A COVID-19 survival guide for the beauty industry
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A COVID-19 survival guide for the beauty industry

How do you keep your beauty business operational during COVID-19? We aim to answer all your questions and more in the survival guide aimed specifically at this industry; with tips and tricks on how your business can adjust to the many restrictions that have come with the Coronavirus outbreak.
by Zapriana Atanassova
08. 28. 2020

The luxury-goods and beauty sector has not escaped the effects of the Covid-19 disaster. It will take time to see if the spending patterns of wealthy individuals and regulations on non-essential products and services will change permanently, or whether they will go back to normal in time. What is certainly clear is that there is a need to look and feel your best, even in a global pandemic.

How do you keep your beauty business operational when social distancing is our reality? Is there even still a market for beauty related items in lockdown? And why is this industry important to our economy? We aim to answer all these questions and more in the survival guide aimed specifically at this industry; with tips and techniques on how your business can adjust to the many restrictions that have come with the Coronavirus outbreak. 

What makes the beauty industry so important to our economy?

The beauty industry is mainly made up of female SME and franchise owners. This is an important source of economic growth as it empowers women with jobs and skills that they can use to create a long-lasting income for themselves. 

Another element that makes the beauty and nail salon industry attractive is the high demand. Women are the largest consumer group with highly valued purchasing power. The purchasing power of South Africa’s 18 million female consumers is not something to take lightly. According to research company Nielsen, 21 million female consumers are expected in the local market by 2025 and their labour force participation numbers are also set to increase from the current 9.5 million to 11 million by the same year.

So how can businesses in this industry make sure they stay alive long enough to benefit from this market? Here are a few tips.

Understand the current landscape to adapt your business

Although lockdown restrictions have been lifted slightly, the uptake in walk-in clients, new clients and repeat business might be slower due to clients being cautious about getting infected with COVID-19. If there’s anything 2020 has taught businesses, it’s the value of going digital. So, in order to increase turnover, you’re going to need to make changes to your business to adapt to the current landscape, to digitize your business for once and for all. 

You can do this by gearing up your website to accommodate ecommerce facilities so your clients can purchase products online. It’s also a good idea to incorporate Youtube or video content on the website addressing specific beauty and skin concerns and shows customers how to use your beauty products. You Tube tutorials are all the rage now with massive uptake since lockdown, so utilize this to showcase your products through specific trends, beauty tips, look books and step-by-step guides to achieve certain looks. 

In addition to digitizing the sale of your products, it’s important to rethink how you do your services, and how you can capitalize on offering mobile salon services to your clients by reaching them in their homes. Make this completely worth their while by offering bulk discounts that serve all the members in the household. For example, you could offer packages of 2 haircuts and a colour treatment at a reduced rate, a manicure and pedicure at a lower price, or kids’ haircuts for less.

Understand what consumers need right now

Given the realities of working from home, social distancing and wearing masks, it has become much less important to wear makeup and fragrance.

For prestige brands, we see 55% and 75% declines in cosmetic and fragrance purchasing, respectively, compared to last year. When consumers return to work, many will continue to wear masks, which means they may continue to not wear makeup.

By contrast however, skin-care, hair-care, and bath-and-body products appear to be benefiting from self-care and pampering trends. Sales on candles, aromatherapy, and detox products as well as skin, nail, and hair-care (including DIY hair and beauty products) have consistently risen. This info is a powerful indicator of where companies should be focusing when it comes to their ecommerce. By offering massive discount codes on the slower moving products such as make-up, your consumers may be more incentivised to purchase.

Another notable trend is the rise of do-it-yourself (DIY) beauty care. Many beauty salons have closed, and even in places where they have not, consumers are forgoing services because of concerns about close physical contact. In addition, many consumers will likely face economic difficulties after the COVID-19 crisis, given the loss of jobs and savings. 

As a result, DIY hair colouring, nail care, and care in other beauty categories are finding new customers. With online sales of some of the most prestige-brand nail polish have seen double-digit growth every week since lockdown began in March. This surge in DIY nail care has some speculating that the current crisis’s lipstick effect has an added dimension—the “nail-polish effect”. If your beauty product range consists of products that users can utilise at home this is the time to punt those specific products and utilising clever cross sell tactics (such as promotions and DIY YouTube featured videos).

Communicate your renewed offerings

You have a list of your current clients details, so utilize this to update them on how to shop their favorite beauty products and how you have adjusted your offering to the current global pandemic. Update your social media pages often, utilize redeemable coupon codes for added value and incentive for your clients to support businesses. Offer a free gift with the purchase of two or more products from your ecommerce site (this could be as simple as a few samples and a cosmetic bag with other branded items you have on hand). Introduce a monthly newsletter to keep your customers up to date on your blog or video content and maintain communication with your audience.

Despite a rocky start to 2020 due to the global pandemic, the beauty industry will keep on growing as long as business owners adjust theirour marketing strategy, and shift their mindset and business to adapt to the current demands. New products are invented, technology evolves and people always want the latest and greatest of what is out there. Since there is no better time to practise self-care than right now, the beauty industry can cater to these demands and help clients feel good without the added risk or hefty price.

Your beauty business does not have to come to a complete halt because of the lockdown. Let us help you conduct a marketing strategy that will keep your business operational and ensure sales recovered are achieved as well as continued growth . For a full marketing strategy, or if you need help managing your blog and custom e-mailers or promoting your social media content, contact Arc Interactive on hello@arcinteractive.co. Let’s help you take your beauty business to new heights.

For more information, visit www.arcinteractive.co. You can also follow Arc Interactive on FacebookTwitter or on Instagram.