The Beauty Customer's Buying Journey
Updated: Sep 27, 2021
Your customers are about to embark on a purchasing journey with your product and brand. That journey is more than about making a simple purchase – they are searching for a beauty product that will fill a void in their identity, a brand encounter that will help them feel more beautiful and cared for.
It’s a personal experience and an incredible opportunity to stand out as a brand. By making an impact during this meaningful journey, your brand can help create advocates who will return to you again and again, and bring their network along with them by providing stand-out reviews and referrals.
Turning one customer's path into a beauty superhighway
The key is an impactful customer journey that starts with an effortless decision process
and culminates in a successful post-purchase
experience. What makes the post-purchase successful, you ask? A customer who proactively leaves positive reviews that set your brand apart, gathers their network together to guide them to your brand, and attracts more and more business and valuable experiences for you.
There are quite a few decisions that a customer goes through before choosing a skincare product online. To get to a successful post-purchase experience, first, we need to walk hand-in-hand with the customer, every step of the way:
Step one of the customer journey: Need recognition
A potential customer realizes that they need a skincare product to correct or enhance their appearance. They realize “something is missing” and likely do not know what brand to turn to yet.
What they do know is that they have a need, and they are ready for their need to be met.
This naturally leads to step two.
Step two: The search for information
When a potential online customer begins researching information and brands, this becomes the first moment to guide them
in fulfilling their need. A brand that offers clear guidance and acts
as the expert will draw the customer further in.
This is the first opportunity to differentiate by offering useful, valuable
Step three: Evaluating alternatives
As the customer evaluates their options, they already have a solid understanding of
how they want to meet their skincare need. They are now considering brands, comparing products and pricing,
and researching reviews. This is a key moment where review recency and number of reviews matter most, and the opportunity to highlight authentic video and photo reviews are extremely relevant in a skincare purchase.
Step four: Purchasing decision
Finally the opportunity to convert a new customer has arrived with their first purchase with your brand. After all the
effort you took to engage the potential customer so far, you’ve landed the sale and finalized a transaction.
This is a moment when personalization, packaging, seamless supply chain management, and proactive customer support play a big role in whether or not this product will be returned or repurchased.
Step five: Post-purchase evaluation
After finally landing the sale and gaining a customer, most companies feel as if their job is done and “drop the ball” post-purchase, implying the customer was more important as a prospect. However, this step is, perhaps, the most important part of the entire customer journey – this is when your customer makes a very important decision about the experience so far and how they will continue to engage with you going forward.
This is when the customer decides whether or not they will be purchasing the product again. According to BIA Advisory, repeat customers spend as much as
50% more than first time customers.
This is also when they decide if they will share their experience with their network of friends and family and according to a study performed by Bain & Company, people who have made a
purchase with your brand and have had a positive experience are likely to refer three to seven new customers, and those customers often spend more than the original purchaser.
Lastly, this is the moment when a customer decides if and how they will review your product, reviews just like the ones they depended on in steps 1-4.
If your brand successfully guides the customer throughout the five steps of their journey and lands a memorable post-purchase experience that results in repeat sales, reviews, and referrals, you have created brand advocates.
These advocates will provide you not one lone traveler finding their way to your brand, rather a highway full of customers and advocates who fuel your business revenues for continued growth and success.