How beauty brands use social proof to create life-long customers

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The social proof app, Fera.ai, breaks down how beauty brands leverage social proof and share a strategy you can easily implement.

The ultimate goal of any beauty brand should be to build a loyal customer base. You want to build a base of repeat purchases because acquiring a new customer can cost your company five times more than retaining an existing one. 

Not only will your costs be lower when engaging an existing customer base, but increasing customer retention for your beauty brand means more revenue. When you improve your customer retention rate by 5% you will typically see an increase in profits from 25-95%!  

Loyal customers are the bread and butter of most brands, and it is essential to cultivate repeat purchases. So, how can your beauty brand compete in a competitive marketplace?

You can improve your loyalty and bottom line by utilizing social proof on your website.

This post will go through how:

  • Successful beauty brands are already using social proof
  • You can generate social proof
  • Social proof and loyalty support each other

How successful beauty brands are using social proof

Big and small beauty brands are utilizing social proof to sell more online. These brands know that displaying social proof on their website helps visitors overcome their hesitation to buy. 

Beauty shoppers are pretty critical of brands and sometimes won’t trust them at first glance.  Most shoppers are looking to see what other people have said about a product before they purchase. 

What is social proof in the beauty world?

For beauty brands, social proof is all about establishing trust between you and your customers so that they feel better about buying your product. Social proof leverages the need for us to seek and act of advice from people who are similar to us when we aren’t certain about the outcome.

44.7% of beauty customers said that “reviews are their biggest influence in deciding to make a purchase from a specific brand”, which was just behind referrals from a friend. That means that most of your shoppers are looking for reviews to make their decisions. And, you guessed it, reviews are a form of social proof! 

The most popular types of social proof that beauty brands utilize are:

  • Reviews
  • User-generated content (or UGC)
  • FOMO (fear of missing out) – number of people watching over the number of people who have purchased this

The reason these are the most popular social proof types is that this content helps customers answer questions like:

  • Does this mascara last long? (reviews) 
  • Will this concealer match my skin tone? (user-generated photos)
  • Is this lip color worth buying right now? (people watching/people who have purchased)

How beauty brands are using reviews

Every top beauty brand is gathering and displaying reviews to help them sell products. Ratings and reviews are one of the best ways to break down the trust barrier that first-time buyers may have. And, that is why you see top brands like NYX prominently displaying their ratings on product pages.

How beauty brands are using UGC

Beauty is all about, well, beautiful things! That’s why lots of big brands know how important it is to showcase high-quality photos of their product in use. They do this by utilizing:

  • Product photo galleries
  • Customer photo walls
  • Social media

Big beauty brands know that their customers are obsessed with visuals and aesthetics and use social proof to show customers how good the products will look in real life.

How beauty brands are using FOMO

Fear of missing out, better known as FOMO is one of the most powerful tools that large brands and beauty marketplaces use to drive sales! Plenty of big brands create FOMO by creating these scenarios:

  • Scarcity 
  • Urgency

Lots of brands will create FOMO by :

  • Coming out with limited editions of eye shadow pallets
  • Displaying how many people are currently looking at a product 
  • Showing shoppers that there is low-stock of the product they are currently looking at

The best beauty brands know that shoppers will be scared that they’ll miss out on an amazing product if they wait too long!

How you can generate social proof like the big brands

Generating social proof should be what you focus on if you want to improve your sales. 

While it can be daunting to think about competing with million and billion-dollar companies, don’t sweat it. Gathering social proof is actually much easier than it seems. You just need the right systems and tools in place.

Gathering reviews

To generate reviews you have to ask and or incentivize!

There are a couple of tried and true incentives that you can use to gather reviews and testimonials like offering a

  • Discount on their next purchase
  • Free gift 
  • Loyalty points

You don’t always have to incentivize reviews. You can simply ask your customers. Make it easy for them to leave a review in one of your transactional emails. For example, when you ship their product you can say something like:

“Your package has shipped! When you get your mink eyelashes, don’t forget to send us a photo or video of you unboxing them so we know you received (and love) them!” 

Then two weeks after shipment, follow up with a request for a photo or review if they haven’t already sent one. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Gathering UGC

The best part about user-generated content is that it creates buzz and interest among current and future customers and you didn’t have to do any of the work! 

Using UGC helps your brand tell a story and connect emotionally with your customers. It also helps you show what your products look like in real life which helps your shopper imagine themselves in that scenario. 

Millions of photos are uploaded daily for thousands of beauty brands without them even asking for it. Beauty customers LOVE to show off their purchases.

What you should be doing is setting up your own branded hashtag that people can use on social media.

When you do this, you can choose from an endless stream of UGC to use to generate more sales. 

Your UGC strategy should look a little like this:

  • Come up with a creative (and unused) hashtag for your brand 
  • Tell customers what hashtag they should be using when they upload their photos 
    • Add it to your packaging 
    • Mention it in your Instagram bio
  • Gather your user-generated content with a social proof app
  • Curate and display your images and show them off on
  • Rinse and repeat. 
    • Give your customers an incentive to post UGC (like loyalty points)
    • Offer to feature them on your social media
    • Create a fun contest or giveaway using your branded hashtag

A great example of gathering user-generated content is from Essential Oils Lab. On their packaging, they ask their customers to take a photo of them with their essential oils and email it to the brand in exchange for a free product. 

This works! Even I took a photo, sent it in, and got a free Jojoba oil. Needless to say, I have purchased from them again and will continue to.

Creating FOMO

To create FOMO on your website

  • Show your stock levels
  • Use a countdown timer for time-limited sales

Not only do beauty shoppers hate the thought of missing out, they also dislike the thought that someone else may get it instead of them. People like to feel exclusive and a great way to elicit that feeling is to let people know that stock is running out! 

When you show low stock levels on your online store, it tells your shopper that if they don’t buy now, they may never get this great product again. 

On your website, if you are running a specific promo for a product, consider adding a countdown timer to your product page. You can try running a promotion on Facebook to bring awareness to the sale and drive them to a page that displays the time left for the deal. When your shoppers feel like time is running out, they are more likely to purchase your product! 

Social proof creates loyalty: Loyalty creates social proof

Think of social proof and loyalty as a two way street with your customers driving content your way on one side and you driving incentives to encourage loyalty on the other side. 

If you want to drive social proof, you should be doing everything you can to 

  1. Encourage your customers to share your product
  2. Create an emotional connection with you
  3. Engage with you on social media

The easiest way to do that is to create a robust loyalty and referral program where you show customers what you have in common and demonstrate that you care.

Running a loyalty program to retain customers

If you want to retain your customers, you should seriously consider running a loyalty program that incentivizes your customers to provide you with a constant stream of social proof. 

You can set up a program that gives people points that they can redeem for cash or products when they

  • Follow you on social
  • Tag you in a photo
  • Refer a friend

When you encourage the creation of UGC with a loyalty program, you will naturally see customer retention rise. You’ll notice that using these two things in tandem will help you to create a “viral loop” where your customers feel compelled to talk about your product and encourage other people to check you out.

Wrapping it all up

Driving social proof with a loyalty program is the best way to create a viral loop that keeps customers coming back and helps you to acquire new customers through your existing ones. Demonstrating social proof on your website is an authentic way to market your beauty product and connect with your audience. 

If you want to learn more about adding a social proof app to your ecommerce store, make sure you visit Fera.ai! You can try adding social proof like the big beauty brands on your website for free with a 30-day trial. 

About The Author

Jameela is the owner of the Shopify store Alora Boutique and the Marketing Manager at Fera Commerce. You can find her on the interwebs on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Jameela Ghann


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