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4 Lessons Retailers Can Learn from Top Beauty Brands in 2023

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The beauty industry is pushing the boundaries of retail. From innovative product development to enhanced customer experiences, today’s leading beauty brands drive unprecedented customer engagement and loyalty. 

Here, we’ll explore the top four things the retail industry can learn from the beauty industry in 2023. 

1. The Power of Authentic Storytelling

In a cookieless world, the most successful beauty brands engage customers through storytelling—weaving relatable narratives, consumer education, and entertainment. 

Celebrity-driven brands like R.e.m Beauty, Rare Beauty, Florence by Mills, and HausLabs embrace vulnerability and behind-the-scenes content. Videos often feature their celebrity founders sharing how their relationship with beauty has evolved or an inside look at the product development process.

But even brands without celebrity endorsements are seeing success with more authentic content. Tree Hut’s TikTok account regularly stars their three-person social media team. And clean beauty brand Youthforia solely features its founder and CEO, Fiona Co Chan. She discusses building her business, shares her pricing strategy, and explains how she uses her products on the brand’s TikTok account.  

2. Prioritizing Inclusivity

Today, younger consumers expect brands to embrace diversity and inclusion. Gen Z shoppers are challenging antiquated beauty standards—expanding beauty as a means of self-expression. 

Leading beauty brands prioritize inclusivity at every stage of their businesses—including product development. Brands like Fenty, Pause Well, Payot, Veracity, Topicals, and Eadem are creating products for diverse skin tones, skin types, ages, hair types, and health concerns. 

Retailers are also embracing gender-neutral skincare and makeup. These brands—including Humanrace, Shiseido, Haus Labs, Morphe, Milk Makeup, Youth to the People, and Aesop—have genderless product lines and feature models representing diverse gender identities and expressions.

For the most successful beauty brands, inclusivity is not a buzzword. Instead, it’s a reflection of a brand’s mission and values. 

3. A Ubiquitous Physical Retail Strategy

Today, physical retail remains a vital strategy for customer acquisition, product discovery, and customer loyalty. Sixty-four percent of beauty shoppers who purchase online always visit a physical store first. 

The desire to touch and feel products spans generations. A McKinsey survey found that 41% of Gen Z consumers believe stores are essential when shopping for beauty products—almost the same percentage as older respondents. 

But the top beauty brands embrace a universal approach to brick-and-mortar. Rare Beauty, Pleasing, and Florence by Mills launched stand-alone pop-ups in the past year. Thirteen Lune and Glossier operate both stand-alone stores and shop-in-shops. Gen Z favorites Bubble and Odele launched in Walmart and Target before expanding into CVS, Ulta, Sephora, and other wholesale outlets. 

For leading beauty brands, physical retail is not a one-size-fits-all solution. These brands are using multiple channels to engage customers and make themselves accessible. 

4. Infusing Personalization Throughout the Customer Journey

The most successful beauty brands create hyper-personalized experiences at every stage of the customer journey. These companies take a data-driven and tech-centric approach, using generative AI and machine learning to deliver more personalized product recommendations and promotions. They also continue to drive innovation—creating unprecedented augmented reality experiences and virtual try-on tools.. 

Here are some ways brands are driving personalization in 2023: 

  • Amika uses Ace, an AI-powered “virtual hair guru.” Customers answer specific questions about their hair type and goals and receive personalized product and hair routine recommendations.
  • COS Bar connects online shoppers with in-store associates. Customers can communicate via live chat, video, text, or email. COS’s beauty experts can share purchasable product images. They also can create personalized storefronts for shoppers based on skincare needs.
  • Fenty Beauty launched its #ShadeMatching filter on TikTok. Customers can visualize the brand’s foundation and find the best color for their skin tone. 
  • Sephora asks customers to fill out a beauty preferences survey. During store visits, customers can activate Store Mode on the Sephora app. The app will display products that are in stock and match your preferences and skincare needs.
  • Proven asks customers to complete a three-minute quiz. The brand will formulate a custom skincare routine based on your skin type, diet, environment, and other life factors. 
  • L’Oreal launched Perso. The device monitors your skin and environmental factors to produce daily moisturizer, foundation, and lipstick formulas. Using an app, you can also generate lipstick that compliments your outfit. 

Meet the Next Generation of Retail with Salesfloor

Beauty brands are paving the way for the retail industry. These companies are meeting evolving customer expectations while transforming the shopping experience. By embracing new technology and hyper-personalization, beauty brands offer a glimpse into the future of retail. 

Salesfloor helps retailers meet evolving consumer expectations. Our all-in-one customer engagement platform unifies virtual shopping, clienteling, and AI-assisted selling. By combining the power of human touch with AI, Salesfloor empowers brands to create a seamless and personalized customer experience.

Book a demo today to see how world-class brands like COS Bar, Amika, Puma, Tarte, and Kiehl’s use Salesfloor to create customer-centric experiences. 


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