Similar to many industries, the world of beauty has been undergoing a digital makeover: the shifting focus from brick and mortar to ecommerce. This transformation, led by changes in consumer behaviour as technology integrates further into everyday lives, has opened new windows of opportunity for a whole new breed of brand to enter the market, redefining the beauty industry. The rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce ventures signal a revolutionary change in beauty retail where products or services are directly promoted to target consumers. By removing intermediary channels, brands take control of the entire consumer journey placing consumers at the centre of their strategy. Through challenging established retail channels, customer expectations have been reshaped and brands are able to build unique connections to strengthen their positions.
Adapting to Evolving Expectations
In an environment where ecommerce has been expanding alongside a new generation of consumers, expectations have evolved. The creation of the newly established DTC model recognises multi-channel sales are not sustainable, but rather the importance of branding and marketing with a need to bridge physical and online retail. Online consumers have found incumbents relatively slow-to-adapt to the new model and instead, seek brands that emphasise customer-centricity, aesthetics and unique experiences. They seek fulfilment in a journey that offers authenticity and intimate connection.
The absence of a physical store translates to brands having to innovate to discover new ways to enrich the lives of their consumers. Previously reliant on in-store experiences such as product demonstration, expert consultations and in-store services to drive conversions, consumer engagement has become more important than ever.
Unlike brick and mortar, the ecommerce consumer faces no geographical boundaries. Digital stores must seize the opportunity to adapt and align their ecommerce experience through innovation to drive better consumer engagement. On a psychological level, the decision making process of the online and bricks and mortar consumer differ greatly, affecting how they interact with a brand and who they decide to buy from. They seek personal experiences shifting the model from product to customer centricity. Without an intermediary, DTCs enjoy direct communication with the consumer. The shift from product to customer centricity translates to the shift from transactional to nurturing relationship where consumers feel involved and valued. Through organic growth a loyal community of followers is established.
maaiiconnect: Bridging Physical and Online Stores
maaiiconnect is a communications solution to bolster consumer engagement for higher conversion. Through leveraging its cloud based technologies, brands and consumers can interact via omnichannel communications and virtual beauty consultations.
Instantly integrate maaiiconnect’s web widget into a website using a simple copy-and-paste code for instant messaging and calls. Fully customisable and easy-to-use, it seamlessly adapts to the aesthetics of the site for a cohesive appearance where function meets form. General inquiries are efficiently directed to the correct staff through intelligent routing according to language, function and location to ensure quality handling and appropriate recommendations. On the other hand, should pre-purchase advice be needed, staff have visibility of the page being viewed to keep them a step ahead of the game.
Local and international toll-free phone numbers support reachability from anywhere for a fully international presence. maaiiconnect’s soft phone system elevates the traditional phone call with the option to forward calls to its app or any other phone number.
A DTC’s marketing strategy leverages on social media as an advertising channel whether to acquire new consumers or to engage in two-way communication with them. Users are targeted according to demographics and in turn interact with brands by liking, sharing, commenting or messaging. Facebook messages are immediately routed to the maaiiconnect dashboard from which replies are directly made, saving time in switching between channels.
Virtual consultations provide human interaction to fill in the void of personal services available in-store. Whether a live video tutorial or consultation, consumers can easily arrange a one-on-one session or book a group masterclass through the ecommerce site.
Once a Virtual Consultation is confirmed, a confirmation SMS is sent and closer to the time, reminder SMS. Both SMS received will contain an invitation web link for convenient access to the Consultation.
Conducted over high quality video and carrier-grade audio, accuracy and clarity is guaranteed, whether for precise product placement or targeted skincare concern.
The concept of the Virtual Beauty Consultations can even be expanded by connecting consumers with models, influencers or even other consumers to create variety and a tight knit community.
The Beauty of Communications
The emergence and rise of ambitious DTC ventures offer a more diversified revenue stream with new value and channels to engage with consumers. Online presence and engagement using maaiiconnect’s solutions offer authenticity and a unique customer experience by leveraging communication channels to foster a community. Ultimately the brand flourishes and increases its prominence through engagement and the ability to aggregate intricate customer knowledge through valuable data which otherwise would not have been possible to capture in-store.