Health and beauty products are one of the most highly personal categories to shop for, whether online or in-store. Skin type, hair texture, age, health concerns, and complexion are just a few of the unique considerations every shopper will have when browsing online.
There’s a reason why department stores traditionally staffed large beauty departments with individual consultants. To give shoppers a one-on-one experience catered to their specific needs and desires.
But when you bring that experience online, something is lost. Shoppers are left to navigate a sea of seemingly similar options, relying solely on site filters or marketing copy to help them understand whether a specific product is right for them. If they make the wrong decision, you can probably say farewell to them as a customer, possibly for good.
Enter live video co-shopping. It brings the magic of that tailored in-store experience online, linking any shopper that needs some extra attention with a product expert that can successfully guide them to the right product with minimal effort.
The right product = a happier customer. A happy customer = a returning customer. The obvious ROI on live video shopping can’t be stated enough, but here are some ways live shopping with GhostRetail impacts core ecommerce KPIs:
- Improve conversion rates by 20x over standard ecommerce figures
- Boost AOV by 30% or more
- Reduce returns
- Decrease cart abandonment
- Improve customer LTV
But let’s break it down a little further and look at some common use cases for adopting a live video shopping platform in the health and beauty industry that make these results happen.
Common use cases for live video shopping for health and beauty brands
Whether you have a DTC, online pure play, subscription, or retail aspect for your health and beauty business, live video shopping can play a role. Brands with a retail presence have the option to bring customers into their store(s) and staff their experience with retail sales associates that can easily pull products off the shelves to demonstrate them in real life. Digitally native brands can create a studio experience or staff their live video shopping with customer support team members. And given the prevalence of influencers in this space, don't forget about leveraging existing influencer / creator relationships to equip personal shopping from home too.
See what a customer looks like
This is a really, really obvious use case for live video co-shopping for the beauty industry in particular. When a customer walks into a store, a retail sales associate can immediately clock their skin type or color, hair texture or color, or any other physical characteristics that might influence their purchase. The same goes for online video shopping. In a text-based chat, the shopper has to describe how they look. Video shopping gives the associate instant insight into someone’s physical appearance to help recommend the right products in short order.
Co-shop with someone physically similar
Plenty of health and beauty influencers have carved out a niche based solely on a specific concern or consideration - from hair color to a skin condition to a passion for all things SPF. Live video co-shoppers can basically become like influencers for your specific store or brand. Customers with acne-prone skin can elect to co-shop with someone that’s been there and found products that tame their zits. Women with a 3C hair texture can link up with a personal shopper that’s got the same or similar texture to zero in on not only the right product, but how to use it. No one can sell better than someone who has been there, done that.
Swatch and sample shades
Color can be hard to discern on screen, particularly in the beauty industry where every shade of the rainbow can be represented a dozen different ways. Shoppers will often scour the web for swatches, but a live video call can give them access in real time. Not only that, but the live video shopper can also recommend a shade based on a shopper’s complexion or desired hue they’re on the hunt for - telling an associate you’re looking for a “merlot red” lipstick makes it a snap for the personal shopper to find an item instead of the customer just guessing based on images.
If a customer is interested in two (or more) products but isn’t sure which one is right for them, they can get trapped in paralysis analysis, causing them to potentially buy neither option. Best case scenario - they might order both, with plans to return one. A video call gives customers the chance to weigh their decision, and potentially collect additional information to make a choice - including seeing two products side-by-side, in real life, an experience that can't otherwise be replicated online.
Many health and beauty shoppers have specific concerns when it comes to what they put on or in their body. Instead of wading through dozens of technical ingredient lists, a live video call is a simple shortcut to navigating the sometimes confusing world of cosmetic and wellness products. Shoppers can ask questions about what an active ingredient does, or whether it’ll make their skin break out. They can also ask for assistance to track down products that are free from certain ingredients, or conversely, ones that feature a specific ingredient.
Suggest products that work well together
The health and beauty industry is uniquely positioned to sell more products in a single order, simply because so many items are designed to work together. Stacking vitamins, beauty tools and cosmetics, and skincare regimes are just a few examples. Many health and beauty DTC brands will offer bundles or product quizzes to point shoppers in the right direction, but a live video shopper can do so much more - handpicking products that will help a shopper be successful and have a great result, while organically growing order values.
Offer a promotion to avoid cart abandonment
Back to department stores for a second - there’s a reason why every beauty counter has their own till. All the better to close a sale right then and there. Live video shopping offers the same thing. Instead of shoppers disappearing to try and find a promo code and possibly not check out, live video shoppers can be equipped with tools to generate promotional codes on the fly, helping to convert more shoppers into sales.
Understand what a customer already has in their beauty or wellness collection
One of the coolest applications of live shopping is bringing the store to the customer. Specifically, into their medicine cabinet, vanity, or wherever they’re storing their health and beauty products. A shopper can hold up a product they’re already using and ask for recommendations for what will work best with it, building a custom makeup, skin, hair, or wellness routine that isn’t limited to starting over with all new products.
Build trust with first-time customers
We’ve already covered that health and beauty products are super personal - which means shoppers can be super reluctant to hit ‘buy’ if they’re new to a brand and don’t have a personal referral for it. A live video call gives shoppers the chance to have their questions answered and build trust that this is a trusted company that knows their stuff.
Access an exclusive shopping experience
The health and beauty industry is full of amazing influencers with cult followings and regular livestream events, as well as celebrities launching their own branded lines on the regular - and live video shopping can be an interesting way to leverage their sway. Promote the launch (or ongoing existence) of a live video shopping service by enlisting special guest co-shoppers to randomly answer a number of calls for a specific promotion. Get ready for all the buzz and some once in a lifetime customer experiences your shoppers will love to broadcast about.
Build a relationship with a specific associate
Live 1:1 video shopping is all about building relationships. These relationships can exist within a single call, but shoppers can also seek out support from a specific associate they connect or relate to. That associate eventually takes on the role of a personal shopper, in a clienteling scenario where they can offer up new releases or recommendations based on what they know about that individual customer.
Get a product demo or tutorial
YouTube and TikTok are some of the biggest havens for health and beauty influencers - and one of the first places shoppers go to understand how to use products, not just whether they should buy them. Live shopping associates can serve the same function, by putting best practices forward while they demo a product. If the ideal way to apply a foundation is with a sponge, being shown how to do it during a call will help that shopper be more confident and successful once they have a product - and may even result in a cross-sell by adding on a makeup sponge to an order.
Experience a store environment that may not be easily accessible
Many digitally native or DTC health and beauty brands are getting into the retail game, but their retail footprint is still significantly smaller than legacy retailers, often relegated to a handful of concept or flagship stores. Live video shopping transports customers into a physical store environment without having to leave their homes, getting a stronger idea of what the brand experience is like beyond what they see online.
Shop for a gift
Beauty and wellness products are hard enough to shop for personal use. Imagine trying to track down a gift! Luckily, live video co-shopping can steer shoppers in the right direction as they list out their giftee’s style or desires, alongside their price point. Even if the shopper can’t relate firsthand to whatever the item is they’re buying, they can shop more confidently knowing they’re getting something their loved one will adore.
Support low-tech customers
More and more health and beauty brands are strictly DTC, with limited in-person access. That means a large portion of your total addressable market might actually be cut off, with many older shoppers not being willing to shop for cosmetics or wellness products online. Live video co-shopping can be a way around this however, by helping shoppers find the products they need with minimal effort, and even walk them through the checkout process.
Review the difference between value-priced and premium products
Virtually every health and beauty brand has premium-priced products in their collection to upsell, typically those with more luxe or rare ingredients. Customers can sometimes be suspicious of these products when placed side-by-side with a lower-value item, especially if they don't understand what value the upper tier product actually delivers. A personalized live shopping call gives the customer all the insight they need - and more often than not, may push them in the direction of the more costly item.
Save time browsing
Live one-to-one online shopping is a shortcut for shoppers to find what they want without needing to visit a retail store OR spend excessive time browsing online. Shoppers can connect with a live shopping associate, explain what they're looking for, and make a purchase more efficiently. This use case is particularly relevant for retailers with BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) options as a customer could order a product while en route to a store, complete the sale, and simply walk in and pick it up with nominal effort.
Help shoppers with disabilities
Many policies exist that require businesses to make their sites as accessible as possible. But as that audience will tell you, not all sites are created equal when meeting these guidelines. Live shopping associates can work with customers that otherwise have challenges navigating a site on their own. The simple act of having a conversation, even a non-verbal one, can aid shoppers that may not be able to get into a store.
Selecting a live video shopping platform for your health and beauty business
The reasons why shoppers in the health and beauty category will love live video shopping are pretty much endless. Considering these are highly visual, highly personal, and high consideration products, having a live shopping associate on standby will only drive more conversions and bigger orders - not to mention an increase in LTV.
Ideally, you’ll want a live video shopping platforms that allows you to provide personalized service on demand, giving customers easy access to the right products from them, all the way through checkout. Curious about how GhostRetail can help with all of this? Book a demo with us today.