There’s no denying that, for many beauty brands, Q4 is the most lucrative time of the year. From the start of October to the end of December, a focus on festive gifting prompts game-changing sales figures. According to NPD, 40% of annual fragrance sales take place in Q4 alone. Meanwhile, overall UK beauty sales saw a 46% year-on-year increase in the week before Christmas 2021.
For this reason, some data-savvy beauty brands have been kicking off their Q4 planning as early as January, gathering insights from the previous year to inform their future strategies. But just because it’s June doesn’t mean it’s too late – or too early – to review your own Q4 plans. Here are seven tactics you can use right now to optimise your festive period approach…
1. Plan your advent calendar strategy
Your beauty advent calendar strategy has some strong competition, with more and more brands embracing the trend, whether on their own or as part of a retail partnership. To make yours a success, it’s important to think carefully about price point, launch period, and a unique selling point that will make it all the more covetable. Delving into competitors’ pricing and media data is key to making fact-based decisions, as is gathering insights on the designs and messaging brands have previously used. Take a look at the top 5 beauty advent calendars to inspire this year’s offering, complete with tips on improving your upcoming launch strategy.
2. Consider the cost of living crisis
It’s likely that the cost of living crisis is going to have a big impact on Q4 revenue. In fact, you may already be noticing changes in consumer behaviour reflected in your sales. Consider this when executing pricing strategies and media messaging. Copy that focuses on offers across owned, earned and paid media may perform better, so it’s important to start gathering data to see what resonates. If you’re running a direct-to-consumer site, you have greater control over the promotions you release, presenting an opportunity to start A/B/C testing percentage discounts against gifts with purchase or 3 for 2 offers.
3. Optimise your co-op advertising spend
Not all co-op advertising spaces produce the same results, and the most impactful spot isn’t always the most obvious. That’s why share of voice (SOV) data is key. With the right tool, you can find out which placements on an etail site have performed the best and proved the most visible in the past, then negotiate your co-op campaigns accordingly. You can also track which spaces are regularly booked by your competitors to understand what strategies have worked for them over past Q4 periods. To find out more, read our complete guide on how to optimise your co-op advertising ROI.
4. Negotiate promotions with retailers
Start conversations about retailer pricing and promotions early on, so you can negotiate an agreement that works for both sides. Then, ensure you have an automated data collection tool in place, so you can check that offers have been executed as expected and agreed.
5. Improve your online product pages
While footfall is improving in stores, many customers will still be turning to online retailers to research or purchase beauty products around Christmas time. As such, it’s important to optimise product pages in advance of the festive period, so shoppers can quickly and easily make informed buying decisions. Content should negate the need for testers, providing information on texture, fragrance, results, and how to use the serums or eyeshadows they’re clicking on. Include at least three images, clear bullet points in the product description and, if possible, a video that really brings the product to life.
6. Protect your revenue and brand equity
Start getting on top of unauthorised sellers with a tool like marketPROTECT. Such a platform allows you to identify and control stock levels on third-party marketplaces, like Amazon. This is crucial not just for understanding and protecting your sales revenue, but also for safeguarding your brand equity, which can be impacted by another seller’s poor customer service. Taking steps to fix these problems now will set you up for success come Q4, and allow you to focus that time on other purchase-boosting activities.
Up next: Now is also a great time to level up your TikTok strategy. Get inspired by the best skincare brands on TikTok right now.