The Perfume Shop launched its virtual shopping consultations via live video streams in summer 2019, but the company said the tool had really taken off during nationwide lockdowns during COVID-19 this year. It said online sales of new perfume launches online were up 45% month-on-month as the tool encouraged consumers to “try something new”.
Virtual assistance – keeping consumers ‘excited, engaged and inspired’
Cathy Newman, marketing and customer experience director at The Perfume Shop, said the virtual consultations aimed to bring the “store experience, personality and service to life” for online customers.
“Obviously, having this technology in place had helped us through the COVID-19 crisis,” Newman told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
“…We’ve seen recently how important it is for the digital shopping experience to keep customers excited, engaged and inspired. This kind of technology allows customers to receive a one-to-one personalised service as if they were in store; invaluable to help with decision making on purchases and to help encourage customers to maybe step out of their comfort zone and try something new.”
Asked how closely The Perfume Shop worked with perfume brands for these consultations, Newman said it was collaborative to an extent, working closely with suppliers to ensure staff were fully trained on presenting new fragrances and products. She said The Perfume Shop was always looking for brands who wanted to “add a layer of customer experience to the perfume buying process”.
E-commerce perfume sales building
Newman said whilst e-commerce continued to grow every year for The Perfume Shop, growth had been considerably marked this year as consumers continued to be “apprehensive about physical shopping”.
The company, therefore, would continue to invest and access the latest developments in retail tech to help such business thrive, though the focus would be online and in store, she said.
Online marketing expert Djalal Lougouev – co-founder and chief product officer at AI-driven, cross-marketing platform Ometria – previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe omnichannel strategies were crucial in today’s beauty market.
“Before, we thought of a store as somewhere we go into and buy products from. What we see in the post-COVID world will be radically different to the pre-COVID world,” Lougouev said.