Receive the latest articles for free. Click here to get the Luxury Daily newsletters.
  • Email
  • Print
  • Reprints


Saks downsizes beauty tutorials via Vine to attract busy consumers

February 24, 2014


U.S. retailer Saks Fifth Avenue is focusing on the products offered by its beauty department with Vine videos that recreate an in-store tutorial in six-seconds.

Saks’ #SaksIn6 is accessible across all of the retailer’s social channel to ensure maximum exposure for the featured products. Although six seconds is a short time frame, consumers will likely appreciate that the video do not disrupt their day but still provide ample time to learn about a beauty product.

"I do not think that six seconds is too short," said Raquel V. Cadourcy, vice president of business development and strategic accounts at HelloWorld, New York. "Consumers want to be engaged with brands in bite-size, digestible pieces.

"Something quick and powerful like these tutorials keeps the consumer engaged and hungry for more increasing their likelihood of viewing other demos," she said. "These demos will help to drive brand engagement and ultimately increase brand trial.

"To take it a step further, Saks should consider asking consumers to upload their own product demo videos for a chance to win a prize.  They should also consider providing samples to the consumers for demo purposes."

Ms. Cadourcy is not affiliated with Saks, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Saks was unable to comment before press deadline.

Quick fix
The retailer introduced its #SaksIn6 initiative on Feb. 18. The starting Vine was posted on Saks’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to increase the amount of consumer views.

In the first post, Saks explains that it will be featuring its favorite beauty products and showing the techniques to use the items, all in six seconds. As mobile consumers frequently look for quick solutions to shopping, such as click and collect and two-click purchases, this mini beauty tutorial will likely be appealing to individuals short on time.

Saks’ first #SaksIn6 features various products ranging from skincare, cosmetics and fragrance. Touting various aspects of its beauty department will give a glimpse into Saks’ larger offerings and possibly drive commerce.

#SaksIn6 introductory vine In the first tutorialized Vine posted to Saks’ social media accounts, the retailer showed how La Prairie's Cellular Ice Crystal Oil and Ice Crystal Cream is used.

In the six-second span, the viewer watches as a dollop of Ice Crystal Cream is placed in a woman’s palm, next the oil is mixed in and blended before being applied to the skin. Showing how these products are beneficial when used together can help consumers make informed decisions.

La Prairie #SaksIn6 vine

As of press time, the retailer had also uploaded a #SaksIn6 featuring Lancôme's Absolue L'Extrait Eye Contour Cream. Similarly to the La Prairie post, the Lancôme Vine shows how to correctly apply the eye cream.

On Facebook, Saks included a link to its Web site where consumers can learn more about Lancôme’s product and purchase the eye cream for $260. Adding in a link increases and extends engagement by holding the consumers’ attention beyond the initial six-second video.

Saks' Lancôme #SaksIn6, Facebook post 

Vines to come include lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, powder, fragrance and additional skincare products carried by Saks’ beauty department. To generate consumer conversation, the retailer accompanies its posts with the branded hashtag #SaksIn6.

Getting to the point
In a retail climate where the consumer has less time and wants quick gratification, marketers must devise accommodating tactics.

For example, U.S. department store chain Barneys New York took its gift guide into Tumblr territory with a series of Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF, animations featuring holiday products.

The “GIF Guide” shows items moving in whimsical ways, and was published on both the store’s blog “The Window” and its Tumblr. Using GIFs instead of still photographs is a colorful way for the retailer to capture its audience’s attention, and prove it is a modern, tech-savvy retailer (see story).

Especially for beauty products, it is important to not only showcase products, but also to explain their benefits in an interesting manner.

For instance, Estée Lauder Cos.’ La Mer promoted the 50 years of craftsmanship involved in the creation of its latest skincare serum with an interactive microsite highlighting the healing properties of the marketer’s Lifting Contour Serum.

La Mer’s latest serum is formulated to transform a face by creating an illusion of a slimmer jawline and lifted neck. By outwardly stating the effect of its newest product La Mer is likely to see an increased interest from older, affluent female consumers who may be in the market for the desired result (see story).

Recreating the in-store experience is a growing trend, but it is not likely to replace physical interactions between consumers and sales associates.

"On some levels, there is nothing that can replace the in-store experience with a personal demonstration with a true brand ambassador which can show you unique techniques and help to educate consumers on the brand benefits," Ms Cadourcy said.

"Consumers are hungry for digital engagement these days, so this online tool they have created will help to bridge the gap between in-store and digital," she said.

Final Take
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York