3 Ways to Educate Your Customers in the Growing Phygital Space

January 30, 2023

Access to beauty education is difficult. The responsibility seems to fall on consumers to figure it out or “google” their way to the answers they seek. It’s overwhelming, wastes time, and who knows if the source of information they find is fact-based. We see a large opportunity for brands to embed education and transparency into the customer experience across all of their channels, most recently in the phygital space (where physical meets digital). 

So, what is transparency? And how are other brands taking customers on the journey online?  Here are 3 ways that we’ve seen deliver ROI. 

1. Leveraging technology to answer questions in real-time.

According to Statista, 62% of customers seek information about a product's ingredients when shopping.  We’ve seen brands and retailers like Credo Beauty, the Allure Store in NYC, and rhode by Hailey Bieber implement technology like Clickable Ingredients™ from ClearForMe as the first step in delivering this need to their customers. 

What are Clickable Ingredients™? They’re simple, 1-2 sentence long, fact based definitions for every ingredient that live directly on your product pages. Now, you must be wondering, how do they actually solve the problem in stores and what is the ROI? Let’s dive in.

Clickable Ingredients™ help store associates effectively answer customers’ ingredient questions in real time.

Outstanding customer service experiences while shopping are not only favorable, they're memorable. Who doesn't feel valued when a store associate looks up from their current customer to let you know they'll be right with you? Acknowledgement and response time matter. Especially in 2023.

With the amount of AI generated responses and chat bots, it’s growing increasingly difficult to get your specific questions quickly answered. Does this exchange look familiar?

Customer: "Hi! Are your products vegan?"

Support team:Our customer service hours are 9am-5pm M-F. Can I help you with anything else today?”

It’s frustrating. And above all, your question still isn’t answered. 

After speaking with some of the customer service associates at Credo Beauty’s Boston location, they shared how vital the Clickable Ingredients™ tool has become in their day to day operations. Ron Olsen, who first opened Credo’s Newbury Street location, shared that “individuals come in oftentimes with clear feelings or awareness of how they feel about specific ingredients. I use Clickable Ingredient definitions to show the role of the ingredient in the product and how it does not have to be an ingredient that is exclusively ‘this’ or ‘that’.” 

Getting your customers’ questions answered quickly, in real time, is proven to impact your bottom line. In a recent case study with Credo Beauty, we saw Clickable Ingredients help improve conversion by 71%, and increase Average Order Values by 7.6%.

2. Build trust with your customers by providing education and transparency

If you’re like most beauty brands juggling between budget and what cool innovation customers’ are asking for now, you’re probably trying to find the delicate balance between short term sales and long term community building.

The sweet spot between the two is trust.

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report revealed that trust is the new brand equity, with 68% of consumers saying it is more important for them to be able to trust all the brands they buy from today than in the past. By contrast, 40% said there are brands they love but no longer buy because they do not trust the company that owns the brand.

Think about it. How many times have you walked away without making a purchase because you “just didn’t trust” what was being sold, or who was selling it? 

In contrast, have you ever felt especially connected to a company or sales associate that radiated authenticity? You can’t help but lean in, right? 

And just like that, you’re a lifelong customer. 

In 2022, Doers of London took transparency to a new level, by integrating a QR code onto all of their new product packaging that brings customers directly to their Clickable Ingredients™, bridging the gap between ingredient access in person and online.

Giangiacomo Postir, director of product at Doers of London, told Beauty Independent,

“In the cluttered marketplace of clean skincare, making better products is not enough. Greenwashing and false claims in the skincare industry are a common phenomenon, and we feel transparency is the one thing that matters the most to customers and can help set brands apart.”

By providing quick access to science-backed data, customers no longer have to glaze over ingredient lists while shopping in store. In a matter of seconds, the packaging comes to life, delivering trusted information while shopping.

3. Personalize the shopping experience to fit your customers’ needs 

According to a recent study by Accenture, 91% of consumers prefer to shop with brands that provide a personalized experience.

In the beauty industry, there are many different preferences and needs that affect a customer’s purchasing decision. The customer journey usually starts with a skin concern such as, “I need a product to address red and inflamed skin.” 

So, now what?

Ingredients like fermented arnica would be a great solution for this customer. The challenge is how to find products that contain that ingredient, especially when ingredient lists aren’t easily searchable. 

To help create a more personalized experience for shoppers, Credo Beauty implemented ClearForMe’s Product Finder, a tool which offers a personalized experience for consumers both online and in store. It allows you to simply choose product criteria, what attributes and/or ingredients you want or don’t want, and within seconds be provided with an array of product options that meet these needs.  For example, “I am looking for a serum that’s gluten free with Vitamin C and aloe vera, but it cannot have coconut oil”).

Annie Jackson, Co-founder and COO of Credo said this about the Product Finder,

“It’s life changing, and my merchant and customer service teams love it.”

We’ve seen brands and retailers who leverage technology to answer customers' questions, focus on building trust through transparency, and delivering a personalized shopping experience continue to distinguish themselves from the rest.  These 3 concepts drastically improve consumers’ shopping experience in the phygital space, increasing confidence and ultimately conversion.

Your Next Steps

Interested in implementing Clickable Ingredients™ for your beauty brand?
Setting up is simple. If you’re running on Shopify, simply add ClearForMe’s copy and paste code to your website. Alternatively, our team can set up the integration directly with your in-house web development team. Get in touch with our team here to start the process.

Already using Clickable Ingredients™?
You can easily add on complementary features, like our Ingredient Glossary, which functions as a holistic dictionary of your brand’s ingredient definitions, or Cross-Sell, which recommends related products to your customers when they view an ingredient’s full details. Contact our team here to learn more.


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