup category. While data is often historical and focuses on what happened in the past, reading into the trends and customer expectations drives inspiration and interest to the future.
Data helps the brand better understand its customers and the industry, including what resonates with customers, how they connect with the brand, and what they are looking for. Those metrics guide the products to pursue and the channels to prioritize.
In the ‘CX See Why Show,’ Dan Gingiss, customer experience speaker and coach with a 20-year corporate background, and Loren Taylor West discuss how D2C Makeup brands can use quantitative data and qualitative feedback to understand the ‘Why’ behind each action of customers.
Data To Understand Preferences of Makeup Customers
Today’s customers expect brands to remember their likes and dislikes and are ready to share their feedback if brands are ready to deliver personalization.
When Dan saw the insights derived from 243,917 customer conversations of the makeup category, he was surprised to see the level of granularity that customer reviews reveal.
The customer data shows the company what items each customer is interested in, the colors they love the most, which color suits their skin type and skin tone. Surprisingly customers also share pictures of their ‘Before’ and ‘After’ using the products. That treasure trove of data is extremely useful for beauty and cosmetics brands to create better versions of makeup products.
Guess the Top Category Driver Of the Makeup Industry
There will be some peculiarities that gravitate a customer towards a makeup product. The deep analysis of reviews shows that there are top 5 drivers that make customers grab one makeup product over another.
Dan gave a list of 5 probable drivers that could be important for the customers. Loren didn’t have to think hard to choose ‘Color’ as the top category driver! And Loren, being an expert in the makeup industry, was able to identify the top driver of the makeup industry exactly.
What makes color prominent in the makeup industry? Loren says whatever makeup product a customer is buying, they need to get the right color they are looking for and get the look and feel they are expecting.
A customer review captured by Clootrack reveals how difficult it can be to find the right color of their makeup products-
“I have finally found the right foundation powder for me. every woman just wants to find that perfect color and long-lasting, great quality foundation that covers up are not wanted flaws on our face, but sometimes it can be really hard finding the one that works and looks best for you.”
The main highlight of this verbatim is the emotion that the customer passes on to the audience who reads this. When a customer is pleased with a product, they become a fan.
Loren says the customer is delighted since she found the perfect foundation color for her skin tone and loved the quality of the product. And no wonder she took the time to write a detailed review and wanted others to know that she finally found the perfect color.
As a CX expert who doesn’t have experience in the makeup industry, Dan was impressed with this customer’s emotion as they recommended the product to other ladies.
That is indeed extremely powerful!
Why is ‘Price’ not in the top category drivers’ list in the makeup category?
Dan surprisingly asked this doubt that was stuck in his head since he saw the list of top drivers.
Loren said: “Price is definitely important. There are indeed customers who buy products at different price levels. But the Color and Effectiveness of the products play a big role when a customer is buying a makeup product.
So Price takes a back seat here. Color is such a big driver since a customer needs to buy a product with the color that will look good on them.”
Most Favorite Colors
Wouldn’t you be surprised if customer data was able to go down all the way to specific colors and give you an idea as to how much each color is loved or hated by customers?
Dan was amazed to see how the customer insights were able to capture the seven colors most loved in makeup products based on the positive customer reviews.
Why Are Emerging Makeup Brands Overtaking Established Brands?
Dan was particularly curious to know why the brand equity of new and emerging brands ranked higher for ‘Color’ when compared to the established brands.
Dan had an interesting question for Loren – Why are prominent makeup brands not performing well in top drivers like ‘Color’?
(Brand equity scale shows how favorably customers view a brand on each category driver. Brand Equity score is out of 1500.)
Loren says that It’s astonishing to hear that top brands are not on top of the chart for Color. The reason can be that new brands are willing to take risks while established brands are not ready to take bold risks like in the area of ‘Color’ and may not take risks against their product strategies and core color values.
Budding startups often target a new segment or a particular niche under color to grab customers’ attention. And established brands may not play with many trends, while newer brands are more open to jumping into.
Dan made an insightful statement that you don’t always have to look at your immediate competitors; rather, when you look at emerging brands in your industry, you might be doing things differently.
Analyze a Little Bit of the Second Top Driver in the Makeup Category
‘Ease of Use’ has been ranked as the second top category driver in the makeup industry – this just means how easy it is to apply makeup and remove makeup.
Dan was amazed to look at a customer verbatim where the customer was willing to share a detailed review and pictures on how the customer felt after using the product.
“I’m really impressed, works wonderful to me, long-lasting, easy to apply and blend, came in a beautiful package and had a sponge to apply a little bit of product is enough, the number 6 shade works amazing in my skin, I attached a photo of my face, one side without the product and the other one whit this magic touch concealer, so you can actually see the results and the amazing difference.”
Many factors make a product easy to use. In the above verbatim, the customer specified the importance of a ‘sponge’ which made it easier to apply. Hence, there are many things brands have to look at – it can be adding extra items to help customers be easy to use, easy to open a package, and the bottles and cap selection, etc. Everything should come into play to deliver a holistic customer experience.
Loren says that first and foremost, a product should ‘easily get’ to the customers. Following that, the packaging has to be functional with great design, and then it comes to the ‘easy application’ that a product must be able to apply in one or two steps.
Importance of Quantitative and Qualitative Feedback
Dan was fascinated by the details and the depth of the data and stressed the fact that it is so critical to look into deep qualitative and quantitative insights that can be used to build products of the future.
Checking just a quantitative insight from a positive review of a product might not work, as the person who shared the feedback might have a different skin tone. Checking the quantitative and qualitative data, like checking the skin tone, skin type, and color that suits their skin, and a lot of other qualitative aspects of the person who puts a review can help brands to personalize the products.
3 Takeaways from Customer Experience Analytics in D2C Beauty and Cosmetics Industry
1. Combine quantitative and qualitative data to get the full CX picture
Understand the ‘Whys’ behind a positive or negative customer review. Listen to their feedback, comments, and photos they share to understand their experience.
2. Know your customers
Understand the different types of customers, their different skin tones, preferences, and needs. Understanding them will help you to create variations of products that satisfy multiple customers at the same time.
3. Look to new and emerging brands for innovation
Look how new brands are attracting customers without fancy advertising and big budgets for commercials.
To get deep into the discussion with Dan and Loren watch the full show here!