Regardless of how innovative, essential or life changing your product is, unfortunately the act of persuading your potential consumers to part with a portion of their disposable income can be challenging. Even the most desirable products today require vast marketing spends to gain market share - long gone are the days of products actually selling themselves. 

The last decade has seen the term ‘marketing’ broaden. The evolution of technology and consumers' tech savviness has attributed to this trend. Nowadays FMCG businesses need an omni-channel approach to make consistent noise and drive sales online. 

Unlike many other verticals however, the cosmetic and beauty industry faces a harder sell.

Online shopping has hit the buffers

The rise of online shopping has transformed the way we buy everything from groceries to clothes but, when it comes to beauty & cosmetics, online shopping has hit the buffers.

Whilst most people would willingly buy their next TV, book or shoes online, the same cannot be said for cosmetics. Sure, a product you've bought countless times before can be searched for and bought online easily, but if you're looking for something a little different, you need a ‘real life’ experience - one you can touch, feel, smell and see. That kind of experience doesn't currently translate well online for beauty and cosmetics.

Bring your products closer to the consumer

Analysts predict that by 2020 87% of people will be shopping online and 45% via a mobile. The beauty and cosmetics industry will need to work hard, using the most advanced technology in order to introduce products to the tech savvy digital consumer. Online cosmetic products need to engage and excite to ‘close the deal’.

Larger cosmetics brands such as L'Oréal are already forming technology partnerships with the likes of Google to develop digital 'experiences', bringing consumers closer to a product. 

You can virtually try products on, or test out curated 'looks' from L'Oréal Paris expert makeup artists, sharing them socially with friends and family for approval. Although the technical hurdles are high, other verticals like cosmetic dentistry could learn from L’Oreal’s venture.

Today, we're on the verge of many technological innovations becoming mainstream. Virtual reality, super high resolution screens, face tracking, 3D printing and even Artificial Intelligence could all be exploited in the quest to get consumers engaging with your products.

Using these tools effectively takes a degree of thought, but thinking outside of the box could help, like the ‘Smart mirror makes custom make up patches’. You can see the ways in which this technology could be adapted for other similar beauty verticals, like cosmetic dentistry. An augmented reality smile perhaps? 

Quick Pint? No Thanks.

And all of this staring at screens isn't actually all bad - there are some big social positives.

The average tech savvy consumer is more likely to skip the traditional after work pint and instead opt for an exercise class and a selfie stick. Young consumers are spending more and more money on looking and feeling good. Whether it's the latest fitness tracker, better nutrition or the perfect smile, cracking the 'digital beauty experience' will be the key to consumer success.

So do brands need to work harder?

Persuading customers to buy beauty and cosmetic products online is proven to be harder work than other industries, but if you have the ambition of becoming the next billion dollar shave club, have a revolutionary idea like AirBnb or want to utilise existing technology to shake up an industry then the hard work could pay off.