Not even a full-on pandemic and global lockdowns can stop the titan that the cosmetics industry has become. One might expect cosmetics sales to have declined. Perhaps they did in terms of stores that depended on impulse buys from walk-in customers. Direct selling however benefited from lockdown conditions and it’s not hard to see why. Customers getting all their cosmetics needs in the comfort of their homes. I think there is still a lot of room for cosmetics direct selling businesses and a few tricks you can employ to set yourself apart from the rest.
Cosmetics really covers a wide range of products that cover basic hygiene, health, beauty and fragrances. So when it comes to cosmetics direct selling I encourage you to think as widely as possible in terms of the range of products. You can of course specialise in one thing to start but businesses like this have the benefit of a big back end. You will generally find that the same people who buy roll-on are the same people who buy deodorants and colognes. The smart money is therefore in offering a full suite of products in the long run.
Direct selling feels like it’s as old as time itself especially in this arena. Cosmetics companies large and small have been using direct selling to reach clients for at least decades. From the largest like Avon to smaller new entrants direct selling programs are available all over. You could sell whatever you want to sell but those with established direct selling programs offer the best support for your budding business. Established companies also make your marketing and selling tasks much easier than trying to introduce people to something completely new.
Creating and maintaining good relationships is probably about 90% of the work in this business. To do this effectively you will really need to work on your communication and sales skills. Everybody thinks they are good at communicating until they have to do with people they are not used to or don’t particularly like and this will, unfortunately, happen to you if your business achieves expansion outside your regular circle. Which is what we want. Sales skills will also need to be worked on particular techniques around relationship selling.
Of course, everything has gone digital. Whether to take advantage of existing technology or to find ways to keep operating in the pandemic. Cosmetics direct selling companies have done the same. Many now offer their catalogues as digital editions. This makes taking advantage of digital platforms like Whatsapp for Business so much easier. You will also need to adapt your selling efforts to methods that take advantage of the convenience digital technology applies. There is no point in applying all this technology to replicate offline methods, it should be used to improve things.
If there is one thing that I find hinders direct selling of cosmetics of products it’s the lack of sampling opportunities. As an owner of a rather large beard, I am always on the search for a good beard shampoo. Parting with $15 for a product I do not know does not appeal to me. Assuming the $15 product is 200ml it may surprise you that I would be willing to part with $5 for a 50 ml sample version so that I get to know the product. Sounds crazy? Not really. This is customer psychology for you and when one doesn’t know a product they are willing to pay more (33.33% more if you are following the math) to sample the product. A person paying $1.25 more (net 75 cents if you buy the bottle for 50 cents) is still good business for you but it also allows customers to sample various products. I reckon this is something worth giving a try. To make this even better for you, you can create an offer where the first sample size container costs $5 and thereafter $6, this encourages them to step up to the 200ml size if they are happy with the product.
While I would still advise you to lean heavily on the established programs and the support they provide it’s also a good idea to look into new exciting products that can give you a leg up with customers. The established can teach you how to apply principles they have used on newer products.