Too Faced wants to cut through the noise of online shopping during the holiday season by offering a two-way conversation between shoppers and members of its marketing team. Although the concept of SMS concierge service isn’t new, the company said this would help it stand out among other cosmetic brands as the busiest shopping season of the year rolls in.
One-on-one concierge services have been a staple at retail stores for years as a way for brands to cultivate a stronger relationships with their customers. But due to the pandemic, retailers began trying to figure out ways to offer this type of customer service experience remotely. For example, luxury fashion retail platform FarFetch launched a mobile-based concierge service for all private clients in October to help them find unique items. Meanwhile, department store chain Neiman Marcus developed a digital hub back in 2020 that would allow stylists to offer people an in-store-like shopping experience online.
Although some shoppers have returned to stores to buy makeup, e-commerce sales in the beauty category this year are still expected to grow to $18.60 billion from $9.21 billion in 2019, according to recent data from Insider Intelligence.
Somer Tejwani, SVP of Global Marketing at Too Faced, spoke to Modern Retail about how the company plans to execute its SMS concierge service and how it fits into the company’s growth plan. The interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Why did Too Faced choose this method to interact with shoppers during this time of the year?
We came up with this idea because we really wanted to connect with consumers in a totally new way during the holidays. [For] many brands, text messaging or SMS marketing has been a really big part of their strategies over the years.
But how this is different is that we are doing this via Community, which offers SMS messaging in a one-to-one relationship. So I can actually text message a consumer and they can text me back.
We know during the holidays, it is such a crazy time. People have to shop for so many people, they are going out to holiday parties, they’re looking for new makeup tips and tricks [and] they are looking for ways to stretch their budgets. So what we thought is [to] use this service, This Community service to build this holiday concierge program.
What does Too Faced hope to achieve by offering a “Pink Glove Service” this Holiday?
It’s about building more of a community with our consumers and Too Faced has always been a brand that’s based on connecting with fans in a meaningful way. In the past, pre-Covid, that was done with all these in-person experiences and through social media.
We love those [experiences]… but on social media, you don’t really own the relationship with the consumer. You’re limited, in many cases, by the algorithm. Once a consumer opts in to be a part of the program, we’re really able to connect with them on a one-on-one [basis], on their terms and on our terms. When we have a meaningful message to say, we’re able to get it to them and it’s up to us to make sure they want to hear it and they don’t opt out.
How does this fit within the brand’s overall strategy?
I think one of the most important things to Too Faced as a brand and what sets us apart from other amazing beauty brands out there is Too Faced is always seen as the best friend for consumers… that’s what the brand was built on over 25 years ago.
It just really fits into what we as a brand stand for, which is building connections with consumers and taking the mystery out of makeup.
If there is any incredible insight to have come out of this, then I think as a brand, we’ll be able to pivot.
What other initiatives have Too Faced done in the past that reflect its desire to engage shoppers?
We did a program with BoxyCharm with NFC tags… but basically, the gist of it is you could get our Lip Injection Maximum Plump and you were able to actually scan it into your phone and then [you’ll see] all these incredible information on it like tips and tricks, how-tos, product info.
In terms of TikTok, we’re one of the very, very few brands that have reached the 1 million milestone, and among any beauty brand that I’ve seen so far, we’ve had the most brand views [of videos].
Using TikTok is probably really key to our success — and we’re one of the leaders on TikTok shopping, which is an incredible opportunity also to engage with people because we’re having that real-time feedback.