On beauty sites, personalization has become synonymous with diagnostic quizzes. L2’s 2015 study of 106 U.S. Beauty brands finds those quizzes account for 43% of data collected by beauty brands. Origins, however, has successfully bypassed tedious questionnaires in favor of mini-recommendation engines on product collection pages to help users find the perfect match. To avoid redundancy, results and recommended products are saved to user accounts. A “Recommended for You” tab on relevant collection pages uses those results to trigger additional purchases. And to appeal users averse to using all diagnostic tools, Origins labels all products by concerns. (For example, a product could be labeled “Best For Line & Wrinkle Reduction.”)

Across all sectors, brands are failing to capture sufficient consumer data. In Retail, for example, just a third of marketers say they capture enough user data to implement effective personalization tactics. And few are fully leveraging the data they have. For example, fifteen brands in the L2 study save beauty profiles or results of diagnostic quizzes in users’ account sections. Among those, four (Avon, Charlotte Tilbury, Make Up For Ever, Maybelline) collect data exclusively in the account section instead of using all points of contact with the consumer (for example, during account sign up and checkout) to build a profile. Even fewer leveraged data collected to communicated with consumers. In L2’s two-week study period, just three brands sent personalized emails based on saved data from site visits.

Given their limitations and ineffectiveness, brands should look beyond diagnostic quizzes and consider all consumers’ interactions with the brand site (product searches, additions to the cart, browsing habits, purchase history) as opportunities to collect data.




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