How to sell cosmetics online: a practical guide

How to sell cosmetics online: a practical guide 900 900 Studio Concept S.r.l.

There are lots of different reasons to want to sell cosmetics online. Maybe you have a strong passion for the sector and you would like to put it to good use. Or perhaps you run a cosmetics company and are looking for an increase in quality (and quantity) to give more breathing room to your business. Whatever your situation, it is important to come up with a clear strategy, which you can only do by first gathering information. This is because, before getting your best products ready, making a site, and spending your time and resources, it’s best to see what others are doing and what gaps in the market exist for your products.

Why online cosmetics sales work

Online cosmetics sales work because online sales work more generally. This might just sound like some word game, but the numbers explain it much better. Data from January 2019 indicates that in Italy internet users make up 92% of the population – almost 55 million people. Out of these, 35 million are also active users on social media. On top of that, time spent on the internet is over 6 hours a day per individual. One of the unique advantages of selling cosmetics online is that costs do not scare off customers (due to it not being a major purchase like a car), and in many cases, the small size of items means reduced shipping costs.

Keeping up to date with the trends of the online cosmetics market

If you’re passionate about the sector you’ll already be quite well-informed, but that won’t be enough. You must go from simply learning information, and begin full-blown research. Take note of the names of companies or types of brands that may have something in common with yours, make a list of the most followed bloggers, take a look at competitors’ products and how they sell. Also check out Google Trends, a search engine that lets you look at search engine data. For example, by inserting “fake eyelashes”, you can see the times of year they’re most searched for online, but also related searches, which can inspire new ideas. The fifth related research is for example “How to apply fake eyelashes”. This gives you the idea of selling fake eyelashes that are much easier to wear, or fake eyelashes with an easy-to-follow guide.

Finding a gap in the market for your cosmetics

For those who are entrepreneurs, a beloved product is almost like a baby – comparisons are not acceptable! But it’s just what needs to be done. Do a search as if you wanted to buy the product you’re trying to sell. The more generic the product, the more competitors you will have to check. It’s a whole different matter for example to try and sell a mascara product, which has thousands of competitors, than it is to try and sell solid shampoo, which is still a novelty. In both cases, check the search results and seriously think on the matter – is your product really better? Does it have some specific characteristic not yet considered by the majority of competitors? Is there a gap in the market for your product? Are you selling at a price that’s too high or low compared to others?

Creating an online cosmetics store

Today there are platforms that allow you to cut down the time needed to set up, as well as some of the costs. For example, the Shopify platform is one of the most internationally utilized spaces for online sales activities, even at the early stages. On the platform, you can find a guide not only for the creation of your online ‘store’, but also for choosing your brand and graphic design. This mechanism helps you to get going with lower start-up times and costs, and all without any particular experience on the matter. This option obviously has another side to it, however. You’ll have less control, and a fee on sales is required by the platform. This is in contrast to direct sales, where, while you have to take care of all the work, you’re also able to control prices and of course therefore earnings from your cosmetics.

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Making your beauty products irresistible: Packaging

You must always keep the competition in mind, and it’s for this reason that it’s important to invest your time into trying to present your products at their absolute best, to the point of them being irresistible. The first thing people see is the external packaging. Take the time to study the colors usually used in that sector, decide whether to go with the trend or aim for originality, carefully choose which materials the packaging will be made of, and never settle for the first option that comes to mind when it comes to graphic design. Your packaging has just a few moments to win over a potential customer, and in sectors like beauty, it makes a huge difference! In your approach to the task, you can make things easier with a trick that schools of graphic design will teach you. Make a write up of your product’s personality; which brands it is inspired by (and not just cosmetics, but also clothing brands), which famous people would work well as its spokesperson, and what atmosphere or mood you want it to invoke in the mind of the consumer. Think big, look for interesting ideas for packaging designs online, and don’t impose any limits on yourself. Finally, only take care of the graphic design yourself if you have the skills to do so at a professional level. Improvised packaging communicates a poor-quality product and won’t do your efforts justice.

Making your beauty products irresistible: Photos

“These days, you can do anything with your mobile phone.” Sure, this is true, but it depends at what level you want to present your product. If I want to create an inviting atmosphere, evocative of a certain emotion and of a certain level of quality, the safe choice is professional photography. Take a look at some professional cosmetics photography and compare it to what you plan to use. If you were the customer, which one would you buy? It may seem difficult, because it is. An e-commerce business is not improvised and success in the sale of cosmetics comes only to those who think on every detail.

Promotion of your online cosmetics store

The internet is massive, so how do you get potential customers to come in? It’s essential to promote your site both offline, if you have a physical point of sale, and online, using the power of social media. But this is another matter, which deserves more in-depth discussion. Stay tuned!

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