Guest article

Beauty battle: the threat of supermarket beauty sites

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty battle: the threat of supermarket beauty sites
In this guest article, we discover how health and beauty retailers can ensure they stay ahead of the curve and fight off the competition in an ever more competitive retail landscape.

In recent years, health and beauty retailers have faced stiff competition from an increasing number of supermarkets offering shoppers more options to buy groceries and beauty essentials in one place.

Here, Erin Jackson, Health & Beauty Business Unit Director from award-winning global experts in retail display installation & maintenance, CJ Retail Solutions​, shares her thoughts.  

Changing retail landscape: fast evolution

The world of health and beauty is changing. What once was a space predominantly dominated by big brands, has now become a very different market, with the rise of supermarket beauty aisles allowing smaller contenders to rise up the ranks.

With the recent news​ of ASDA's beauty range topping the charts as an attractive and cost-effective alternative to other beauty brands, it’s clear to see that supermarkets are increasingly seeing the value in investing in their beauty aisles.

But, if health and beauty retailers want to win the crown in the beauty battle, the key will lie in ensuring they put their customers front of mind by creating engaging instore experiences.

Get up close and personal

One of the great things about specialist health and beauty retailers is the expertise of their sales advisors. I believe it’s this personal touch that sets apart specialist retailers from the supermarket beauty aisles, which are often geared more towards high-speed sales and impulse buys, than well thought out purchases.

Live demos of the latest products and free beauty consultations are a great way to not only make your customers feel special, but to also help drive sales too.

Naturally in a busy supermarket, this will often not be an option. As such, any differentiator in terms of experiential shopping should be explored to set you apart from the competition.

Get the lighting right

Another important factor to consider is lighting. Lighting plays a significant part in helping shoppers decide whether a beauty buy is for them or not. As a result, well-lit mirrors are a must.

However, lighting plays an important role in your displays too. As well as the obvious benefits of having high-quality imagery, ensuring your beauty displays are lit with bright LEDs is an effective method for showcasing your products and adding a touch of glamour and luxury to your store.

This was something we put to the test during the recent completion of a project we worked on for Boots’ Beauty Sweet Shop. During the project we were involved in the planning, installation and re-merchandising of large sections of 385 Boots stores, with the full project planning & rollout taking place over the course of two years.

Create enjoyable in-store experiences

Ultimately the key to attracting customers into store, but also ensuring they come back time and time again, lies in the instore experience you provide them with.

Point-of-sale and digital displays will continue to play an important role in health and beauty retail, but ensuring products are clearly signposted with navigational signage is essential too.

In addition, in this increasingly digitally-savvy world, incorporating digital technologies into your strategies presents even more opportunities to engage with customers.

Touchscreen displays and augmented reality solutions, for example, now allow customers to test different make-up options quickly and easily at the touch of a few buttons – with no mess.

Touchscreens are also a great way to keep your shoppers informed of the ingredients that have gone into each product – something that is becoming increasingly important for many customers, giving them more control to make well-informed decisions about their beauty choices.

It's clear to see that the competition from supermarket beauty aisles isn’t going anywhere fast, but for those beauty retailers who take the time to think outside the beauty box, it really is an exciting time for the health and beauty sector.

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