We've seen brands like L'Oreal launching their various skin analysis, makeup virtual try-on and other solutions on third party retailer sites like Amazon, Tmall, WeChat and also within multiple retail in-store locations. Did you know that this is not just fun reserved for big brands with multi-million budgets but your brand could do it as well?
Own the customer experience within your retailer environments
So what do I mean with this in practice? Obviously for example in retail-stores or Tmall you're not going to own the whole customer journey when it comes to purchasing and logistics and you might have beauty consultants to help with parts of experience but today half of your customers are not interested in human help but rather browse mobile to get neutral information about your products. BUT, there are other easy ways to offer engaging customer experiences and even learn about your users that shop at these channels - even without human involvement.
One most simple use case is promoting a mobile solution within your retail-location. If you're a skincare brand, you could offer and promote a solution that they can use on their own mobile - allowing the user to analyse their skin from a selfie, have them answer few questions to get the best product recommendations, provide them content related to the products and the last actions can be purchasing from the retailer webshop (or the retail location), send the results to their email or similar. Not only you provide the user additional value with a great experience, but you also get valuable information about your clients from 3rd party retailers.
Similar models work well with e.g Tmall, where Alibaba nowadays allows running this type of solutions to provide enhanced customer digital experiences in cosmetics.
Pitfalls to avoid with digital solutions
One of the most common pitfalls that we see brands and retailers doing today is building channel-specific solutions. Especially if your business doesn't rely only on direct-to-consumer sales from your webshop - your consumers want to engage with your brand everywhere regardless of time and place.
Building different solutions like Online Skin Diagnostics (selfie analysis -driven or just traditional guided selling) or Digital Makeup solution (beauty advisor -experiences or virtual try-on) to your webshop is definitely something that elevates your customer experience to a whole new level (and provides tangible results) but too often this solution is a built in a way that it only serves the single-channel - your webshop visitors.
Imagine (and don't just imagine - this is reality already today) that you could build a scalable solution that works without much extra work or cost across various channels like your webshop, App, Retail locations and 3rd party retailer stores like Tmall? Allowing your customers to have meaningful digital experiences with your brand across all channels they shop on.
Interested in seeing what more the future will bring but for now, wishing all the best for the digital ventures!