Skincity grow their ecommerce business through immersive digital customer experiences
Although online shopping is constantly increasing, parting with your money for “non-essential” items still proves tricky. So, just how do you convince a target audience to confidently buy online when they are used to physically trying an item ahead of purchase? Here, I explore what Skincity’s launch on Episerver's Digital Experience Platform means for them, their customers, and what other ambitious retailers can learn from them.
An online skincare therapy
Skincity is one of the most recognizable beauty logos in Northern Europe. The professional skincare brand’s digital ethos lies testament to how progressive retailers are shifting. Since the launch in September it is also a member of Episerver’s digital ecosystem.
Elina Dettner, Skincity’s charismatic and highly experienced CTO, shares how the beauty brand is consistently adapting to shifts in consumer behavior following COVID-19. Elina tells us, “We have seen a different kind of behavior when it comes to people using our services. Beforehand it was in the evenings. Now, people are using our services all day long, during lunch, and so on”.
Elina Dettner, CTO, Skincity
Looking great is not top of people’s essentials list
Retailers need to compete digitally, but this does not mean abandoning physical experiences and starting over. According to Elina, it is about “explaining your concept depending on your market”. By creating a compelling brand story through your digital estate, that ultimately reflects a target audience, your products have a better chance of being trusted.
Elina comments, “For us, it's very important each person understands what he or she is buying, and also how to combine the product. With doing this, we think about building a site that proves us as the ‘trusted advisors’, that we are, in the skincare area.”
Adopting the language of your audience
Creating an online space that is visually engaging and rich with product information is paramount for retailers. Skincity has gone the extra mile with this formula, expanding with a multisite approach – the ability to deliver multiple experiences across sites – to further leverage its brand. This customer-centric strategy has led to a 27% increase in page views, 15% lower bounce rate and 7.5% increase in conversion rates.
Elina tells me, “We are also using blogs, we are using Instagram, we are using all these different social media to give a buzz and send out the word to this market”. This tactic speaks directly to their socially savvy audience, especially across mobile.
Empowering consumers with confidence that their purchase will meet expectations
Seeing is believing. However, without having a Skincity product in hand to get up close and personal with, how do you sway browsers that your product is right for them. Elina tells me it is about setting up a digital infrastructure that empowers each and every consumer.
Elina shares, “Being able to provide local payments and local freight options so that the consumer in the local market could feel that even though we are shipping it from Täby (Sweden) or the UK, they can still feel that this is a local buy, we're buying it from within our market”. Additionally, to provide further purchase confidence, Skincity has implemented an easy returns policy. “We are very open when it comes to returns. We have a very low return rate, but we practically accept every kind of return. You could have used all of the product and we still return it, if you feel that it didn't work for you”, Elina shares. This candid, and impressive detail Skincity employ, bridges the gap between dithering consumer and assured buyer. The new website, built on Episerver Commerce Cloud, reveals ample insight, on any given product item, so browsers are installed with certainty.
It’s the final touches that convince your audience
What reinforces buyers to shop with you repeatedly? By blending both digital and physical aspects into a unified journey, Skincity is heightening buyer perceptions. Elina explains, “We're trying to give the customer a very nice feeling, both when she or he enters our website, but also through all the journey until they get their package. So, the packaging experience is also something we have been working on since the beginning”.
Episerver is helping to provide agility and balance to Skincity’s operations. Elina shares, “We wanted something we could divide between the front store and the backend. That way, we could work more on the user experience and the site itself and not be as dependent on the backend.”
Partner ecosystem and collaboration
You have to make sure that what you're paying for really converts into a compelling customer experience. That's why Skincity worked alongside Episerver partner, Avensia. Skincity knew it is imperative to have a technology partner that, as Elina comments, ''You can grow on and have a long-term relationship with. Someone that you can rely on.'' Bridging the gap between technology and strategy, Avensia is using their interior knowledge of Episerver to evolve the best-in-class digital framework for Skincity.
Great customer experiences based on customer data
Skincity will continue to monitor customer engagement to identify behavioral patterns. I asked what metrics will be of most interest. Elina tells me, “In the short-term, the conversion rate. We want to increase the conversion, both on desktop and on the mobile, since we did see a lot of traffic coming from the mobile. But the most important thing for us, which is both a short-term and long-term one is of course the loyalty. And this works both ways, the loyalty from the customers to us, but also from us to the customers. We want to keep on giving them these services, so they come back to us and that's the important part”.
This is all but a snippet of the rich insights Elina shared with us at Episerver. What strikes me most is Skincity’s honest dedication to the customer experience that will undoubtedly grow. Skincity has taught me the balance between building customer trust and tempting them with an indulgent experience built on top of a robust, data-driven platform. This formula builds customer loyalty, and I can’t wait to see the results further down the line.