How top cosmetic brands leverage UGC to improve eCommerce performance

Brands in the cosmetic sector come in contact with some unique challenges when it comes to selling products online.

5 min read

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How top cosmetic brands leverage UGC to improve eCommerce performance

Brands in the cosmetic sector come in contact with some unique challenges when it comes to selling products online. Namely, how can you show online customers how well your products really work when cosmetic purchases come down to each individual’s skin, hair, or body?

Then, there’s the challenge of getting customers to keep coming back to your company. With low loyalty rates and the fact that people are more likely to switch brands than remain with the same one (60% of people say they are open to switching make-up brands), all cosmetic companies need to put maximum effort into keeping their customers.

If you’re looking for ways to be at the top of the eCommerce cosmetic game, then it’s time to start talking about your User Generated Content strategy. You’ve likely heard of UGC before, maybe you even utilize it for your own eCommerce brand, but there’s a lot to learn from top cosmetic brands about how to use UGC to sell more – and keep customers coming back.

Motivate shoppers by showing how other people use your products

While providing your own content featuring daring make-up designs can be exciting for customers, most of the time what they’re really looking for is social proof. Customers want to see cool make-up and hair designs put together by people they can relate to, that are interested in discovering fun ways to use lots of products to create stunning looks.

Don’t you want your products to be some of those go-tos?

While people are creating this content on social media with your products, you have the opportunity to collect it via a social media aggregator and use it in your eCommerce store. Then your customers can shop the latest daring make-up designs while they browse your site, like make-up brand Maquillalia.

Maquillalia uses UGC

Because there’s a lot of exciting content on Instagram of their users having fun with their products, they realized this could also be a part of their eCommerce experience. When users click on an image of a specific look, they can browse the products they used to create it.

Showing customers using bright colors and powerful designs enables this brand to create a sense of social proof in online shoppers. They too will want the opportunity to try out these looks – and now you’re showing them exactly which products will help them do it.

Note the arrows that allow customers to see each product that was used to make this look. That way, they don’t have to go searching through your whole website to find products to create an exciting make-up design.

As a direct result of their incorporation of UGC, Maquillalia increased their conversion rate by 11.2% and their average value order rate grew by 15.68%. The figures speak for themselves- UGC is highly effective for cosmetic brands.

Give customers authentic natural inspiration

While the bold styles shown above do a great job of motivating customers to try exciting looks, there’s something to be said about showing off the natural side of your products. Of course, you’ll have some customers who can do a full face of make-up in their sleep – but what about those who can’t? These customers are looking for something to give them a healthy glow without all of the steps involved in a makeup routine. More dramatic make-up looks are popular on social media but so are natural skin care products that will have a positive impact on a customer’s overall wellbeing.

Detailed skincare routines are becoming more and more popular among both genders and consumers are aware of nasty ingredients that can be found in products that aren’t formulated with natural ingredients.

The best way to deliver authentic examples of natural products like this is directly through your eCommerce customers who are using your products in their everyday lives.

For example, Natura features User Generated Instagram images of their products displayed in the homes of consumers. Not only do these images look beautiful and authentic – but they also help consumers to envisage what Natura products will look like in their homes.

Users are constantly turning to Instagram to find this kind of inspiration before they buy any products. But this content doesn’t have to live on just social media; there’s so much potential here to help the brand sell more.

Because Natura is tagged in the post, they are able to collect the photos with a User Generated Content platform and embed an Instagram feed into their store, within a lookbook or within product pages. Then they can be taken directly to the product, making the buying process that much easier. Take a look at some of their stunning User Generated Content below.

Why leave this amazing and personal style inspiration within social media? Brands should do everything they can to take this engagement and turn it into conversions – which is exactly what a UGC strategy can help achieve.

Give customers a better idea of how well your products work

In both of the above examples, these UGC integrations helped to solve one of the biggest challenges faced by online cosmetic brands: showing customers how well your products work before they even try it for themselves.

It’s one of the main reasons why online shoppers are hesitant about purchasing make-up, lotions, and hair products online. What if it doesn’t actually look as good, or work as well, as it does in the professionally produced, highly-manicured pictures taken by the brand?

Luckily, a Flowbox UGC integration can answer both of those questions before they are even asked. By seeing images of real people using your products, customers have a better idea of what they will actually look like – not just what your professional shots display.

Then, there is the power of the after shot, proving to consumers how effective the product is on everyday people, take this example from Mark Hill in which video content is used to show how their Pick ‘N’ Mix Glam Waver Barrel transforms a social media user’s hair:

Mark Hill UGC Product Demonstration Video

This user is basically putting her stamp of approval on the product. And not just with words, but with a moving visual representation of the beautiful waves she has achieved.

Once your customers are buying your products (and, with your encouragement, posting photos using them), then the last step is developing a model for getting them to come back to your online store.

Create a community of online customers who keep coming back to your brand

Finally, let’s talk about what it takes to get customers coming back to your products. Because of the tough competition in the cosmetic market and the availability of cheap options, a lot of online customers are happy to scour the market rather than pick a brand and stick with it.

That’s why creating a brand community is the key to getting eCommerce customers to return to your brand. If they feel an alliance with you and your brand image, they’ll want to come back. This is something that many eCommerce cosmetic brands are learning how to leverage today.

So how do you create this allegiance? Encourage your customers to post content using or having used your products and then feature it on your website. If they see that your brand thinks the content they share is great, they’ll want to keep sharing it. This means they’ll need to keep buying more products to do it!

Style inspiration is also key – consumers are looking for makeup looks, hairstyles, and skincare routines to try and to share. Opting for a stylish UGC gallery that gives them this inspiration encourages them to buy and share their amazing results.

Here’s an example of a UGC gallery from haircare brand Mark Hill, in which they encourage a culture of sharing looks that offer other consumers style inspiration:

Everybody wants to be an influencer these days. With a User Generated Content strategy, you can make your eCommerce customers feel like they are.

Cosmetic brands & UGC

Now that you’ve seen why UGC is so useful for online cosmetic brands, it’s your turn to explore how you can turn your eCommerce into a visual commerce with customer content. And we’d love to help you with that!

You can accomplish everything we’ve discussed with our UGC solution. Learn more about how we can help your cosmetic brand leverage your customer content by taking a demo of our platform.