E-commerce Revenues for Aesthetics Practices skyrocketed in the second quarter. How did so many practices manage to bring in 6-figure online revenues monthly, even while their offices were closed?
The short answer is this. They stayed in touch and stayed connected with their patients throughout the pandemic. They offered relevant and thoughtful resources, information, and offers, with online ordering and appropriate fulfillment options. Thanks to quick responses by many of the professional skin care manufacturers and by DermPRO, hundreds of aesthetics practices’ online stores did some rapid adjustments to be able to give their patients what they needed during these unprecedented times.
The Industry-Wide Trend
We couldn’t help but notice widespread news about the growth of e-commerce in all industries, and particularly in the beauty industry. As WWD has reported, there has been a shift in the industry. L’Oreal’s chief digital officer “says that in late May alone, e-commerce sales grew 143 percent in the U.S.” As the preferred provider of e-commerce store services to SkinCeuticals Customers, DermPRO has observed the same phenomenon in our customers’ stores.
Consensus appears to be that “the migration to e-commerce will be permanent,” with the majority of folks maintaining the online purchasing habits that they formed during the crisis. This permanent shift makes it ever more important for aesthetics providers to get online now, so as not to get left behind by the leaders who are serving their patients with convenient online options for everything from virtual events to social commerce, all leveraging e-commerce.
The Key Trends
As the demand for shopping online has increased, the number of aesthetics practices entering into the world of e-commerce has accelerated, giving DermPRO more and more data that helps us analyze trends in the industry. Given that the entire second quarter has seen unprecedented growth in online purchasing, we thought we’d share some of those exciting trends.
With over seven years of aesthetics e-commerce data that we’ve peered at from every angle, not much surprises us. But April, May and June blew us away.
- Highest Revenues Getting Higher
When we look at the stores with the highest revenues each month, those monthly highs are increasing. We have always seen outliers who were holding an event or running a very special offer. But the steady climb of the highest revenues is something that we’ve seen throughout 2020. Often the online purchasing slows a bit during summer months, so with the online sales for the top twenty online stores being $903,100, that was a June record.
- New Stores Are Launching With a Splash
In the past, we’ve seen new stores take six months or more to build up engagement, while their patients get exposed to the idea of buying their non-invasive procedures and skincare products from the practice’s new online store. Not so for the wave of new stores we built this past quarter. Many of the top-earning stores in May and June were brand new stores. Six of the top ten stores were stores that had been open for five months or less, and four of those had been open one month or less!
- Anyone Can Do It
Across all of our stores, many practices that have seen inconsistent results are now starting to see steady online revenues. The top fifty stores in June averaged $22,750 online, so we’re no longer seeing a few really strong performances by event-holders and lukewarm results from others. Everyone who puts an effort into marketing, merchandising, and promoting their online stores can see a return on that effort.
How Did They Do It?
Here are some of the most effective strategies for aesthetics practices looking to leverage online selling during this time.
- Email communication has become a lifeline between your practice and your patients. Adjust your messaging to be sensitive to the situation while consistently reminding your patients about the availability of online purchasing options.
- Virtual events—from Patient Appreciation Days to Virtual Open House Events— were some of the largest drivers of the top performers in May and June. The top sellers? Gift Cards and BOTOX®. One store sold over $100k of BOTOX® online in May by discounting it just 5% during their event.
- Not surprisingly, product replenishment has been a significant factor in e-commerce activity. Sunscreen has done particularly well. You should have automatically triggered emails configured to remind your patients to replenish their previous purchases at the appropriate delays after purchases.
- Don’t forget your VIP Members! While there has been some drop-off of memberships during the pandemic, some practices have actually increased the number of members by promoting special member benefits. These are your loyal patients, and they will remain loyal if you make them feel special. Priority scheduling upon the practice reopening, free shipping, free virtual consults just for members, and other exclusive perks for members have helped several practices retain members even while the office has been closed.
If you’re an aesthetics practice wanting to start selling online, or you already have an online store but are looking for ways to improve your results, contact DermPRO, the gold standard in aesthetics e-commerce.