“Innovation is an essential factor to stand out in the Health and Beauty sector”

The current scene in the retail sector reflects more competition between brands globally to face a common goal: create shopping experiences at their retail spaces.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6033″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” el_class=”s-padding-bottom”][vc_column_text el_class=”s-padding-bottom font-size-20″]In order to capture their target audience, companies try to stand out from the competition and attain differentiation. Innovation is the key to achieving this. We spoke with Patricia Rodríguez Mediano, HMY’s Global Key Account Director and expert in the Health and Beauty sector, about what’s going on with this industry in the world of retail.

Why do you think it’s important to create a unique and memorable shopping experience in the Health & Beauty sector?

Today, customers have access to a lot of information and competition between brands has intensified globally: diversification, not only of products and services, but also shopping experiences has become a common objective for brands and retailers.

When thinking about a retail space for any Health & Beauty brand, what key factors do you think one should take into consideration?

Innovation is an essential factor and, if the customer senses it, this can become a key element in differentiating from other retail spaces, by succeeding in creating a connection and a big interest to return to that space.

Innovation tends to go hand in hand with technology but also innovation can be added to the design of furniture, materials, sensory and olfactory elements, as well as how the product, services or processes (processes related to receiving samples, gifts for purchases, of payments, etc.) elevate the shopping experience.

What type of technological solutions do you think are most relevant to the Health & Beauty sector?

The majority of brands in the H&B sector are still reluctant to use technology in a major way due to uncertainty with respect to profitability or value added to the customer.

Digital signage and product advisors are the most common products for perfumes and department stores.

Cosmetic brands with more resources have invested in AR that maximizes the customer’s shopping experience, which allows you to test products virtually like in the case of makeup.

Other products like holograms, RFID, shelf signage, magic box, inventory control, etc. despite their presence at trade shows and their potential to be commercialized, they aren’t seen much at points of sale.

What Health & Beauty brands do you think are doing well in retail and can be considered an example to follow and why?

The common goal among H&B brands is to engage with more customers by opening new distribution channels: through e-commerce, perfumeries, department stores, pharmacies, convenience stores or other channels.

Brands that originally concentrated their distribution on one specific channel like their own boutique – Rituals, L’ Occitane, The Body Shop, etc. continue to diversify their presence in retail through SIS in domestic markets and Travel Retail.  At the same time, brands more focused on SIS have wanted to invest in creating their own retail space – NYX, Urban Decay, Clarins, etc. with the dual objective of opening new channels and having direct access to the customer, along with everything that involves (shopping experiences, data analysis, technology, etc.).

What’s going on with the Health & Beauty sector currently on a global level?

Customers are enjoying brand internationalization, not only broad brands but also niche ones too.  Access to new markets despite severe restrictions in certain countries, is easily attainable, even though it’s not as immediate as the physical type, but it’s possible thanks to e-commerce and new distribution channels.

In certain markets there is talk of brand saturation, but global outcomes show that it’s a growing, dynamic industry with great potential for big brands, as well as niche ones and even new brands, especially in the makeup category, where innovation and price are very important factors for customers.

What HMY projects would you like to highlight in the Health and Beauty sector?

2017 was the year HMY positioned itself in the industry, with key projects for NYX stores and Kiosks in Brazil and the international project, Colorist Studio, piloted in France.

At the end of 2018, we will have a considerable increase in sales thanks to the implementation of projects in the US, Latin America, and Europe.

But it won’t be until 2019 when we consolidate projects and we see the benefits of resources invested.

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