When selling cosmetics online, accurate data and a customer-driven strategy are a must. A well-defined sales process can help raise your firm’s bottom line.
Breaking into the online beauty marketplace comes with a unique set of challenges. While the convenience of digital stores is always appealing, most cosmetics consumers are quite particular in their preferences. As a result, new industry players and start-ups face mounting odds of making it big. Without an established sales process, the journey can prove even more difficult.
It doesn’t help that cosmetics are a highly competitive industry. Consequently, consumers tend to buy name-brand products from established companies. However, this behaviour is not reserved for the cosmetics industry. What’s more surprising is that many consumers prefer shopping for cosmetics at brick-and-mortar stores instead of online portals. The idea of buying beauty products without being able to test them first remains an alien concept for many people.
Despite the daunting challenges, smaller companies can stake their claim in this market. A well-designed sales process can streamline your prospect’s journey toward a sale through timely interventions and support – in both traditional and online channels. Even after a deal has been closed, the sales process continues, boosting customer satisfaction levels and the likelihood that they’ll make further purchases.
Challenges facing the cosmetics industry
The online cosmetics business faces specific challenges that can prevent it from achieving its full potential. Here are three key obstacles:
Cosmetic products are difficult to demonstrate online
Cosmetics are highly personal products. What works for one individual may not produce the same effect for another. For example, the right-coloured lipstick can be used to striking effect. That said, the customer would need to sample the product first to determine whether it suits their skin tone and colouring. This explains why many makeup and cosmetics stores in malls cheerfully allow people to try out their products. A solution would be to get customers to try a product once and convince them to keep buying it online.
Low sales visibility, especially with diverse product lines
This problem affects companies with large distribution networks that use a variety of sales channels. The more products on the list, the more pronounced the issue. Without the proper tracking methods, sales teams might find it hard to get an accurate picture of each product’s current stock levels. This becomes a problem when you can’t fulfil incoming orders due to outdated information on inventory levels. Further, this issue can escalate exponentially when data regarding expiration or best-before dates is incomplete or non-existent.
Low customer lifetime value and average order volume
Low sales volumes are universally problematic. In the case of cosmetic companies, low customer average order volume (AOV) and customer lifetime value (CLV) can hamper their sustainability. Encouraging customers to put additional products into their online baskets will boost the AOV and your CLV. But how do you pull this off? Making moves to enhance customer loyalty can help. Introducing tailored promotions, remembering milestones, and consistently providing a great customer experience are all steps in the right direction.
Addressing these weaknesses and turning them into strengths is key for companies hoping to win the hearts and minds of online customers. For those who prevail, the rewards are substantial. According to Common Thread, the global beauty industry generated $511 billion in 2021 and is on track to reach $784.6 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 4.75%. Those numbers should inspire you to fine-tune your sales process – and get your company a bigger slice of that pie!
Elements of a well-defined sales process
Before we discuss the benefits of a solid sales process, let’s take some time to go over the details of what makes an exceptional one. By committing to guiding customers throughout the entire sales journey, your team can better ensure conversion as well as provide customers with a superior customer experience. A sound sales process means more sales and stronger customer relationships. The latter helps ensure loyalty – as well as repeat purchases. For a more customer-centric sales process, concentrate on these fundamentals:
Paying attention to what the customer wants instead of focusing entirely on company objectives can make a difference. Selling a product isn’t the same as solving a customer’s problems. Making them feel more of the latter is the best way to get them on board.
Consistent level of service
The sales process isn’t made to produce results via trial and error. Instead, it should have the means to provide consistent customer service every time. Whether a new product goes on sale or a new member joins the sales team, the procedure should help customers move through the funnel uninterrupted.
Adaptive and intuitive
Although consistency is integral to the sales process, it should nonetheless have enough flexibility to adapt to customers’ behaviour over time. Becoming attuned to your customer’s patterns can also make the entire experience more enjoyable for them. In addition, sales team members should have no difficulty adapting to the sales process, whether they just took over the account or recently joined the organization.
Built to scale
Realizing that no organization remains stagnant, the sales process must also scale up as the business grows. Salespeople skilled enough to acquire new clients should also have the means to scale their processes to accommodate this new workload. At the same time, slowing operations shouldn’t be an excuse to provide fewer services to existing customers.
Sales effectiveness tools
Measuring your sales process’s success requires sales effectiveness tools. This includes reliable field sales customer relationship management (CRM), sales rep apps, and sales management software, as well as platforms for analytics and insights. CRM takes in all the detailed information about the client that sales teams need to incorporate into their strategy. Sales management handles the monitoring and coaching of sales reps to increase their efficiency. Finally, analytics software takes an in-depth look at the data and generates actionable findings.
With sales effectiveness tools, sales teams can monitor and measure their performance, compare it against their set benchmarks, and gather insights on how to further enrich the process.
Benefits of a well-defined sales process
Once your sales team has a more sound understanding of the sales process, you’re ready to provide additional benefits to customers. In turn, these positive developments can lead to long-term benefits for the organization itself, including:
A more efficient sales system
A clear and effective sales process makes it easier for everybody to learn and execute the game plan. Once all aspects of the sales funnel are covered, sales reps will be better prepared to respond to customer needs. Ultimately, an efficient sales system can close deals faster, allowing more buyers to enter the pipeline.
Better onboarding for new sales reps
Getting the sales process right means having a systemized and organized game plan. Introducing new sales recruits to the system is also a lot more straightforward. A detailed process further provides the necessary context for sales reps to understand how to deal with clients every step of the way.
Increased customer lifetime value and revenue
At its most fundamental, the sales process is meant to benefit customers. With a great sales process, customers’ questions are answered promptly – and the solutions align with their needs. If this is the case, customers won’t just buy; they’ll be buying more. Ultimately, the result of increased CLV is a marked improvement in the company’s bottom line.
How a sound sales process can help outshine the competition
A sound sales process can help to enhance the customer’s online experience – especially in the case of cosmetics. We know that consumers of beauty products prefer having first-hand experience with cosmetics that fit their profiles and tastes. A well-crafted sales process can help develop strategies for dealing with customers’ initial questions and anticipating their objections.
For instance, having a very helpful and informative digital store can help overcome a customer’s initial apprehension about online purchasing. If possible, the site and the site catalogue should have enough information to answer the most common questions posed by buyers. With the right sales process, you’ll be prepared for questions such as what shade goes with what skin tone and what effects certain colours have.
In addition, the sales process should take advantage of an improved ordering system that accurately shows up-to-the-minute information, such as inventory levels, stock location, and prices. After all, having the most accurate data on products can help encourage customers to arrive at their purchasing decisions even more quickly. Online demonstrations targeted at customers’ specific needs can also help.
Finally, by continuing the conversation with customers even after closing the sale, you’ll receive valuable feedback from them. This information can go a long way towards upgrading not just your products but also your services.
Shine brighter with Skynamo
Optimizing your online ordering system requires the best CRM software and optimal sales management. Skynamo offers simple and intuitive business tools to ensure that all your sales information remains current and available to your entire sales organization at any time – even when they’re in the field.
Let’s chat about your business and how Skynamo can help you outshine the competition.