Beauty Store Business

OCT 2018

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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20 October 2018 | "We ask and they tell us," Louise says. "We ask questions to get a basic under- standing of their lifestyle. We ask about their daily activities and stress. We ask how they cleanse and whether they exfoliate. We ask about their water intake and about the other products they're using. If they say they have sensitive skin, we ask what they're sensitive to. If they have a prescription for retinol, that's a piece of information we need to know because it really dries out the skin. We also have an on-staff esthetician who uses the products in her treatments, so she's able to talk to them at a higher level." Lotus Moon customers consist primarily of older women who are mindful and deliberate in their diet, exercise and overall health maintenance. The brand helps them select products and establish a beauty regimen that supports their health and lifestyle, while remaining adaptable to shifting seasons, hormones and other changes. Skin care is a priority for this group, but experts say that the haircare market still has room to grow. Boomers are look- ing for hair care that supports a healthy scalp, hydration and volume, along with addressing dandruff and hair loss. And frankly, this mature demographic could use more options. "There's a lot of room for hair products in this generation. A lot of women talk about how their hair is changing–and it's really challenging. It's very upsetting, especially for women who had really gorgeous hair. So there's a big, growing market in hair products," Clark says. THE MATURE MINDSET The reality is that boomer beauty con- sumers enjoy looking good–the same way they did 10 or 20 years ago. As Clark puts it, "There's no reason to think that suddenly because they've hit another stage in life that they're going to stop being interested in the world and new products and what they look like." But there are some generational differences in their beauty buying habits that retailers ought to be aware of. For one, baby boomers are believed to have more realistic expectations. "I would say that they're more realistic than millennials," Stanat says. "Millenni- als want to see results very quickly, and they want to put it on their iPhone and on social media. [The boomer mindset is], 'If it works, it works. I'll give it time.' And they're likely to be more private about it." In that same vein, boomers have less expectation for personalization compared to millennials, who've grown up in an era of customization. However, boomers lean toward a more hands-on approach when it comes to customer service. They prefer in-person or phone conversations to email or online chat options. They want to ask questions and receive answers. Their word-of-mouth also looks differ- ent. They are more likely to share about a purchase via private conversation versus online. "They look at retail flyers. They like to research online and in store, but their research is less price shopping and more of a Consumer Reports approach. They have strong smartphone adoption. They are on desktop computers in much higher numbers than younger generations who are purely on their phones," Clark says. "So I think it's important to remember that they're everywhere, just as younger women are. You want to reach them everywhere they are, and that might be some slightly different channels." Research also shows that boomers prefer branded products to private-label products, and they like retail environments with plentiful options. "We found that boomers are less interested in a single- brand site," Clark says. "They grew up with department stores, so they're more com- fortable seeing different kinds of products, whether that's at Ulta or" Store environments also determine whether boomers ever enter the store. "There is no question that as we get older, our vision, our hearing and our senses change. We certainly are vital and active and all of those things, but that can make it more difficult to navigate stores and find what we're interested in," Clark explains. From extremely loud music to easy navigation, the various elements of a store's environment potentially attract or repel older customers. GRAB THEIR ATTENTION Baby boomers have established beauty regimens. They've generally found some- thing they like and are committed to it. So, their personal care purchases are generally for replenishment. However, this doesn't mean they're unwilling to try something new. It just may take creativity or product experience to get them to do so. This is where samples shine. Experts agree that if anything will get boomers to try a new product, it's a free sample. If they try it and get results, they're likely to buy it. Beyond that, studying their market, being knowledgeable about their concerns and taking a genuine interest in helping them address those concerns will go a long way in winning a boomer audience over. "I read a lot. I study the body and the aging process, and then I share what I've learned with them in newsletters or on the phone," Louise says. She takes pride in Lotus Moon for having customers who are avid users, some of whom have been loyal to the brand for 10 years. She says it's imperative that brands are transparent, authentic and trustworthy. And she notes that the higher the cost of the product, the more closely a boomer will look at it. Experts urge retailers to deliberately market to baby boomers. Give them visual representation by incorporating this demo- graphic into your marketing materials, including in-store posters, and let them know you have solutions for them. Keep customers abreast of the products, rem- edies and ingredients that provide beauty solutions. And create a space for their products, Stanat says. "Most retailers have shelf space for everybody. But if they had a certain amount of shelf space dedicated to boomer women, they would come; they would flock to it." "If you push the total health and beauty [concept], it'll resonate with her," Stanat says. Otherwise, you're missing a valuable opportunity. ■ Manyesha Batist is a freelance editor and journalist based in Denver, CO. "This group loves natural, but they skew a little toward efficacy. They're sensitive to the environment and to ingredients." –Marlea Clark, EVP of marketing and insights, Women's Marketing Marlea Clark Lake Louise

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