The global pandemic forced many states to enact stay-at-home orders for all but essential workers. Even as states reopened, the beauty business suffered as a result, not only of lockdowns, and phased reopenings which put them at the back of the line, but also because of social distancing measures which limited the amount of traffic they could take. The pandemic forced many industry actors to reconsider their business models and pivot during the pandemic if they were to thrive in a world suffering through a health crisis.
Many beauty businesses adapted to their era by changing their approach to sales and marketing. Pivoting during the pandemic was not only a response to an emergency situation. Many beauty businesses realised that a lot of the changes forced by the pandemic were likely to be permanent. They had to respond by thinking in terms of the long-term and embrace change as a way of entering into a new era.
Creating Online Stores
The biggest problem that beauty businesses faced seemed unanswerable: how to reach customers in a business that has traditionally imagined himself as a face-to-face business?
Beauty businesses had to re-imagine themselves as online stores.
A crucial insight that successful beauty businesses made was that at-home treatments would increase in value during the pandemic. Tapping into the desire for personal care from people holed up in their homes, would go a long way to solving the problems that the industry had.
Personal care from the comfort of the home was something that people were willing to have, not simply to de-stress at a time of incredible uncertainty, but also a way of taking back an element of control. Getting into a self care routine allows a person to feel normal, grounded, human even, and these are valuable feelings to have at a time like this.
Reaching Customers Across Different Touchpoints
Beauty businesses had to abandon many of the assumptions and ways of operating that they had gotten used to in the pre-pandemic era. How they reached clients had to change dramatically.
Traditional channels of reaching customers were closed because of the lockdown measures that had to be taken. So, for example, a beauty business offering laser hair removal services would have to find online methods to reach their clients, where in former times they could have relied on walk-ins or ads in public spaces.
So, beauty businesses were forced to target clients through multiple approaches, such as using social media apps, philanthropy and creating online content. Yet, this is not a simple process of throwing money at the problem. It is about trying a variety of things and refining your approach until something sticks. This takes time, patience, and a willingness to experiment.
Another thing to do is to bring in as many fresh perspectives as possible. This allows you to get novel solutions to problems. Some beauty businesses, like Volto, for example, brought on new PR firms, got new in-house marketing teams, and hired college graduates with something to prove. This brought on the energy and new ideas that they needed to develop novel solutions.