A wave of beauty e-tailers are setting up shops in big UK cities to bridge the gap between the real life sensory and online digital experience. For those taking this step, it’s important to use the retail space to create a unique branded experience to stand out from the competition – for the right reasons, of course!

Drive to store: Too Faced Cosmetics, NYX Professional Make Up, and Tom Ford Beauty opened new standalone stores in the UK this year, but all fail to leverage them to drive traffic in-store through click and collect. Too Faced promises delivery within 6-24 days, Tom Ford’s next-day delivery comes at a £15 premium, and NYX’s click and collect service directs shoppers to a Doddle pick-up point within the same shopping centre as its shiny new store.

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NYX Professional drives click and collect customers to a collection point in the same shopping centre as its new standalone store.

Try it on and share the look: Once in-store, Too Faced Cosmetics and Tom Ford Beauty have virtual tutorials and augmented reality stations. Not only does this allow customers to try new products without the mess, it also lets retailers encourage shoppers to share their look on social media to raise brand awareness and provide user-generated content (UGC). NYX is a leader in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty UK for curating and integrating UGC throughout its site. Through its UK Instagram account, it asks users to tag relevant photos with #NYXCosmetics_UK. The hashtag has over 85,000 posts, which NYX then repurposes on-site in a designated Looks content hub that is prominently featured in the primary navigation bar.

Checkout: 79% of shoppers leave stores due to long queues. Mobile points of sale can provide a swift checkout process, one similar to the online experience that consumers are already accustomed to. Beauty e-tailers can take inspiration from luxury fashion retailers like Mulberry, which introduced mPOS at its new London Flagship store complete with stock inventory and payment capability. How long will it be before beauty shoppers are checking out products in-store from their own smartphones?

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