Beauty Styles Come and Go – Can Your Order Management Solution Adapt to Ongoing Trends?
Beauty trends come and go and quickly. What’s “in” for Summer is “out” by Fall. Lightweight breathable foundations make way for foundations that keeps dry skin luminous during the colder seasons. And sometimes the latest social media trend (think TikTok) plays a part in elevating demand for a product. When new trends come, can you get the latest beauty products to your customers? Do you have the right technology solutions to support buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) and same-day delivery? Do your customers know what’s available in-real time? Can you support extended aisle with direct-to-consumer shipments? Can you support expanded assortments and variations of products that comes with catering to different demographic groups? Blue Yonder’s Luminate Commerce Order Management (OMS) allows you to give your customers what they want and expect.
Beauty retailers have been at the forefront of the omni-channel movement. Many have had e-commerce sites for well over a decade. However, providing seamless shopping experiences in-stores and online requires having the necessary inputs for seamless execution. Like a lot of women, before the COVID-19 pandemic I preferred going to my local department store or beauty retailer to “try-on” products – which foundation looks good, which eyeshadow works for my skin tone, which lotion works best for my skin, etc. In fact, it used to be a fun outing with friends. While I might have scoped out the retailer’s online store to see what’s available, I wanted the in-person experience, along with tips from the store’s beauty experts.
The pandemic certainly changed how I select and buy beauty products. The desire to buy new makeup didn’t completely go away while stores were closed. We simply leveraged beauty retailers’ online stores. With the ability to see an expanded assortment of products that are inclusive of more demographic groups, view information on the latest trends and brands, and conduct live online chats with beauty consultants, online beauty shopping is delivering on the goal of creating experiences that match what retailers were able to offer consumers in-store.
Delivering customer-centric experiences requires first and foremost an understanding of inventory. Retailers need to know what inventory is available across the network – from local stores to DCs and warehouses – and how much. With expanded assortments, it becomes even more important to understand what’s carried in store versus what’s available in local or regional DCs – whether that’s for a pop-up sale or to meet the demands of demographic groups. For online customers, understanding what’s available at their local store for a BOPIS order, same-day or standard delivery is important. Inaccurate inventory information can lead to disappointed customers. And since many beauty products tend to be seasonal, understanding inventory levels can help retailers determine the best time to incorporate “event” sales or markdowns to prepare for a seasonal change-over. Most retailers don’t trust the “on-hand” in store numbers and use a safety stock…which limits sales.
Another key capability that is necessary is support for speed and convenience options is accurate fulfillment dates. When I am searching for beauty products, I want to know what’s available and when I can receive it. If I need to replenish a foundation or lipstick before it runs out, I’m going to select the fulfillment option that gets the replacement product in my hands as quickly as possible. That could mean selecting BOPIS if I have time to head to the store or even same-day delivery. For products that cater to specific demographics, understanding which items are only available online or which items are only located at specific stores can make the difference between consumers hitting the buy button at a retailer or going to a competing store.
Lastly, having BOPIS and curbside options is a win-win for retailers and consumers alike. BOPIS offers beauty retailers the opportunity to “add-on” and make additional suggestions to customers when they walk in the store. Adding to the basket and ensuring the customer has everything they need is great customer service, as is informing them about any upcoming events and sales. BOPIS, curbside and other store fulfillment options can be more effectively executed with the right technologies that improve operational efficiencies to ensure customers aren’t left waiting for their products and staff are used more effectively…after all the labor market remains tight and great employees are tough to find and retain.
Getting ready for the next season, next social media beauty trend has never been easier for both beauty retailers and consumers. Learn more about how Blue Yonder’s Luminate Commerce order management solutions support beauty retailers.