How Social Media and Selfies are Selling Cosmetics

In today’s social media centric world, companies are trying to stand out on the various platforms. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, organizations want to spread their brand, and the new trend seems to be heading towards the sale of cosmetics.

Macy’s is one of the retail giants that is getting in on the action by expanding their cosmetic brand assortment and for any customer who spends more than $35 on Rampage (a popular younger clothing and cosmetic brand) accessories will receive a free selfie stick. This promotion encourages shoppers to share their recent purchases.

Target is also changing up their beauty department by adding a beauty concierge to some stores and a page on their website where they show how-to videos and promote their beauty products. Shoppers can now ask questions about products and sample them in the store. This allows for the customer to be able to snap, post, or tweet out a picture to their friends and followers and get immediate feedback.

Target’ s beauty concierge. Curtesy of veepeejay.

One of the more surprising locations for a beauty counter is at Barnes & Noble. The bookstore recently opened up “The Glossary” in some Barnes & Noble locations. The starter locations are centered around college campuses in the hope that the younger generations will spread the word through their various social media accounts. It also will help get customers in the door and help them stay there.

The Glossary. Curtsey of Racked. 

These three companies are just some of a few examples of organizaitons trying revamp their strategy towards their cosmetic departments to better suit social media. However, all pale in comparison to Sephora and Ulta at the social media game. These companies promote camera-friendly cosmetics and connects to their consumers through social media. Sephora has over 9.6 million followers on Instagram and Ulta has over 2.7 million. In contrast, Macy’s has about 837 thousand and Target about 1.9 million. These stores are showing results too. Ulta is continuing to produce double-digit same-store sales growth while Macy’s and Nordstrom’s sales are decreasing.

What does this mean for the future of beauty and cosmetic sales? Well before it can be passed as just a fad, remember that beauty has been the fastest-growing retail segment for the last three years, and is one of the fastest-growing industries online.


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