The beauty and wellness industry is a peculiar one. It’s an industry relying on subjective taste since everyone’s body (skin, hair, etc.) is different, yet, in e-commerce, you never have a chance to try out the product before buying it. At the same time, e-commerce allows you to purchase at a discounted cost and order products that aren’t locally available, which is why more and more people take these risks.
From these few lines, it’s already clear that this industry is packed with challenges and opportunities. Through navigating this difficult landscape, you’ll be able to exploit the potential of this industry. This, however, requires you to improve in so many different fields. Here’s a short guide that should help you streamline your e-commerce effort in the beauty and wellness industry.
Acknowledging the biggest challenges of beauty and wellness manufacturing for e-commerce
The first thing you need to do is approach the matter of USP (unique selling proposition) from the perspective of your respective industry. People are buying beauty and wellness products (this much is undeniable), so why isn’t everyone making just beauty products and profiting off them? What are some of the challenges that they can’t overcome?
- Quality control: The biggest problem is that the customers usually can’t physically check the product before buying it. In e-commerce, they can never do that. So, instead of just trying it and deciding not to buy, you risk being classified as a purchase they regret, which is horrible for a business in the long run.
- Packaging and presentation: It’s not a huge shock to say that, in the beauty industry, most of the price goes to the brand. It’s all about branding and appearances, so if your product looks worth more, it’s worth more. At the same time, the contents may require a bit more protective packaging, which will add to the cost.
- Product shelf life: This is a huge problem because the product will be on the shelf for a while. If it has an expiration date, you must ensure it’s not too close to when the customer buys it. After all, the majority of these products are used for weeks, months, or even years.
By understanding these challenges and treating them as bottlenecks, you can ensure that your business runs more smoothly.
Manufacturing wellness and beauty products
As a beauty and wellness brand, you’re trying to improve the customer experience as much as possible. Getting positive reviews but, more importantly, brand recognition is a priority. You want people to be unable to stop talking about your product. You don’t want them satisfied; you want them impressed. For this, the products have to be well-made first.
- Market research: You need to understand the other similar products and see if you can “build your USP into it.” It’s a lot easier when your product lasts longer, has a better projection, or provides a higher level of protection. First, check which of these traits your audience values (would be willing to pay for) the most.
- Transparency regarding ingredient list: People must know the ingredients to avoid allergens or irritants. The problem is that this reveals your recipes, but it’s never the recipe that makes or breaks the brand.
- Educational & marketing content: You would be surprised at how many people are disappointed with the product they’re not using correctly. This is why, by uploading educational content – ideally in the form of videos, you’re not only ensuring a higher user experience but you’re also investing in your marketing efforts, improving your online presence as well. You’re no longer restricted by the format either since you can make an instructional video and then convert the video to text with online tools to turn it into a user manual more quickly.
- Superior return policy: One of the biggest concerns is whether the product is identical in person. A generous return policy will reassure them. Not only can they return it, but they’ll also see that you’re confident enough in the quality of your product.
There are so many ways to offer your customers a bit more. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect; you just have to beat the other offer (even only by the slightest of margins).
Making a great e-commerce platform
No matter how good your product is, the biggest challenge is always selling it. This is why finding a partner to develop an e-commerce platform for manufacturing companies is a high priority on your list. Here are a few tips that may help you out.
- Personalize the site: The most important thing you must do is remember user preferences. In this industry, not many people just come to your site and immediately make a purchase. This means they’ve probably had previous interactions with you, and you can gather and use data.
- User-centric design: The design needs to be simple, sleek, and intuitive. Sure, you want it to look nice, but even more importantly, you want to take them straight to the page. So, if there’s anything you want to work on, it’s the navigation.
- Immediately give them the most important information: They want to know the full price, not the price, without shipping or taxes. Added expenses (shipping and prices) are among the most important reasons for high shopping cart abandonment. Then, proceed to present them with all the relevant information right away.
- Feature hand-picked testimonials: While “great product” is a nice product that will give you some confidence boost, it presents almost no value to your buyer. Instead, go for something more substantive. Just ensure the user wrote it, not a marketer (people will know the difference).
In the end, people are there for the value provided just by the product – it also comes from the site.
Build better product categories
Once you have the site up and running, it’s time to organize your products so that they’ll be presented to your clients. These categories are the optimal form of product organization and are a way to improve transparency and visibility on your site. After all, your customers will look for your products based on the category.
Categories are also an important analytical factor since they’ll help you find customer suggestions and recommendations.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your categories:
- Balance between breadth and depth: Categories must be specific enough. You can’t put every related item in the category since you’ll make it too difficult for your buyer to navigate. According to the theory known as the paradox of choice, the more options people have, the less likely they are to make up their minds.
- Introduce filters: This allows customers to customize products according to their interests. You can allow them to set the price range, single out a specific type of product, etc.
- Keyword research for each category: Not everyone from your homepage will go to your categories. You also want these pages to be discoverable from the search engine bar.
- High-quality images: The biggest downside of e-commerce is that customers can’t physically examine the product. This makes the trust a bit slower to build. With high-quality images, images of the packaging from each side, and perhaps even an image of the product in use, you can easily get around this (at least semi-successfully).
These categories are also important for those still in the early stages of the customer lifecycle process. This way, they can explore more easily.
Improve your supply chain
So, you’ve made your products, and your customers have gone over your site and made a purchase; how do you get the products to them? First of all, do you even have the products in supply? Can you handle an increase in supply? Here’s how you improve your supply chain to make the long story short (and avoid asking ten more similar questions).
- Forecasting demand: You don’t want to overproduce an item that’s not selling, and you don’t want to fill your warehouse with products that won’t sell for a while. Ideally, you’ll accurately forecast the demand and adjust your storage and production.
- Managing strategic vendors: Since this is a manufacturing industry, you must get the raw materials into beauty products. This is why you must manage your supplier relations and negotiate a great deal. You also need to see that you can trust them, which is an inevitable step but also a great risk on your part.
- Organize your inventory: Your ability to send out the product depends on how well-stocked and organized your inventory is. This alone requires a great inventory management platform.
- Fleet management: You have two ways to deliver these products. The first route is the one that all but the largest companies take – outsourcing. If not, you should look for fleet management options. Even if you outsource, you want to allow your customers to track the shipment. This makes them feel more in control.
By improving your supply chain, you’ll get the product to the customer sooner (and with fewer mishaps), which will also impact customer satisfaction.
The holistic approach is always the best way to improve your business
Before you start working on your business, you must understand exactly what you’re getting into. You need to understand the factors determining why some succeed and others fail, focus on production and e-commerce in equal measure, and work on a great site. Then, improve your supply chain and boost your cybersecurity. Each of these steps is responsible for your success.
By Srdjan Gombar
Veteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros with his son.