Data suggests that beauty products in Singapore retail at S$120 million every year, with perfumes taking one-quarter of the share.
Singaporeans love smelling good, huh!
Skincare products account for 40% of the total sales, with make-up products taking the remaining 35%.
There isn’t an official confirmation statement on the actual worth of the beauty market in Singapore. But if we were to crunch the numbers, taking into account all the beauty products that have been labelled by doctors, sold in salon, or sold through multi-level marketing, then it’s safe to say that the combined sales of health and beauty products in the country bore through the S$500 million market overlay, with an estimated annual growth rate of 30%.
This just confirms one thing – beauty products in Singapore sell. They’re among the few products in the country that are always flying off shelves, and finding their way into many Singaporeans dressing tables.
In terms of per capita spend on beauty products and toiletries in the whole of Asia Pacific region, Singapore stands second to only one country, Japan. South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all line up behind it.
Now, the question to ask is, how do you market health and beauty products in this amazing country? What are the strategies and tactics must you implement to penetrate the cosmetic industry in the country?
Read on to find out.
The first place to direct your effort when marketing your health or beauty products online is social media. That’s because this is one place where users influence each other.
Of all the social media platforms that exist, your key priority should be with Instagram and Facebook. One thing with health and beauty products is that the majority of the users you encounter on these two platforms (particularly Instagram) have the potential to become buyers.
Shoppers aren’t just browsing through the platforms. They’re paying attention to everything that’s happening around them. They’re paying attention to what their Facebook connects or Instagram followers are doing, and taking mental notes.
They’re paying attention to what products they’re using or which brands they’re endorsing. You’ll find them on Influencers’ feeds browsing and trying to understand some things about them. What products are they using? Why are their skin tones so fine? And why are a great majority of them endorsing a certain product or brand?
You’ll also find them posting their own content on their newsfeed, and trying to influence each other – indirectly though.
Brands aren’t left behind in this. You’ll find them receiving their fair share of stalking. In other words, Facebook and Instagram users are a curious lot. Once they see something they like or are convinced it’s good for them, the next thing they want to do is dig up for more information about it.
You can capitalise on this trend by taking a cue from some of the world-leading brands such as Glossier. Ever wondered why this brand has managed to attract a cult-like following? Everything might appear so effortless or less calculated on their part, but dig into their strategy, and one thing you’ll learn is that their success has got nothing to do with luck.
What these brands do is focus on generating awesome posts with the ability to influence and spark curiosity. Their primary targets are usually two groups of people, Gen Z and millennials.
Once they’ve succeeded in locking a user in, they’ll then try to lure them into taking action through retargeting. This is a strategy most of them have been capitalising on, and which has seen to it that they’re able to capture even more leads.
Retargeting also makes it possible to capture health and beauty shoppers that are still hanging in the grey area. It’s what pushes them to the brink of taking action, and forces them to lay down their guards and take action.
It’s been established that one of the most effective ways to market your products online is to focus on maintaining a super-active social media presence.
Here are some entry-level pointers on how to manage social media:
- Learn to share articles, images, and videos with tricks and how-to guides. Your approach should be an empathetic and educative one. If your users can feel and be convinced that they’re interacting with someone who’s undergoing the same predicament as they, then you’re already halfway to getting them to take action.
- Highlight the reviews and milestones that you’re getting from influencers. A simple endorsement from your Facebook and Instagram influencers is enough to get your sales through the roof. You can get them to vouch for your product or even release a simple promotional video for it. The next thing you want to do is highlight everything they’re saying and make it available for the whole world to see.
- Be consistent with offering customers services. One thing you want to prove to your users is that you’re concerned and that you’ll be always there when they need you. So be sure to respond to all their questions on time, and with enough patience and attention to minor details.
- Adopt a culture of sharing well-researched, and useful content at least once in a week. Teach them about something they don’t already know or that which only a few of them know.
Instagram should be your best platform for this.
- Instagram is centred on good visuals, so you want to start by taking nice photos to grab the attention of the users on this board. Forget about snapping and uploading. With Instagram you have to be prepared to take an extra mile. If your photos aren’t legit, then there’s no way you’re growing to be big enough, like any of those beauty brands that attract thousands of likes on their photos.
You need three things for this – good lighting, good colouring, and good framing. Your subject matter must also be on point. And yes, steer clear of those garish ads that you’re tempted to plop on your Instagram page. No one logs into their Instagram accounts to be shouted at about discounts. If you must promote your products on this platform, then learn to keep it low key until the opportunity presents itself naturally.
- Learn to Utilise Hashtags. Without them, you might as well just forget about gaining new followers. With each photo, you’re allowed to post a maximum of 40 hashtags. You might want to optimise those hashtags and make sure you’re using them to the full maximum.
A good portion of your time should be directed towards researching on these hashtags. Scour around for all the hashtags similar brands are using, and then list them all in the notes app.
While at it, be sure to take notes on the number of photos on each hashtag. For this case, you might want to avoid any hashtag with millions of photos unless you have a more compelling reason to use them.
Small niche hashtags are your slum dung. You can take a few of these hashtags and focus on building them slowly. The more your followers grow, the more you can progress to hashtags with so many followers. It’s after you hit 100K followers and above that you can start capitalising on the highly competitive hashtags. But until then, learn two stick with hashtags that have garnered a small following.
- Think of Instagram as Your Magazine. To perfect your marketing strategy on Instagram, you must learn to think about your Instagram as a magazine, a lifestyle magazine to be more precise. Your followers are your key readers, and they’re only interested in the interesting or intriguing part of your lifestyle.
You can use an app such as UNUM to make your Instagram account. With such an app, you can upload your photos in advance, and throw in some little sizzle to find the right colour composition that you can adopt for the entire Instagram account. Your focus should be to create a board that not only looks pretty but is also consistent. With time you should be able to come up with a formula on how to post your photos.
None of this is easy. You have to be willing to pump in a lot of effort in experimenting with different features and elements to be able to pull this off.
Your magazine should reflect what you stand for as a brand. It should embody your business culture and the feeling you want to evoke in your customers. Your colour scheme should be modern and fresh, and a clear depiction of what your business is all about.
Show Your Products
Your goal is to sell your health or beauty products. So, you must be willing to show them around to your followers. However, while at it, be sure not to use your account as a product catalogue. Instead, try focusing on the lifestyle that your users dream of having, and which they can have should they decide to go ahead and try out your beauty products.
The point is to focus on the benefits of using your products. It’s also fairly possible that your users already know about your products or if they’re interested in checking them out, the least they could do is visit your web portal for their catalogue or more information on them.
You’re also allowed to snap the best features of your products and show them around. Remember, you’re not doing your business any justice by hiding your product images. The problem sets in when you’re overtly promotional in the approach that you take.
Go slow on trying to win your followers and instead focus on educating them on a thing or two that they don’t know about products.
Study Your Competition
This step is absolutely necessary. You need to dig out all the dirt on your competition and evaluate your advantage. Find out about all the brands offering the same products as you. Find out about what they’re doing, and use the information you find out to carve out your own unique path.
This is also the right moment to do some little bit of SWOT analysis. What is your strength, weakness, opportunities, and Threats? If you consider your competitors as a threat, analyse them from their point of weakness and come up with a well-thought-out plan on what you intend to do to outsell them.
Try to Make Your Mobile Experience Awesome
As cliché and repetitive as this piece of advice sounds, it’s true (especially here in Singapore) that the bulk of online shopping is happening at the palm of shoppers’ hands. App usage is experiencing an upshot.
About 65% of all the online transactions in Singapore is happening on mobile. To capitalise on this trend, you can start by adopting a responsive design and using images that are easy to read on mobile devices and carts that are pretty persistent across all devices.
Your mobile experience must be well optimised to capture on-the-go opportunities to the max.
Activate as much Shopper data as you can to Personalise your Content
The point of activating your shopper data is to gather more intelligence on your customers. Your customers are online hunting for a broad range of beauty products. They’re browsing on their mobile phones, checking apps, visiting social media pages, and watching videos. They are doing all this just to understand the products they’re using or intend to start using in the future.
The least you could do is come up with a plan on how to best connect with them. The more you know about them, the more you’ll be able to personalise your content and stick to what is more relevant to them.
A good example of a brand you can take a cue from is L’Oreal. If you’ve been keen on following their subsidiaries, including Urban Decay, Essie, Lancome, NYX, and Garnier, you must have noticed how much clout they’re gaining by personalising their interaction with shoppers.
Try using Video Retargets to Reel Back Your Customers
There’s no way you’re running a successful online marketing campaign for your health and beauty products without considering video retargeting.
Data shows that online shoppers use close to a third of the time they spend online to watch video content. This is especially true with the GEN Z. Most of their time online is spend digging through online videos. As a marketer, you should capitalise on this common trend by using retargeting to draw them back to you. .
Video advertising has increased by roughly 40% over the past few years, with some study findings projecting more than a half of the traffic that you’ll be getting in the next two years will be video-based.
Capitalise on Buyers’ emotions
Here’s something to think about when selling beauty products online.
Nearly all the purchases that customers of health and beauty products make online, are driven by emotions (not rationality). No one cares what ingredients you used or why it makes more sense to buy a certain product and not the other. They only care that it makes them feel good.
That’s the direction you want to take while marketing your products online. You want to focus on what your products or brand makes your customers feel and not what they think.
Customers of cosmetic products feel more than they think when purchasing things. If something feels good to them, they’re more likely to buy it. If a company chooses to distance itself from them, then there’ll be nothing to stir their emotions and influence their buying decision.
Here’s what your customers want:
… they want to feel cared for
… they want to feel desired
… they want to feel like you create rituals that make them feel special
… they want you to transform their looks and help them look like the person they want to be
We can guarantee, every successful business you see (particularly high-profile ones), have a team that’s specifically dedicated to toying around with their customers’ emotion to influence their buying decision.
Women invest in makeups because it makes them feel good. It inspires their confidence.
Yes, the quality of the makeup product they buy matters a great deal. But it doesn’t matter one single bit that very moment they’re glued to their screen trying to contemplate on whether or not they can go through with a purchase.
Your goal is to feed your sales and grow your profits. That’s what you hope to achieve at the end of your first marketing phase. You can achieve this by focusing on three things:
- Email list
The strategy you come up with must include the three things we’ve mentioned, whether you’re selling on your website alone or cross-marketing.
We’d love to assume you have a company that specialises in organic skin care products, and that your goal is to distribute your products to the guest houses in Singapore.
For this example, we’ll try to focus on one emotional need your customers have – feeling cared for.
You’ve gone through social media and seen the kind of people your customers are following. You’ve also invested a great deal of your time in researching on the hashtags they use. Now try to research on the businesses whose hashtags are centred around feeling cared for. Examples include #selfcare #selfmotivation #selflove #someonecares, and so forth.
You’d be surprised by the number of big brands cashing in on human emotions.
Exposure is all about widening your audience. It’s about creating more awareness around your brand, without necessarily trying to get them to buy anything.
Here’s an idea you may want to use: Try to come up with a month-long marketing campaign along the lines of “a 30-day challenge to love the skin you’re in.”
This theme blends perfectly well with the end goal of selling more of your beauty products.
Don’t sweat it – this isn’t anything hard. All you have to do is focus on establishing a self-care regimen that will be focused on feeding the skin from inside-out.
Do your research and gather all the motivational quotes you’ll need, a recommendation on healthy food, and a list of health product from your pipeline — and that’s it.
Your campaign doesn’t end with the challenge. You have to make it feed your goal, and that’s where the issue of email list comes in.
You can start by creating a landing page that’s specifically dedicated to this challenge. All you have to do is create a page on your site and dedicate it to your campaign.
The landing page you create can be a spin-off of your competitors’ site or you could build one from scratch. It all depends on how much time you have on your hands. What’s important is for the page to have an opt-in that’s enticing.
You can also use this opportunity for giveaways or to create a community of people that will still be motivated after the 30-day challenge, and would like to continue receiving self-care tips from you.
Now, how about you have your candidates take a picture of themselves before and after the challenge (of course with no makeup on)?
The top 3 winners of the challenge will get to receive a gift hamper with your products. You could even subject them to a vote where people will be voting for the candidates whose skin improved the most. This is a great idea as it will also encourage participants to share your post around, and that’s how you win as a marketer.
This is your time to harvest. What you’ve been doing is tilling the land, planting, and doing all that. Now, this is the time when you make good use of the opportunity that you created.
This is also the time when you want to capitalise on the power of an influencer. Make it appear like there’s a wave, and your company is all the craze, and that renowned celebrity figures in the industry are also jumping into the bandwagon.
Cash in on the fear-of-missing-out. Create a package that you’ll be offering to your influencer and which aligns with the interest of their audience.
Now to go back: how about you partner with an influencer and let them run the challenge and direct users to your landing page instead? It never gets more creative than this, guys.
Thank you for reading our guide on “how to market your health and beauty products in Singapore.” We hope that you found the post useful to even consider using it for your own marketing campaign or to even give it your own spin.
Want to help us influence other marketers in the country? Well, talk to our MediaOne team of marketers, and let’s reason out together. You can also talk to us about your marketing project and let’s help you make it successful. Enjoy!