5 must-have tactics for beauty ecommerce websites

5 must-have tactics for beauty ecommerce websites

Beauty is a fast-paced and exciting industry to be a part of, with new technologies, techniques, and ingredients ever evolving. However, launching a beauty ecommerce site can be a daunting prospect…

That’s why we’re sharing some of our trade secrets that guarantee a successful experience for your users.

Here are five ecommerce tactics you should implement for your beauty brand to bloom online:


1. Usability

Usability is mandatory for a successful beauty ecommerce site. If your store is not user-friendly, your sales will be negatively impacted.

So what is usability? To put it simply, usability means user-centred design; your website needs to be designed with user behaviours in mind. In an ideal world, the users must know how to use your website before it even loads… Yes, read it again. Your site should be that intuitive.

Users visit your website with a clear goal in mind, and you need to make sure that the journey to reach their goal is as seamless and frictionless as possible.

Website speed, clear information architecture, and responsiveness all come into play to create a smooth experience, and let’s not forget website accessibility – but more on that later.

Pai skincare's homepage

Take Pai for example; the organic skincare brand’s website features easy-to-use navigation, strong calls to action, and bite-sized content. From the moment their store loads, we as users already know how to navigate the site, how to view more information, and most importantly how to make a purchase.

It’s worth noting that Pai is not reinventing the wheel; it’s sticking to traditional design standards, which is what makes the website so user-friendly. More often than not, you don’t have to showcase your products in a unique way, you just need to show them in a way that everyone can understand.


2. User generated content

User generated content (UGC) is one of the most valuable assets on an ecommerce site. Not only do search engines value UGC, but it helps boost brand credibility for the user.

There are plenty of ways you can feature UGC, including testimonials, Instagram feed implantation, and reviews. You just need to choose the right one for your business. And you want to know which we recommend? All of them.

Uoma beauty's websiteMakeup-meets-skincare brand Uoma Beauty offers a strong example of this. From the moment you reach their homepage, you’re able to see UGC pulled from Instagram, and shop the products featured in each post. Once a user is on the product page, they’re able to view even more UGC in the form of Instagram posts and verified reviews. These trust cues once again add credibility to the shopping experience.

There are a number of review websites, such asTrustPilot and Feefo, that can feed directly into your website to ensure that reviews are 100% accurate and authentic.


3. Inclusivity and accessibility

It’s crucial for all industries and brands to ensure their products and content are inclusive. Users should be able to relate to the products on your website, and navigate your website with ease regardless of abilities.

There are a few things to consider when making sure your brand is inclusive:

  • Does your website provide equal access to those with diverse abilities?
  • Are your products inclusive of everyone? (gender, race, size, and abilities)
  • Is your on-site content – including makeup swatches and hair ‘before and afters’ – catered to and helpful to your entire audience? 

You can maintain inclusivity through UGC, but we would also recommend ensuring your branded campaigns and product imagery are inclusive. Topicals does this well, using campaign imagery to showcase people from all walks of life enjoying their skincare and body care products.

Topicals being inclusive with their photography.

They also design for accessibility, allowing users to customise their viewing experience tailored to their needs with a magnifier, text reader, custom colours, and virtual keyboard (to name a few). This creates a shopping experience that’s complete and equal regardless of abilities.

Our in-house Art Director, Fran Boyd, who has experience working with some of the world’s leading beauty brands, can manage your next beauty campaign to ensure inclusivity. Meanwhile, our UX and development team understands accessibility requirements inside-out, and can optimise your alt text, fonts, text and calls to action to reach best-in-class standards

Top tip: designing with accessibility in mind helps to further your website usability.


4. Transparency and awareness

When it comes to the beauty industry, customers are more conscious about where they spend their money. They want their hard-earned money to be spent with a company that aligns with their values. Buzzwords like ‘clean’, ‘organic’ and ‘fair-trade’, simply don’t cut it. You also need to put your brand values at the heart of your website.

This summer, social media trailblazer, Hyram, will be launching his own beauty brand, Selfless by Hyram. He states that he wants to “help people change the world just by doing their skincare routine”.By partnering with Rainforest Trust and Thirst Project, Selfless is minimising its impact on the planet. The current site hosts no products yet, but they’ve instead launched a mini-site which focuses solely on their brand values. This is a great way to put their purpose at the forefront of their branding.

Lush cosmetics and ethical buying

Another brand leading the way with social awareness is Lush Cosmetics. They’re world-renowned for their social initiatives and ethical buying. When visiting their website, users are able to trace product ingredients directly back to the initial source, which not only increases trust amongst users, but also promotes transparency.  

Top tip: Creating dedicated pages which include your brand values is a good start, but we’d also recommend promoting authentic, eco-friendly initiatives on your homepage and collection pages. This way customers can easily see if you  follow similar values.


5. Brand identity

You’ve most likely spent a fortune collaborating with designers, chemists, and manufacturers to bring your brand vision to life. So why skimp on the shopping experience?

The customer journey should be cohesive – from social to inbox to store to unboxing – while aligning with accessibility standards.

Mij have a strong brand identity.

Take Mij for example. Known for their Instagrammable skincare, every Mij product is packaged in bold, monochromatic designs. Their branding comes to full bloom on their ecommerce site, which features subtle movement, bold line work, and clear visual hierarchy. Pairing that with their easy-to-use navigation, clear calls to action, and responsive design, and you’ve got a conversion-fuelling site that helps to propel their brand identity.

Top tip: When designing an ecommerce site, keep the product page as straightforward and useful as possible. You don’t want to detract or distract the user from hitting ‘add to basket’. Instead, feel free to have more fun on your About page. This is where you can be more playful with your story-telling.


In summary

  • Your ecommerce site should remain true to your brand values, and should always be accessible for everyone to enjoy.
  • Don’t be shy about showcasing your brand identity. Have fun with it, but remain true to what users want and need when shopping.
  • Your website should help customers, not confuse them.
  • User generated content is key to success. Don’t shy away from it.


Why Underwaterpistol? 

We’re ecommerce experts with more than 15 years of experience building, launching and growing brands on Shopify. Having worked with a host of beauty brands across all categories – from hair to skincare to makeup – our multi-skilled team knows what it takes to stand out in this saturated, supercharged market.

If there’s one thing we at Underwaterpistol know, it’s how to design a memorable ecommerce site.One puts your brand at the forefront, while remaining true to your customers’ needs and goals. We pride ourselves on developing tailor-made strategies, designed to make your Shopify Plus store as profitable as possible. Contact our team of experts today, so we can help your beauty brand with an ecommerce makeover.