Yotpo + Nosto

Beauty is in the

Eye of the Buyer.

Introduction: The State of Health & Beauty Brands in 2018

In an industry as personal as Health & Beauty, online retailers are faced with the challenge of making sure everything from the texture to the scent of their products suits each customer’s unique needs.

Beauty shoppers swear by products for years and are deeply sensitive to quality, ingredients, color, and myriad other tiny details. Changes to cult products can mean the end of a loyal following or, if you’re lucky, the beginning of a beauty movement. Grown from these intensely engaged and invested customer communities, online forums where members experiment with and review all things beauty — like Skincare Addiction on Reddit, MakeUp Alley, beauty blogs, and youtube tutorial channels — are almost inescapable.

This phenomenon spread into the commerce sphere with the rise of brands like Glossier, whose core community of bloggers became their first and fiercest customers. Brands began relying on beauty influencers, micro-influencers, and regular customers to create content — photos, reviews, videos, and social posts — about their products. This content then reaches hyper-specific, high-intent shoppers who are actively hunting for their “holy grail” products.

In fact, Health & Beauty shoppers have a 3.8% conversion rate, second only to the Food & Beverage industry. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in the extra effort to push toward purchase.

The key to realizing purchase intent and building long-term relationships with your customers lies in personalizing your offerings and making it easy for your shoppers to find all the information they need  — be it reviews, customer photos, or even videos — to buy from your brand with confidence.  

The next step in capturing their intent is showing them all that customer content for the right products. The skin creams, perfumes, and hair products you sell are as varied as your customers. Adjusting on-and-off-site product recommendations to take user behavior into account is the best way to ensure that your shopper experience remains relevant and highly customized. This way, when a shopper receives a recommendation for body lotion complete with a 5-star rating, it’s also a lotion that they had previously shown interest in on your site, ensuring high purchase likelihood.

Creating these tailored, relevant shopper experiences with personalization and user-generated content will set your brand apart. In this eBook, you’ll find some of the strongest strategies you can use on site, post-purchase, and on social.

Yotpo + Nosto

Together, Nosto’s behavior-based recommendations and Yotpo’s comprehensive user-generated content platform allow eCommerce sites to increase customer trust and remove barriers to purchase, lifting conversion rates and average order value.

Chapter 1: Community Influence on Health & Beauty

The offline experience of working with a professional salesperson to find the perfect foundation for your skin tone or the best moisturizer for your skin type is replicated online with peer-to-peer customer feedback.

When shoppers can see what past buyers think about your products in reviews and see the results they have achieved in photos (looking at you, acne creams, self tanners, and miracle hair straighteners), they’re naturally more inclined to try them out. This type of user-generated content serves as a sort of recommendation from a friend. And, in an industry where people swear by the products their mother or best friend has used for years, you can’t underestimate the impact of those word-of-mouth recommendations.

Compared to the eCommerce industry at large, 6.6% more health & beauty shoppers interact with user-generated content on site.

And when shoppers see this personal, authentic content on site, CVR soars from the 3.8% industry average to 6.9%. On-site UGC translates into a 161% uplift in CVR for eCommerce in general, and up to 213% for health & beauty.

In addition to interacting with customer content more on site, health & beauty shoppers are also highly active within communities, and are more likely to submit feedback to help other customers. In fact, health & beauty shoppers submit more product selfies (than the Instagram-obsessed food and beverage shoppers!) — with 16% of products featuring customer photos (compared to 12%).

So how can you create post-purchase email marketing that gets a response?

A study of 3.5 million review request emails found the most effective ways to build an email that elicits customer response. Hint: beauty shoppers are most likely to respond to review request emails sent on Mondays at 6:00 p.m. and least likely to respond to those sent on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m.

But remember, just as Health & Beauty buying is very personal, so too are customer communications. Testing and tracking results is the only way to find out what will work best for your brand and improve systematically.

A study of customer reviews found that health & beauty reviews tend to focus on personal experiences and aim to aide other shoppers by describing how products feel and smell.

The most common words used in health & beauty customer reviews reflect that:

So, be sure to encourage reviews that will really help other shoppers make a purchase decision that’s right for them. By asking specific questions, you can help customers provide information that really matters.


Campus Protein uses detailed product information on their product page to drive their customers to checkout. Each supplement product page contains a description of what the product is, how it works, and how to consume the product for the best results. The description is followed by a table of nutritional facts, ratings and reviews from past customers, and tailored product recommendations based on customer browsing data.

Chapter 2: Social Proof, Personalization, and Product Discovery

With how much social proof matters to health & beauty shoppers in mind, how can you build the best on-site experience for both discovery and purchase? Your shoppers don’t always have particular items in mind. So, guiding their journey through your products in a relevant way makes all the difference when it comes to conversion.

The step-by-step guide for maximizing the potential with personalized product discovery:

  1. Recommend products backed by past buyers: Catch shopper attention on the homepage with recommended products. Include star ratings, adding social proof to the equation and showing browsers the many others who love these products. Products with an average of 4 stars get 11.6 times more orders than products with 3 stars, so showcase your top-rated products as “recommended” to increase chances of conversion.
  2. Use dynamic recommendations based on shopper past behavior: If a customer is interested in purchasing a particular facial cream, tailoring dynamic product recommendations to promote a number of related products — from similar facial creams to complementary products like face wash or a facial toner — will drive average order value up and increase revenue by 12% on average.
  3. Increase AOV by recommending the right products deep in the purchase funnel: Use the checkout page for an ideal opportunity to recommend cheaper products that can easily complement what your shoppers already have in their carts. For example, if your customer is interested in an eyeshadow palette, remind them to purchase a set of brushes to match.


NordicFeel focuses customer attention where it matters most by featuring recommended products and star ratings on category pages. For new shoppers, they can display best-sellers, and for returning visitors, a personalized selection of products based on items they have browsed in the past.

On NordicFeel’s product pages, customer reviews appear immediately underneath the product details. This gives shoppers the chance to read detailed opinions from past buyers to help them make purchase decisions.

Under the reviews, there is a second set of recommended products with the caption, “Others have bought.” This both gives shoppers additional purchase ideas and offers social validation by sharing which products are frequently purchased by other customers.

Leverage personalized recommendations in email

Whether you are sending new shoppers news of your latest product line or requesting reviews and photos post-purchase from long-time customers, emails are a great opportunity to make product recommendations. Use customer data to tailor recommendations for relevance (if you stick to what you know they like, the chance for clicks and conversion grows).

For customers with a high purchase intent, try displaying the products they most recently abandoned in their carts. In addition to choosing the right products per customer or per segment (depending on the data available to you), make sure to display testimonials and star ratings along with the products. This added touch creates social proof and adds credibility in what would otherwise be just another branded email. The extra effort to personalize and include UGC pays off, with nearly 30% of customers who click on promoted products going on to make another purchase.

Maximize opportunities to engage post purchase

Another way to continue boosting engagement past the point of purchase is by integrating your loyalty or rewards program with your overall UGC strategy.

  • Re-engage past buyers and offer them loyalty points for writing reviews, submitting customer photos, and sharing them on social. This way, they don’t just come back to buy more for the discount or the points, but they also develop a stronger bond with your brand. Fostering these relationships is critical, as return customers account for 1/3 of a store’s total income on average.
  • Personalize product recommendations: When offering rewards, try suggesting products that match your customers’ browsing history, so they get excited about writing a review, earning the points, and coming back to purchase a product they’ve had their eye on for a while.
  • Show them products that are complementary to what they just bought. If you’re asking for a review on a great mascara, show them eyeshadow and eyeliner options along with the rewards points so they can complete their look.

Expert Tip: Experiment with different formats to find out what your customers respond to better.

  • Display one recommended product per category (i.e. skincare, bath products, makeup)
  • Choose only recently viewed products
  • Show just the star ratings for each product
  • Ask your design team to stylize a sentence from a top review for each product to add a graphic element
  • Include the first name and last initial of the reviewers for each product featured to increase trust

Chapter 3: Conversational Commerce: How to Master Customer Intimacy on Facebook Messenger

More eCommerce businesses are expanding their customer communication toolkit to include Facebook Messenger bots and other instant messaging channels. Messenger is a uniquely personal channel, which means that when shoppers receive a message, they’re more likely to open it. It’s not unheard of to reach open rates of more than 80% with FB Messenger campaigns.

The flipside to having this direct line to your shoppers is that the stakes are higher: what the average consumer may tolerate by email is likely to feel invasive or irrelevant on such an intimate channel.

So, how can you make sure that you’re reaching shoppers the right way?

  • Get in touch only when you have something hyper-relevant and valuable to share. For example, if a new customer just made a purchase, use Messenger to update them on shipping status, rather than trying to show them another product right away. This way, you immediately offer value and establish trust in a budding customer relationship. After they’ve received the product and had a chance to use it, you can ask how they like it and collect ratings and reviews.
  • Be sure to tailor your messages and product recommendations to suit customer lifecycle events.  Did they make a first purchase from your brand? Have they purchased an item for the second or third time? Has it been a long time since they’ve restocked on an old favorite? These are opportunities to reach out with information that can improve their shopping experience.
  • Since beauty products are often repeat purchases (especially when customers find their staple items), down the line, Messenger is a great place to suggest a refill of a product that a customer has already bought. And if they don’t want to order again, you can suggest alternatives based on their feedback. This keeps the conversation client-led, personalized, and focused exclusively on customer needs.


Sephora has seen tremendous success over the last year with two beauty bots — one for appointment reservations and a virtual makeup artist to help shoppers match makeup shades. Shoppers love these bots because they are designed to provide value, service, and relevant information.


Chapter 4: Stand Out on Social

With companies pushing beauty content by the masses — from video tutorials to influencer content — cutting through the noise has become more crucial than ever.

Some 55% of beauty shoppers go on Facebook and Instagram for makeup and skincare inspiration, and 30% go on Facebook to share beauty info. This means that these channels are the ideal place to form a community among your customers and brand fans, so they’ll continue to seek out your pages when they’re looking for beauty information.

So how do you cut through that noise?

Use customer reviews & photos in ads: Not only does this create social proof and inspire trust, but it also allows you to scale ad creative without wasting resources. Brands that use this strategy have seen up to 62% higher return on ad spend, 2X the click-through rate, and 38% decrease in cost per acquisition on Facebook Dynamic Product Ads.

Build authentic, relevant customer communities: Add to the community conversations customers are already having by sharing reviews and photos from real shoppers on your brand pages. This creates a forum where shoppers can come to get authentic feedback from other beauty fans, rather than just branded content, making your social account a destination for pre-purchase research.


Green People shares their best product reviews on social, and use the caption to encourage engagement. This allows browsers just getting to know the brand to discover new products and it helps returning shoppers learn about products they haven’t yet tried.

Leverage data about your current customer base to build smart ad targeting for reaching potential customers: Here’s an overview of the types of ad audiences you can build and how to best build them.

Leverage inspirational content in your ads to stop a scroller in their tracks: Facebook Collection Ads are a great way to create a browsing experience that combines aspirational content with a clear call to purchase. Pair a strong, eye-catching visual with a series of relevant product recommendations.

Target your current customers: Existing customers are not usually a starting point retailers consider when targeting consumers – but they’re a foundational building block for conversions.

According to Nosto data, customers who re-visit a site have conversion rates of up to 10-12%.


The beauty industry has tremendous eCommerce potential, but because it so personal and customer-specific, brands need to do everything they can to ensure shoppers have the information they need to feel comfortable buying online.

Treat your site, email marketing, shopping bots, and social pages as opportunities to offer personalized recommendations, to share customer content and to start a conversation around your brand and products. Immerse shoppers in an environment where they are empowered to buy the best products for themselves, based on the feedback from your happiest customers.

What is Nosto?

Nosto enables online retailers to deliver their customers personalized shopping experiences at every touch point, across every device.

A powerful personalization platform designed for ease of use, Nosto empowers retailers to build, launch and optimize 1:1 multichannel marketing campaigns without the need for dedicated IT resources.

Leading retail brands in over 100 countries use Nosto to grow their business and delight their customers. Nosto supports its retailers from its offices in Helsinki, Berlin, Stockholm, London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

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What is Yotpo?

Yotpo helps brands collect and leverage reviews and photos throughout the buyer journey to increase trust, social proof, and sales.