- by Luisa
If you find yourself at the last point of this list, then keep reading. In this post, I will show you how ridiculously easy is to start a cosmetic business online.
It doesn’t matter if you want an e-commerce to start a side business or if you already have a business and want to learn the proper way to sell your cosmetics online. Let’s see how to create and customize an online store.
First, I will tell you how to create your own e-store, then I will introduce you to same of the best web marketing techniques. In fact, having a store that doesn’t sell it’s totally pointless.
Before I start, let me point out that having a cosmetic business online, doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to sell products you manufactured in the first place. While 90% of the people try to create their own cosmetic line, you could be making money selling raw materials or re-selling other brands products.
Start a Cosmetic business online. Part 1.
How to set up an online store (no technical skills required)
What I love most about technology is its ability to simplify things and make them accessible. No need to hire a computer programmer to build a professional looking e-store. You can do it yourself with a few mouse clicks and a set monthly fee. No HTML nor technical skills required. Nada. You get all the befits without the hassle.
How can this be possible?
With SHOPIFY !
…The best hassle-free online store builder. It comes with awesome features:
- 3 different plans available. The cheapest is only $29.99/month. With these plans, your store will grow along with your business as you can easily upgrade plan to unlock new features.
- Shopify integrates with Facebook, Pinterest or your already existing blog giving you the chance of selling from these platforms, too.
- Mobile Friendly Design and over 100 professionally looking and stylish templates. Some templates are specially designed for selling cosmetics. Click Here for some examples. Templates are created by independent designers and can really make the difference.
- Hundreds of apps to add cool features to your e-store. These apps can make your job much easier when it comes to inventory, shipping, accounting, and marketing.
- 24/7 support. A dedicated team of experts can answer your questions and guide you through the whole process.
- Ability to accept different payment methods from credit cards to PayPal. The transactions are safe so your clients have their peace of mind.
These are just some of the amazing features Shopify offers you.
Sure, there are other options to start a cosmetic business online, yet in my opinion nothing beats Shopify!
You can get a 14 days free trial here and try it first hand.
It’s worth mentioning BIG COMMERCE , another e-commerce platform. The main difference with Shopify is that the add-on features are included in the monthly fee.
Big Commerce has been adding some modern and vibrant themes; however, Shopify still has a larger selection of themes, both free and paid.
Check these cosmetic-field-related success stories and let them inspire you.
Start a cosmetic business online. Part 2
Internet Marketing is the branch of marketing that uses the Internet as advertising channel. It has many different manifestations such as social media marketing, websites marketing, and email marketing.
Your company will never be successful without some effective internet marketing strategies.
- Competition is HUGE! To stand out, having a nice looking packaging and a great formula is not enough anymore.
- Advertising on the internet is, generally speaking, less expensive than doing it on magazines or TV. Therefore, everyone is doing it. If you don’t, a lot of potential customers will buy from competitors.
- Potential customers won’t find your store unless they’re taken there. For your brand will to reach its full potential, having good products to sell is not enough.
Now, imagine your product to be Bestsellers on Amazon, your website having 50,000 visitors a day, your Instagram and Facebook profiles with 1M followers…Don’t you agree this would help sales a lot? And this is only the beginning.
Now let’s see what makes the difference between an online store and one that makes tons of sales.
A BLOG.It makes easy to create a community of fans. Chances are people, before deciding to buy, are going to read your posts to get more information about you, your brand and how your products can help them solving a problem. If they like your content, most likely they will share it with other people that might be interested as well. By doing this, they will attract new potential customers to your website. Finally, they might decide to give it a shot and buy something.
Blog posts must be related to your customers’ niche.
Otherwise, they are useless.
For instance, you want to sell your anti-age lotions that contain XYZ as the active ingredient. Don’t write about lotions in general, yet be specific. A way of doing this could be to prepare a list of scientific papers that support XYZ’s efficacy and summarize them. Another idea could be to write a post about “The 10 best rated anti-age creams”. In this post, you should list the 10 products and then explain why your is different (=better).
In PubMed central, you can find lots of free full-text papers.
SEO (Search Engine optimization). Wikipedia defines SEO as ” the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results […] In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users, and these visitors can be converted into customers”.
Figuring in the first Google page for some keywords can boost your sales!
Let’s see a practical example. If you google “coffee body scrub”, Frank Body is the third result you are going to see (the first two are paid ads).
Frank Body is an Australian cosmetic company that after only 2 years has reached almost 20 million in revenues. Even if you don’t know them, chances are you’re going to land on their website whenever you look for “coffee body scrub”. Once there, you might buy something and become a loyal customer.
The purpose of this post is not to teach SEO, as I am struggling with it as well. You can learn more about SEO here or hire an expert just for your website. Shopify has something to teach about SEO, too. Check out this post.
Social Media Marketing. SEO works but takes months to see results. Social media are the fastest way to grow your brand’s popularity and increase your audience’s engagement.
Instagram has 400 million of monthly active users. It’s definitely worth your attention! Marketing wise, Instagram allows adding a link in the bio section. This link should point to the most relevant page of your website.
Here are some tips on when and how to publish your photos:
- Let people know you’re on Instagram.
- Publish at least 3 or 4 times/day.
- Create your brand’s hashtag and use it under each photo you publish. Besides your brand’s, use those # that are relevant to your niche, and 2/3 that are beauty related in general ( #beauty #cosmetics #manicure etc).For instance, if you sell nail polishes you could use the following as niche specific: #nails #instanails #ignails #nailart #nailstagram #nailartoohlala #nailartclub #nailpolish #nailpolishaddicted #craftyfingers #nails2inspire #nailartwow.
- Never buy followers! However, do use some kind of software that helps you growing your presence. An Instagram bot likes, follows, and even comments on your behalf. It’s a way to automate routine tasks.
- Create authentic and engaging content.
Facebook has roughly 1.86 billion active monthly users. Your FB page is a powerful promoting tool. The key here is to publish valuable content and show it to the right people. I’ve seen too many Facebook pages with zero valuable content and a lot of trashy sale offers. Don’t do the same mistake. Facebook is great for paid advertising, as it gives the freedom of choosing whom you show your ad to. It’s possible to select the audience based on education, salary, employment, hobbies, and lifestyles.
Twitter 310 million active monthly users. It’s is the social media for people looking for reliable information, yet is also a marketing tool. Twitter offers paid advertising to increase brand awareness.
Least but not last Pinterest with 100 million active monthly users. Pinterest is great for beauty products especially now that they added the sponsored (paid) Pins option. You can read this post by Neil Patel to learn more. Promoted Pins look like regular ones and they link directly to the sales page on your website.
E-mail marketing.It’s about building a list of email addresses of people somehow interested in your business. People will share their email address only if they benefit from doing it. This is why to build the list effectively, it’s important to offer something in return, for instance, a discount on the first order. Subscribers are like V.I.P clients. Offer them exclusive contents and additional perks. I try my best to do the same with this website. By the way, you can join my community by clicking
Why is e-mail marketing important? Because it’s traffic you own. Let’s say you are launching a new product; by simply sending an email to your list, you are able to transfer qualified traffic on your product’s page.
Affiliate Marketing. Imagine having a team of people promoting your products for you all over the internet. All you have to do in exchange is paying a commission every time they make a sale. Commissions range from 5 to 30%, it’s entirely up to you. Sounds great, right? All you need is being registered to an affiliate marketing network. There’s plenty out there. These network handles your payments so you don’t have to. Affiliates can promote your products through different means such as their website or paid advertising (Facebook, Google Adwords, Bing Ads and so on).
Paid advertising. The fastest way to grow your business, no doubt. If your budget allows it, I would definitely go this way.
With this advertising strategy, you pay for one of your ads to appear on Google’s (or Bing) first page. Actually, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The user gets redirected to a specific page you decide. If you have a blog, the user might go read some of your articles and leave his or her email address. Therefore, even without a purchase, you got something valuable. In fact, you’ll have acquired a lead that can be re-contacted through email. When you re-contact these people, make sure you offer a discount so they’ll be willing to buy.
You must select the keywords that will trigger your ad and bet on them. This means you are telling Google how much are you willing to pay for your ad to appear after a user typed a specific keyword (for example “how to get rid of acne”).
Paid advertising’s concepts must be completely mastered or you’ll end up paying a lot with nothing in return. f you’re new to this, I highly recommend to hire a professional able to handle this kind of campaigns.
Start a cosmetic business online. Part 3
This website runs on Shopify. It sells pigments and other raw materials for cosmetics. The website has a blog, a newsletter and a good presence on social media. They decided to publish their customers’ review on the homepage, which can help building trust.
The design is very simple, yet catchy.
What I really like about this howtomakecosmetics.com is the whole checkout experience that proceeds fast and smoothly. Also, I really appreciate the fact they send you an email as soon as your order is delivered.
What could be improved? The newsletter section is not evident until you checkout. It would be better to have a banner on the sidebar, instead.
RadhaBeauty.com RadhaBeauty is among those lucky top sellers on Amazon. Their website is a real marketing machine! There’s a blog with relevant niche contents, powerful headlines, and amazing videos to capture even “visual visitors”. The newsletter box is highlighted and emphasizes the concept of community (“Join Our community for video, discount codes and more”).
Furthermore, when you are about to exit the website, a form pops up and invites you to subscribe. This really helps, although some users might find it annoying.
Radha Beauty has an average presence on the social media with 16k followers on Instagram and 55,000 on Facebook.
This the coolest thing worth mentioning about their website (see photo).
The small window at the bottom is there to let you know someone just bought something. This, besides showing popularity, sets a sense of urgency, which eventually leads to a purchase.
https://jeffreestarcosmetics.com This website is a little bit different from the other as it’s way more visual. In fact, the home page has a powerful image and basically nothing more.
You won’t find any blog post, yet there’s an extensive selection of videos taken from Jeffree Star’s YouTube channel. The content of these videos is variegated; there are travels, make-up reviews, everyday scenes, and trade shows.This choice sounds perfect to me as long as there’s a charismatic character to build the website around (like Jeffree). If you’re not such person, then it’s very difficult someone will want to watch your videos. People care about what you do at home or on holiday only if they recognize you as a role model. You must have a powerful message to convey.
Jeffree Star’s online store runs thanks to Shopify pro.
I hope these examples will help you set the tone for your cosmetic online store.
Which marketing techniques do you use to promote your cosmetics? Share the knowledge 🙂