While beauty e-commerce growth is accelerating, complexion products like foundation and concealer are still challenging to sell online. Increasingly, select prestige cosmetics brands are nudging consumers towards purchases by providing extensive content that help them select the right shade, and providing them with a range of samples they can try at home. Across the board, investments are being made in before and after imagery to show the texture and coverage level in addition to color. Too Faced, for example, shows high-res side-by-side images of models faces before and after foundation. Shoppers can zoom on parts of the face to focus on coverage.

Lancôme employs the same concept for its Teint Idole collection with the addition of a swiping tool that lets users see before and after pictures for each coverage level. A video tutorial accompanies the interactive tool.

Charlotte Tilbury is expanding its sampling program, increasing the number of complexion samples to 44 in Q1 2017 from four in the previous quarter. The brand is offering two free samples per order, and customers that use the diagnostic test are given an entire range for each diagnostic shade (e.g. Medium in 5, 6, and 7).  Bobbi Brown also allows shoppers to add an entire shade range of foundation to their cart, which is free with orders over $25.

Indie brands are also pushing their sampling programs on social media. Cover FX, for example, runs swipeable sponsored posts on Instagram and Facebook advertising a multi-shade blister pack sample and multi-product contour kit sample. Clicking on the “Shop Now” link leads to a PDP on the Cover FX brand website where shoppers can add the sample – free with a $25 purchase – to their cart.

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