How to Excite High-Value Health and Beauty Shoppers

By Larry Levin


The vast majority of shoppers make lists before they go shopping to maximize their time and make sure they get what they truly need. Even more compelling is that a quarter of shoppers actually make the extra effort to include specific brands on their lists. Improving shopper targeting is critical for health and beauty manufacturers hoping to make it onto these lists and maximize their marketing spend. But with shoppers already inundated with marketing stimuli, from traditional advertising to mobile and in-store, how can retailers and manufacturers best reach their desired consumers?


  1. Shopper Targeting – Understanding and anticipating shoppers’ habits – whether planned or spontaneous – is vital. Without this, manufacturers and retailers can miss key facts, such as Millennial spending being on par with the U.S. population but purchasing 20% more products than the general market. While deal-focused, Millennials also enjoy the experience of shopping at retailers that use experiential marketing tactics, such as ULTA, Lush and Sephora. Affluent shoppers have similar behavior, and a few key aging Boomer groups are spending disproportionately to maintain a youthful look and image. Knowing which consumers are buying which types of products gives both manufacturers and retailers the insights they need for successful decision-making.
  2. Digital Tools – More than one in three people now use digital tools to learn about health and beauty products (the highest of any online product category). Experiential marketing, demonstrations and bloggers like Miss MavenMaskcaraand Cult of Pretty have created a large following of consumers eager to hear about the latest beauty trends. Before making any digital decisions, companies should know and understand their target demographic so that they can choose the specific mediums that will be most effective. 
  3. Thoughtful Promotions – Manufacturers must “right time” their promotions but avoid being seen as an always on sale product. It can weaken a brand’s image and encourage consumers to wait to buy because they know the product will be cheaper during another shopping trip. With brick and mortar, in-store promotions provide huge opportunities. More than a third of consumers change their first choice when another equally valued brand is on sale, and many shoppers can even be swayed during the final moments of their shopping trip.

The market position of every health and beauty manufacturer and retailer is different, so their shopper targeting strategies should be as well. Developing these strategies begins with a detailed, comprehensive and nuanced understanding of high-value shoppers, including their preferences, their definition of “value,” and how they make decisions at home, online, on the go and in the store. Marketers that understand and excite their shoppers will win in today’s hypercompetitive market; those that don’t will end up like last year’s lipstick.

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