“The new autocomplete experience we have is actually driving our search conversion rates up steadily. Now, when someone searches for something like ‘sunburn’ they can instantly filter down to find the products that matter to them!”
Managing Director at EDCskincare
The mission of EDCskincare and its founders was simple, offer skincare and cosmetics products that cater to the personal needs of each and every customer.
Regardless of skin tone, type, or concern, everyone can find products and makeup that make them feel confident and comfortable.
This mission is both bold and simple, but difficult to achieve in today’s ecommerce landscape.
THE AMAZON PROBLEM
Like many other industries, the skincare and cosmetics vertical is being challenged by Amazon themselves and the multitude of third party sellers. It should go without saying that Amazon and others like them are making it difficult for brands like EDCskincare to keep customers coming back.
“It’s not uncommon for some brands’ products to be offered by third-party sellers at heavily discounted prices through channels like Amazon and Wal-Mart.
Many of these sellers are unauthorized, and as such the manufacturer does not know where they are getting their products and are usually unable to enforce their specific pricing policy.
So many of the authorized sellers are finding it harder and harder to be competitive. Shoppers today will do their research and find the lowest price possible, and Amazon is one of the first places they look.”
– Duke Tung / Managing Director
THE POWER OF PARTNERS
Many of EDCskincare’s vendors are now beginning to work with Amazon and joining the Amazon Luxury Beauty Platform.
Once on the platform, no more third party sellers can list the brand’s products unless they go through a formal approval process.
This then allows the brand to easily monitor and regulate pricing. EDC is working very closely with many of their vendors to get approved to sell on the platform.
This levels the playing field, and allows EDC to differentiate themselves by offering additional gifts with purchase, product recommendations, and excellent customer service.
A BETTER EXPERIENCE
“When someone finds a skin care product that fits their very unique needs and makes them feel confident, they are going to continue using that product for as long as it works.
So when they come back to our site to find that product, it’s very important that they can find it quickly. If they can’t find it right away, they’ll usually leave the site and look somewhere else” continued Duke.
To prevent this from happening, EDC partnered with SearchSpring to bring advanced ecommerce search to the site in the beginning of 2015, and have seen tremendous success with search visitors since then.
While nearly 90% of visitors prefer to navigate using EDC’s header menus, the remaining 10% of visitors who choose to search are driving 42% of EDC’s monthly revenue. Most searches are for specific brands and products that customers have already used or researched.
While EDC’s business is growing steadily, challenges likely still lie ahead in the fight against Amazon.
“The best scenario for us is to partner with brands that are already working with Amazon, or will be in the near future” said Duke.
Natural User Experiences
But exposing those brands to shoppers means answering some complex questions onsite. When a shopper is looking for a product to solve their unique skin care need, they need to be able to find it with ease.
The two most common ways shoppers find these products are through complex natural-language searches, or through sidebar filtering.
Handling of natural-language search is typically far below shopper expectations on ecommerce websites. A search for a certain brand name combined with a symptom and a description of an allergy will often result in a “no results” page, or a page filled with irrelevant products. SearchSpring has built custom algorithms that understand beauty and skin care searches and bring the right products to the top of search results.
To be able to handle complicated product filtering, SearchSpring has a layer that reads product data to build a true understanding of what a product is, who it is for, and what problems it solves. Filters are generated automatically based on the shopper’s query, preventing filters that aren’t useful or relevant from appearing at all.
Skin Care Concierge
This intelligence and user experience helps shoppers find new products and brands that solve their unique set of problems without making them dig. Combining supply chain efforts with the onsite experience helps to expose new brands that aren’t offered at a lower price elsewhere, and can help independent retailers like EDCskincare thrive and grow.
Huge platforms like Wal-Mart and Amazon simply can’t be experts in every industry. In reality, independent retailers from many industries are beginning to make a comeback by filling these gaps and serving in advisory roles, helping to educate the customer about products and services they’re unfamiliar with.
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