Ways to Increase Sales in Your Beauty Store
Business owners all face the same problem: how to sell more product. Although there are many ways to get customers to your store, let’s cover how you can help them find and purchase what they’re looking for once they get to your shop, stall, or website. We have 6 actionable approaches to take that should help tap into what tempts customers to buy once they are already interested in your products. The substance of this article is taken from Professor Marc Hight’s lecture at the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics (HSCG) annual conference.
In no particular order, let’s dive into what you can do to positively affect buying behavior and then examine each point in more detail.
How to increase sales in your store?
- Call to Action. This is where you ask the customer to take the next step in a persuasive way.
- Anchor: Frame points of reference so purchasing decisions flow smoothly.
- Harness the Decoy Effect. Introduce an “irrelevant” third option to highlight your strongest products.
- Use the Cheerleader Effect. Everything looks better in groups, including your prettiest products.
- Understand decision making and the joy of indulgence. Many shopping decisions on rooted in emotion, not logic.
- Create a positive experience. Every step of the way should be either helpful or enjoyable to your customer, and ideally both.
Calls to Action
A call to action, or CTA, is simply making it clear what the next step is for the customer and offering some incentive to take it. For example, most of the emails that you receive from companies will explain an offer and then say something like “Click to get your personalized coupon” (the “call”) and then include a button that you are meant to click (the “action”). Many CTAs pop up on websites with a request such as “Enter your email to stay up to date on our products and deals”. This sentence is the call, entering and submitting your email is the action. In a store or in-person setting, a call to action might include trying samples, signing up for emails or rewards points, or getting a bonus for recommending the store. The idea is to solve a problem for them in an enticing and logical way.
It sounds all very straightforward but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to miss out on including a CTA, keeping it too vague, or having too many CTAs. One will do! Create strong (but not pushy) calls to action to start increasing your sales.
Anchoring is another way of helping frame the context of a choice for your customer. Anchoring means you set some kind of a baseline to frame the rest of the experience, and this anchor often includes pricing and order of products shown. Let’s dig a little deeper.
- “Reasonability Influencing” focuses on changing what a customer might at first consider reasonable. The first price a customer sees should be higher than the target products you are actually looking to sell. This immediately sets up the secondary products to look like a better deal in comparison to the first expensive item in the store or on your website. Even if the two products are not a fair comparison, for example, the first item is a serum priced at $50 but the second item is a body scrub priced at $10.99, anchoring the customer with the more expensive item first automatically makes the second item seem more reasonable. Such a simple step can help ensure that the first sale is successful.
- Anchor Priming is also about seeing an initial high price, but in this case, it’s for the same products. For example, if you visit a store online or in person and see “WAS $10.99 NOW $7.99”, it already feels like you’re getting a better deal.
At first, this is a little hard to explain but we’ll get there! The basic theory is that a customer’s preference for one option over another can change when a third similar (but less desirable) option is introduced. Either the third product isn’t quite as good or the pricing seems like a bit of a ripoff.
For example, let’s say you have a single 1 oz body butter for $6.00, your low option, and a multipack of 4 1 oz body butters for $20, the high option. There is a significant difference in price and most customers are likely to start with the small, easy “low” option. You’re likely to make more profit with the larger pack, so your goal is to sell that one.
Now let’s say we introduce a third option—three body butters in a pack for $18. We can instantly see that this pack is a worse deal than the big pack, so there is no real incentive to buy it. However, in contrast to the low and high options, this medium option makes the 4 pack a great deal. Although the low pack is the same cost per butter than this new one, it suddenly makes the leap to the large pack much easier to make. “It’s slightly more expensive but such a better deal and I get 4”.
Consider adding what you would call a decoy product to a line up of goods to encourage that slightly larger order value.
This effect is linked to the decoy effect in that they both rely on multiples of product. However, in this case, it operates on the psychologically-demonstrated theory that even somewhat attractive things tend to look even better in groups. Make attractive groupings on shelves, in buyable packs, or in sections on your website to boost the overall appearance of the individual products in the set. You may automatically do this without thinking about it because instinctively things can look better in groups. Although it can work to keep a few star products alone and in the spotlight, create a selection of items to boost the overall appearance of your product line and see how sales grow.
Don’t forget that many shopping decisions are based on emotion rather than pure logic. We all know how this goes—an impulse buy is rarely something we couldn’t live without or else it wouldn’t be bought on impulse. We also know about “retail therapy” and the general social acknowledgement that buying things, rightly or wrongly, can (briefly) boost a mood and make you feel better.
Beauty products work well in this world, but they work best when they connect with someone emotionally and you permit them to feel like they can indulge themselves. Appeal to a “pain point”, something that they are looking to solve—in this case perhaps reducing the appearance of wrinkles or having a brighter complexion.
This is where the feeling of pampering comes in, of deserving the best, and of indulging yourself in what you should have. Consider marketing with this type of approach if your products are seen as luxury or “unnecessary” products (bath bombs are a prime example). This helps make the impulse buy more enjoyable, and after all that’s the whole point. When I go shopping and get something last-minute, I want the experience to be rewarding, I don’t want to question my own decision, and I want to feel that this special product is right for me.
Positive Experiences and Reinforcement to Drive Repeat Customers
Linking on from indulgence, you’ll want to make sure that every step of the process is as positive as possible. This means perhaps offering free samples online and in person, and if in person then perhaps you can provide an entire experience demonstrating a routine. Offer easy ways to use products with lifestyle shots, guides for use, excellent customer service and follow up, and ensure that your product is viewed as something a bit special.
Free delivery and returns creates positive feedback, as do other incentives to purchase that make the customer’s life easier. Reward stamp cards and points have been shown to increase brand loyalty, and they produce even better results when you start them off with a free stamp or two. Whatever you can do to improve the sales experience increases brand loyalty and encourage repeat customers.
We’ve covered a lot of approaches to increasing sales, but it’s likely you’re doing many of these already. If not, they’re relatively easy to implement and can make a large impact on boosting sales without sacrificing your own tight margins. These tactics largely come down to making it easier for the customer to both decide and then get the best deal, but we’d love to hear what has worked for you in your business.