Are Beauty Retailers creating experiences in their concepts? Experiential Retail

How experiential retail is changing the customer experience?

Millennials are no longer driven by product benefits and brands. they need experiences.

Covid19 has accelerated this change in customer’s preferences even more & has put Beauty retailing into various challenges.

Few of them are:

  • Non-usage of testers as precautionary measures by cosmetics brands
  • Low sales turnout especially if you are a physical brick & mortar retailer.
  • Growth of digital avenues but online sales are not enough to sustain the overheads of entire retail concepts.
  • Despite rent reliefs from the malls, the low sales traction is not enough to meet P&L objectives.
  • Retailers are pushed for short term liquidation strategy. (sales & discounting)
  • Pricing or COGS (cost of goods sold) is unstable to sustain Brick & mortar concepts.

An overall decline in the category but there are few categories which have shown growth in term of Eyeliners, compacts (daily usage for work from home women) and skincare.


Today’s beauty industry is different from 10 years ago.

beauty retail

Earlier, retailers used to focus on color pallets based on the target customer’s skin tone, used to order quantities from the manufacturers based on the number of stores (footprints of the brand).

Retailers used to push the products with some “How to use” videos and train their front liners and the product used to fly off from the shelves with little advertising.

Today, Instead of traditional advertising, beauty and cosmetics brands are largely digitally-focused, using social channels (and influencers) to reach and engage users.


Learn how technology is driving growth in beauty retail, click here.


How to drive scalability in the current scenario? Can experiential retail redefine traditional retailing?

Experiential retail is the answer.

Millennials are no longer enticed just by good product, but they prefer to accumulate experiences from either using your products or by experiencing the product benefits and the positive affirmations which they can share on their social handles i.e. creating shareable moments.

Are you creating shareable moments in your beauty stores?

With 100 percent confidence, I can say that none of the beauty retailers are doing so. (Barring a few).

Today, Beauty retail has evolved from Departmental (multi-brand stores) to mono-brand (standalone stores) to specialized experiential stores to specialized eCommerce stores.

Experiential retail is also another big source of investment, with campaigns allowing beauty brands and retailers to tap into the changing behaviors and interests of consumers.


Are you ready to embrace a new trend- Experiential Retail?


“Customer loyalty is a myth.”

If you as a beauty retailer is having a strategy based on increasing your customer loyalty then you are going to burn much of your cash resources.

With an increasing number of direct-to-consumer brands entering the beauty market, the fight for the consumer’s attention is now fiercer than ever.

Alongside this, today’s customer is overwhelmed with options, and that their loyalty is easily lost.


Reach out to your customers wherever they are on any of the platforms.

The customer can be online, on market place websites as well as on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

You as a retail brand need to be more visible than ever before.

TOP OF MIND approach is more and more relevant today.

Case study: Boots

Objective– Reposition Boots as a big player in the beauty retail space


Boots partnered with Glamour Magazine on the ‘Glamour Beauty Festival’ – a live event giving visitors the chance to discover some of the new brands set to launch in Boots’ stores.

With interactive services such as skincare consultations and foundation matching, the event allowed both Boots and partnering brands to capture the interest of consumers at the same time the products became available to buy.

Watch video of last year’s Glamour beauty festival and how brands used it effectively to their advantages.

YouTube video


One of the international brand Charlotte tilbury’s (partnered with local regional retail powerhouse) did an activation in one of the leading malls in the UAE which saw a plethora of media, beauty fashionistas & influencers turning for the experiential event.

See the pics here.

experiential beauty retail      experiential retail


Retail is not dying, Bad Retail is certainly dying.

Post covid19, as more of the stores open up for trading, there is a huge pressure on the frontliners to push for the sales, merchandising to ensure that the display and mini tester units are available, use & throw kind of testers, store operations to ensure that they maintain safety standards while welcoming their customers.

Basically, all the departments of the store are under pressure.


Learn how you can reach millions of people with just one phone ‘missed call’, click here


Stress is good: create experiential retail


Today’s customers want “shareable moments”.

Brands like Lululemon, are intended to build a community around the brand through activities like workout classes, group meditations, and scheduled events and invite their customers to engage with the brand using activities instore.

Buy Online & Pick up instore more relevant than ever.

Beauty retailers who have their own e-commerce sites must try to drive traffic from their sites to their stores.

Encouraging returns through stores or even making your stores as fulfillment hubs.

Watch my webinar which I presented to over 75 retail professionals on how they can thrive during covid19.

YouTube video


Using in-house influencers – your biggest influencers or ambassadors are your front liners.

Case study – Lin Qingxuan

During the covid19 outbreak, this Chinese beauty retailer was forced to close down 40% of its stores in Wuhan (where the virus started).

The company immediately pivoted using its sales team to interact with the customers on WeChat and encouraged their team members to become influencers for the brand.

By posting educational makeup videos on product usage, unpacking their gift sets, etc.


Despite lockdown, the brand was able to garner a 200% growth in its sales.


Do you as a beauty retailer innovate to sell?

Majority of the Middle Eastern retailers are having a mindset of Traders and not of a Retailer.

Historically, the Middle East region was evolved from a trading hub to a Retail hub. That’s the history of retail evolution in the region.

Innovation to most of the retailers means product development, packaging, or product usage only.

“Innovation can be deployed even in selling.”

Learn how Men’s grooming market is adding a new dimension, click here.

If any of my retail fraternity members, want to share their experiences with me or need my input towards their recovery plans, then they can reach me on


About the author:

Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion, and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. He has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region. Ritesh specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Brand Management, Retail Operations, Sales Management and Franchising & Business Management. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.

Ritesh can also be followed on Instagram as @mohanritesh & on Youtube as @riteshmohan