Imagine having an expert makeup artist available whenever you have a question. That’s the reality for customers of some of the world’s leading beauty brands, thanks to an innovative digital strategy that combines technology and the human touch.
Salima Popatia is the Chief Digital Officer at Orveon Global, the company behind some of the world’s most recognizable beauty brands: Laura Mercier, Bare Minerals, and Buxom.
As the beauty industry evolves and customers feel more comfortable making cosmetics purchases online, Popatia is evolving her company’s digital strategy to meet customers where they are with innovative digital solutions to educate and engage. Brands now have incredible opportunities to embrace digital storytelling.
Popatia says one of the biggest industry changes in the last few years has been the growing interest in education. It’s not just about making a sale but teaching makeup techniques. Customers want to ensure they are buying the right products and using them properly. To educate and engage with customers, beauty brands are turning to guided navigation or guided experiences, such as quizzes to help customers find the right shade or virtual experiences to try on products virtually.
Popatia says digital provides excellent opportunities for brands to build crucial one-to-one relationships with customers across various channels, from email to text and a loyalty program. The goal is to be relevant to where the customers are and give them options to connect however they prefer. No matter the channel, the goal is for customers to have an emotional connection with the brand. That means using brand websites not just as a sales channel but as an education channel.
One of the hallmarks of Orveon Global’s beauty brands is live chat. Customers can chat with a bot to get automated answers about their order status or shipping. Technology helps answer mundane questions like tracking orders, which frees up humans to provide personalized support and help customers learn about the products.
If customers want makeup advice, they can chat with human makeup artists to get instant answers to their questions. Live chat is all about getting artistic input from experts on how to use the products well and create stunning makeup looks. Live chat builds strong emotional bonds with customers. The credibility of experienced makeup artists also builds the brands’ authority.
Live chat is incredibly effective because it combines the convenience of chat with the human touch of talking to an expert. Popatia thinks about it like customers having a friend in their pocket with whom they can chat back and forth and have meaningful conversations. Live chat is continually evolving, with Popatia working toward a concierge service model to strengthen those customer relationships.
Customer experience isn’t always about getting answers to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s also about relationships and providing convenient ways for customers to connect with the brand and learn how to improve their lives. Digital is a great way to make that happen.