How to Sell Makeup and Cosmetics (8 Marketing Tactics)

Alan O’Neill, a retail expert with Kara Change Management that helps in making over department stores, said beauty brands are on top of the latest trends, leaving nothing to chance. O’Neill said everything has been placed meticulously. Therefore, with some insider knowledge and trader tricks, purchasing beauty products doesn’t have to be scary or expensive.

Tanith Carey provides consumers with the numerous marketing plays that cause people to spend more money on products they may or may not actually need or want.

8 Marketing Ploys That Result In More Money Being Spent On Cosmetic Products


Lighting To Create An Illusion Of Younger Look

Many department stores have strip lighting that’s often high in the ceiling. And, the end results lead to shoppers’ complexions that have a greenish or blue tinge. Beauty departments have installed clear white lights that allow consumers to locate the makeup tones and color they want and make them look attractive. LED bulb lamps provide a pure light and produce a personalized, intimate setting.

Visual Thinking MD Karl McKeever said LED lights provide people with a more youthful, photo studio-look.

Alluring Lipsticks

Bright in color lipsticks are often put on counters and front of displays to lure customers into buying more.
McKeever said it’s similar to sweets in the supermarket. Lipsticks are considered an impulse buy. He said it’s similar to how supermarkets use fresh produce to demonstrate their credentials for quality. McKeever said placing glosses and lipsticks at the front is one surefire way for retailers to demonstrate newness.

Goodies Sold In Threes

Most people don’t leave a makeup counter with just one makeup product in their bag. And, it’s not just because women think they have to spend a copious amount of money when they check out the beauty counter.

O’Neill said three is the magic number and the staff’s goal is to sell products in three. He said three is a realistic number because it doesn’t make the customer feel like they’ve overbought or overspent. O’Neill said the staff has been trained to upsell consumers to purchase more. Therefore, if someone is going in to just purchase lipstick, the staff will try selling them a lip liner as well. If a person is in the market for mascara, they may need eyeliner.

No Prices On Product

Cosmetics are regarded as one of the most costly products women will need to purchase. And, the higher the price is, the smaller its label is going to be. Prices are generally not seen on cosmetic counter shelves, which means people will either need to pick the item up to find out or ask someone to help them. Many consumers, for whatever reason, feel this is the time they have to purchase the product.

Consumers don’t often see money-off coupons because they feel the high prices are proof that the items are effective.

Magic Triangles

Sales are not the only ones that come in threes – displays also do. When a customer looks up, they see the expensive bottles lined up in threes. According to McKeever, this triangular balance is extremely effective. It plays on the idea that the eye goes right to the middle. The tallest products go in the middle (usually more expensive) and the smaller, cheaper products to make the more expensive look attractive.

Giving Away Samples

Cosmetic companies will spend millions of dollars annually to give out free cosmetic samples – usually through giveaway or testers found on counters. They do this because a person’s sense of smell or touch is going to trigger a response that leads them to purchase a product.

O’Neil said the senses such as smell and touch – drive consumer behaviors. If a person test drives a vehicle, they’re 60 percent more likely to buy that vehicle. This number is even higher when it comes to beauty. People feel obligations if the staff there is helpful.

Smart Positioning Of Products

For the longest time, makeup counters were found at the entrance of department stores. In the beginning, it was done out of practicality. O’Neill said the perfume counters were at the front because it knocked out the smells of the outside world.

Today, cosmetic counters in the front produce an alluring atmosphere. In fact, the makeup department of a store tends to be the most profitable – usually making up 15 percent of its yearly business. Hence, the reason they’re still at the front of a store.

Staff Wearing White Clothing

It’s important to note that cosmetic staff is usually holding perfume bottles, ready to spray a consumer whenever they can. And, it’s no surprise that people are dodging these folks left and right. Keep in mind they can’t stand in the back waiting for people to come along… they have to mingle and try hooking in customers with a sales tactic called recruiting. Once at the counter, beauty companies will reposition them as consultants or beauty tutors.

As for the white clothing, it’s done to make them appear as if they’re dermatologists prescribing makeup and other products… not just selling them.

To learn more about how to sell makeup and cosmetics, or to find out how Erply’s POS systems can grow the success of your business, contact us today!

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