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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beautystorebusiness.com | October 2018 39 Courtesy of Indie Beauty Expo and Cos Bar From indie start-ups to established brand names, pop-ups are evolving into a dynamic facet of the beauty buyer experience. The recent Byrdie Beauty Lab pop-up part- nership with Nordstrom was so successful that virtual sessions were made available to those unable to attend in person–and those sessions continue to drive traffic to websites and future events. No doubt the temporary store-within- a-store, stand-alone or marketplace is what's propelling many start-up brands to thrive and reach consumers beyond the e-commerce format. In particular, emerging brands have embraced the concept, seeking out equally enthusiastic and creative retailers to reach a wider audience and drive sales. POP GOES THE RETAIL Retail is far from dead–pop-ups have brought new life into once stagnant and predictable stores. Experts like Indie Beauty Expo cofounder Jillian Wright and Aptos marketing director David Bruno consider pop-ups to be the breath of fresh air consumers crave–and a way for retailers to generate buzz around new products and give shoppers a feeling of discovery and exploration. "With the rise of digital, we all know that brick and mortar has been a tough area for retailers to win. It's crucial that retailers make the in-store experience feel special, giving customers a reason to come into the store," Wright explains. "Pop-ups and events can evoke feelings of excitement or even nostalgia, making the experience so much more than just a trip to the beauty counter. Plus, the limited availability provides a sense of urgency." Bruno adds, "It's an exciting time to be in beauty retail, and pop-ups play a big part in sustaining that enthusiasm and excitement with both the buying public and the retailers and brands looking to capitalize on that excitement." Beauty fans love to be the first to know about new trends, and pop-ups provide an exclusive preview while giving the retailer an opportunity to stimulate new business and motivate their existing clients to return to the store. "Cultivating special 'snapshot' moments for consumers will keep them coming back for more and encourage their friends to do the same," Wright explains. These limited- time pop-ups do not merely keep customers entertained; they spawn a lively dialogue as well as interest from the media. I'M WITH THE BRAND If anyone is familiar with the quandary of how to get your product out there without the expenditure of permanent retail space, it's the founder and owner of Liquid Courage Cosmetics, Roshell Rinkins. A self-proclaimed "serial entrepreneur," Rinkins appreciates the flexibility of the pop-up format. She believes a brick-and-mortar storefront would not only be too costly for a smaller brand but impractical as well. "Someone who lives in San Francisco is not going to drive two hours to San Jose to buy makeup," she states. "The ability to move around venues not only in the Bay Area but around the country has been a real advantage for Liquid Courage and other brands trying to reach consumers." Face-to-face interaction is a recurring theme in any discussion about the efficacy of pop-ups. "No one knows a brand like the brand itself," says Marla Russo, CEO of Bella PR in New York. She explains that, without the burden of retailers having to hire and train extra staff, the pop-up becomes a win-win for both parties. Rinkins says, "When Liquid Courage is a featured brand at a pop-up, I am right there with the shoppers who are thrilled to interact with the owner of the company. In fact, that is one of the biggest advantages of a pop-up for a retailer … a ready-made staff of brand ambassadors." Alicia Yoon, founder and CEO of Peach & Lily, couldn't agree more. After her successful pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman, Yoon can attest to the power of client interaction. Not only can she and her staff gauge a customer's excitement and curiosity, "but you see what they're purchasing; you get a whole different qualitative layer to understanding your customer–and vice versa." Yoon was surprised that a micro needle device sold particularly well– which she feels was due to the personal attention from a brand adviser, who eased uncertainty about the product and aided in customers' understanding of its safety and efficacy. With storefront locations in Hong Kong and Singapore, Ceramiracle founder Eugene He also believes pop-ups offer an innovative means for educating custom- ers around the globe. "As our [skincare] products can be quite technical due to the clinical studies behind them," he states, "pop-ups give us the opportunity to educate our customers, which often drives loyalty." He also emphasizes that "the focus of a pop-up should always be on sharing the brand experience and not putting pressure on customers to purchase." For retailers and brands, achieving customer loyalty is a long-term investment rather than a short-term sales measure. Sales and ROI are always a consideration, but building client relationships and brand trust is at the heart of a successful pop-up. Social media outreach and marketing are also critical components to a pop-up's success. Bruno says that proper planning can almost guarantee a gratifying outcome. He says, "Marketing and promotion of beauty pop-ups have a well-established pattern. The beauty segments of social media are full of mega-influencers who can be enticed to appear or promote the pop-ups–and often play a role in driving awareness and engagement in these short-term investments." For brand owners, Indie Beauty Expo parterned with Neiman Marcus earlier this year for their Shop the Expo pop-ups. Cos Bar's pop-up events have included workshops with skincare brand founder Tata Harper.

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