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In the digital era, sample remains the most effective enrolment driver

On April 2, vente-privee.com presented the results of a study on the behaviour and brand loyalty of prestige beauty buyers. According to the company that pioneered the model of online flash sales and claims to be France’s leading store with 3.5 million unique users per day, there are two major types of consumer behaviour regarding brand loyalty. While the web is now the preferred source of information of both consumer types, samples remain the key enrolment drivers for brands trying to recruit new consumers.

Catherine Spindler, Marketing Director, vente-privee

Catherine Spindler, Marketing Director, vente-privee

In order to make a picture of typical buyers of prestige beauty consumers, vente-privee chose to focus on brand loyalty behaviours. In March 2014, the ecommerce company therefore interviewed 6029 women aged 18-54 years, in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. All of them were vente-privee customers who purchased prestige cosmetic products during the last 12 months.

The survey revealed two main types of consumers: the “brand ambassadors”, who are rather loyal to brands and to the same skin care and makeup products, and representing 29% of the sample, and the “brand explorers”, 32 % of the sample, who are more interested in new products. Mixed profiles, sharing characteristics of the two main types represent 39% of women surveyed. “There is no correlation between age belonging to one category or the other,” said Catherine Spindler, Vente Privee’s Marketing Director. “Brand ambassadors tend to consume fewer products that brand explorers, and their purchasing behaviour is more thoughtful, while explorers are more impulsive,” she added.

Digital as the source of information

The vente-privee survey also unveiled the central role now played by digital sources in consumer information. “For the categories of consumers, digital is now the main source of information for getting information on prices, new products, and the opinions of other women,” explained Catherine Spindler.

Apart from purchasing, 85% of “brand explorers” and 76% “brand ambassadors” said they surfed the web in order to compare prices. Furthermore, 79% of “brand explorers” read the opinions written by other consumers, vs. 62% of “brand ambassadors”. The behaviour of the two groups mainly differs in their choices regarding information sources. “Ambassadors” first head to the brands’ websites (30% vs. 17%), while “explorers” prefer paying visits to communities (blogs, forums, tutorials, videos).

Samples and makeup

Regarding enrolment drivers, the survey confirms the key role of samples: 71% of “brand ambassadors” and 77% of “brand explorers” say they would switch products after testing a sample that pleased them. “Testing new products with samples is the first enrolment driver. Tests top consumers’ preferences for all product categories,” Catherine Spindler said.

Furthermore, makeup appears to be the most effective enrolment driver for loyal consumers. Indeed, 42% of “brand ambassadors” declared they would accept to change nail polish (vs 58% of “explorers”) but only 10% would be ready to change from day cream (vs 40% of “explorers”).

More generally, the “explorers” are very sensitive to innovation, they watch advertisements, read magazines and blogs, and discover new products through boxes (21%). The “ambassadors” are more sensitive to the brand and look for reinsurance. However, price is an important issue for all women. The “explorers” are very sensitive to promotions, but even the most loyal “ambassadors” would consider changing product if it becomes too expensive.

Eventually, vente-privee highlights that the results were the same in the four European markets which were surveyed.

Vincent Gallon

© 2015 - Premium Beauty News - www.premiumbeautynews.com
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