4 Key Components That Make a Successful Beauty Retail App

Posted by Elizabeth Hoffman on Apr 27, 2016 10:32:00 AM
Elizabeth Hoffman

Beauty retailers know that it's vital to develop a mobile app strategy to stay relevant in today's industry. Yet, we found that many are still struggling with what to incorporate in their app to make it a success. We sat down with industry leaders and uncovered the 4 key components that make a successful mobile app for beauty retailers.

1. Utility

It goes without saying that the app itself needs to be functional but we are often surprised at how many apps miss the mark on what makes them useful for consumers. We know that 39% of mobile shoppers are already using their device to look up beauty products while in-store. Additionally, Mintel reports 45% of beauty consumers prefer mobile devices over sales associates for assistance. So meet consumers where they are and in their preferred format. Include features like store locator, product lookup, and barcode scanning so users can conveniently find information on products such as pricing, product reviews and more. Additionally, make it easy for consumers to reorder frequently purchased items through the app. Take it one step further and introduce exclusive offers and products to entice consumers to continually check in with the app.

2. Engagement

LOreal_Makeup_Genius.jpgMobile apps are an incredible tool for engaging personally with customers. When we think of retailers that are doing this well, we think of companies like L'Oreal and the use of their 'Makeup Genius App'. The app has over 10 million downloads and creates a virtual reality experience that allows customers to virtually apply makeup like lipstick or eye shadow, directly onto their face to see how these new products and styles look on them. They are then able to share these images and looks with friends. The experience doesn't have to end with virtual reality - beauty retailers can also interact with customers by making reviews and beauty blog content easily accessible within the app. They can also show video tutorials and enable social sharing with other friends and much more.  All of these interactions create a sticky experience that will continuously drive customers back to the app and your brand.



3. Loyalty

No one wants to carry around a separate loyalty card in their wallet anymore. Tie your loyalty program into the app to make it easy for customers to access rewards, view items relevant specifically to them and much more. Encourage customers to sign up for the loyalty program in the app and make the app the 'go-to' place for reward redemption and exclusive offers. Customers want it. In a recent study by Mintel, 58% of customers reported they wanted an app that provides beauty product offers they can redeem in-store. Beauty retailers can take a note from Sephora on this one. Sephora has done an incredible job at extending its popular loyalty program, Beauty Insider, via their mobile app. Using the app, consumers can access their profile, view items that seem 'hand picked' for them, redeem mobile offers and much more. Sephora then leverages that data to develop more effect marketing campaigns, promotions and of course, deliver targeted offers to individuals that are most relevant to them. 


4. Commerce

Sephora_In_Store_Mode.jpgOf course, commerce is a vital element for any mobile app. Make it easy for consumers to shop with you and complete the buying journey. Yes, purchases through the mobile app are important so consumers can order products from anywhere, yet you can also tie in mobile commerce with your in-store experience, much like Sephora has. They are merging transactions and loyalty into their in-store component (shown in the image to the right). Using their mobile app, they are able to market products and styles to specific customers. They then encourage customers to try out these products, take advantage of loyalty offers and proceed to checkout while in-store. By tying their loyalty program into the app, customers now only have to download the app to easily take advantage of the benefits associated with their repeat business.


Beauty retail giants like Sephora, the Honest Company and others are quickly developing mobile app strategies to connect the customer buying journey. What's your strategy? GPShopper has already worked with leading beauty brands like Estee Lauder to create engaging mobile apps. Find out how the right mobile app strategy can improve your business. Contact us today.


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Topics: Mobile Retail Apps, Omnichannel Retail

About GPShopper

GPShopper is a mobile commerce platform and app developer for retailers, using technology to transform the total retail experience.  GPShopper is a Synchrony solution. 
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