Inbox Commerce adds a glow to beauty marketing with flawless engagement
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Inbox Commerce adds a glow to beauty marketing with flawless engagement

Published : November 2, 2023 | Updated : December 08, 2023

How many promotional emails about beauty and personal care did you get this week? Did any of them particularly grab your attention? Did you click on the CTA, go to the website, make a purchase, or sign up for something?

If you are like most recipients of such emails, the answer is a ‘No’. Promotional emails and messages may have worked quite well in the past, but now they are losing their charm.

Customers are barraged with fairly similar-looking promotional messages all day. Most go unnoticed and unopened. CTAs are not clicked, nor discounts used.

This is particularly true for the beauty industry. Customers are looking for a transformational experience. So personal care marketing requires a careful combination of novelty, fantasy-building, ease, and convenience. This, This is where Inbox Commerce comes in.

This article explores how a transformational marketing technology, Inbox Commerce, amplifies customer engagement and conversions in the beauty, lifestyle, and wellness industries.

What is Inbox Commerce?

Inbox Commerce enables selling and buying via a user’s messaging or email inbox. It involves marketing products/services, engaging with customers, and conducting transactions right inside messaging apps like RCS, WhatsApp, and emails.

For instance, brands can use RCS to create rich, contextual, two-way marketing conversations via the humble SMS. Similarly, they can use a WhatsApp Business Account to offer their entire product catalog and accept payments within WhatsApp.

AMP emails showcasing products and letting users choose and pay within the email would be another typical example.

Inbox Commerce focuses on simplifying the customer experience to make it convenient for users to interact with brands. They can effortlessly buy products/services without redirects to sites and apps.

At the heart of Inbox Commerce are three innovations – RCS (Rich Communication Services), WhatsApp Business, and AMP for email. They are the foundation of Inbox Commerce and have become the most influential tech combo for unconventional marketing and conversion.

RCS (Rich Communication Services)

Numerous surveys and market studies have shown that almost 70% to 75% of consumers prefer engaging with brands through private messaging over traditional channels like promotional emails and banner ads. However, in its basic form, SMS only supports one-way communication, lacks visual elements, and restricts text to 160 characters.

Rich Communication Services (RCS) solves this with an innovative messaging protocol. Simply put, it allows businesses to engage in two-way text-based and multimedia communication on mobile devices.

Developed and supported by a consortium of mobile network operators, device manufacturers, and technology firms, RCS has garnered serious attention in Martech circles. Google has been pivotal in advancing and popularizing RCS as a next-generation messaging protocol.

RCS offers a plethora of features you don’t get in the regular SMS. This includes read receipts, typing indicators, group messaging, and the ability to easily share high-quality images, videos, and files within the messaging application. RCS offers an interactive, feature-rich messaging experience by interacting directly with a user’s phone number.

Here’s how beauty brands can leverage RCS to glow up engagement and conversions.

Deliver deals with dynamic elements

RCS messages carry unique features similar to what you’d get with a website or app. Brands can use these features to promote attractive deals, using equally beautiful visual elements and text.

For example, beauty retailer Eva used RCS messages for interactive promotions. The brand sent a ‘Deal of the Day’ – a discount on specific cosmetics each day. The RCS messages got the point across with great visual impact by using rich cards and carousels. These messages also carried interactive buttons to simplify the customer journey, leading to higher conversions.

Brands can highlight RCS messages with high-res images, GIFs, videos, image carousels, and multiple other visual innovations to capture customer attention.

Offer spot-on product recommendations

Go beyond typical product recommendations. Instead, be upfront and ask users about their needs, wants, and likes. Set up quizzes, surveys, and questionnaires within RCS messages to understand your customers’ desires, personality traits, and priorities.

Use the answers to recommend products and services that are 100% relevant and meaningful.

Inbox Commerce makes all of the above possible within a single message.

Fit in more text without cluttering the screen

Inbox Commerce allows marketers to showcase more content without worrying about cluttering the screen (especially mobile screens).

RCS messages come equipped with technology to display content in bite-sized snippets under collapsible headers. Users can click on each header to unravel the associated content. Similarly, carousels can showcase multiple images for users to view quickly and easily.

Inbox Commerce features several design and layout elements that can accommodate substantial information within messages in a simple, clean layout.

So, feel free to send users that guide on the perks of using retinol after hitting 30 via RCS. They won’t have any trouble reading it in their inbox.

Collect more and better feedback

Not many people will take the additional effort of clicking a CTA to fill out a feedback form. Can you imagine users reading through a message, clicking the CTA redirect button, navigating to an external webpage, and logging in to provide feedback on their experience?

If you want extensive customer feedback, make it easy for them to provide it. RCS lets you embed forms for surveys, feedback, ratings, NPS, and more. Users can submit their input within the emails effortlessly.

Answer questions immediately

Does a customer have a question when signing up? RCS chatbots are the solution.

Let’s say a customer requests support. Brands can send a chatbot via RCS with answers to frequently asked questions. Looking at an SMS is infinitely easier for most people than visiting a site or even opening their emails to find answers.

WhatsApp in Inbox Commerce

Brands can use WhatsApp Business to create direct and personalized messages for their customers. They can send promotional messages, updates, and offers – via WhatsApp, providing a more intimate and real-time connection with their audience.

The WhatsApp ’Click to Chat’ feature lets businesses integrate a direct chat link on their websites or social media platforms, facilitating easy communication between customers and the brand. Users can immediately start chatting/interacting with/buying from a brand’s WhatsApp channel with one click.

Companies can also send messages to groups of recipients using WhatsApp’s broadcast lists. It is the perfect tool for publicizing/distributing marketing content, updates, and announcements.

Payment gateways also seamlessly integrate with WhatsApp, enabling customers to transact securely. The official WhatsApp API lets you incorporate various payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Razorpay.

Here’s how beauty brands can leverage Inbox Commerce in WhatsApp Business to enhance engagement and conversions.

Combine personalization with efficiency

In September 2023, CANVAS used WhatsApp to send personalized broadcast messages for their ‘Brand Day.’ The message featured a store-wide discount and a complimentary gift and was sent to 60,000 in-store customers.

Anyone who wanted to grab the discount and gift could use an automated chatbot that gave them information and included customer reply buttons. This campaign got a 68% open rate and a 6.8% reply rate — twice as effective as EDM campaigns by the same brand.

WhatsApp Business is ideal for sending personalized messages, discounts, and gifts since users can redeem them within the messaging app. As the example above shows, this kind of marketing innovation gets users’ attention and momentum.

Simplify product finding and choosing

With Inbox Commerce, customers don’t have to leave their inboxes to buy what they want. Brands can enable users to complete their entire transaction within a single WhatsApp channel.

Marketers can display categories and subcategories of products within WhatsApp messages so that users can scroll and select products. They can click on specific headers (product categories) to see individual items and even browse reviews from customers who have purchased and used the products.

Make appointment booking quick and easy

Inbox Commerce doesn’t just help folks search through your product catalog within a WhatsApp message. They can also help users make beauty or personal care-related appointments.

Benefit Cosmetics built a WhatsApp channel through which customers could manage appointment scheduling. They could make appointments and get confirmation and reminders on WhatsApp. They could also modify appointments, check store hours and COVID policies, and browse through Benefit’s products and services. Within two months of the launch, the brand saw a 30% hike in bookings compared to the same period the previous year.

When managing appointments becomes effortless through WhatsApp, more people will book them.

Offer better customer service

Paragon Technology and Innovation (PTI), a beauty brand, used WhatsApp to improve their online beauty consultations and help customers make well-informed product choices. They recreated an in-store-like experience in the digital realm via the world’s most popular messaging app.

PTI integrated WhatsApp Business into their website and social media platforms by including a ‘click to WhatsApp’ link. Customers initiated their personalized shopping experience by clicking a link or sending a WhatsApp message.

A virtual assistant collected customer information and directed users to the appropriate skincare expert tailored to their specific needs. After a one-on-one conversation with customers, the skincare expert recommended certain products and closed the sale directly.

Given that most people look at their WhatsApp messages throughout the day, they are more likely to see, engage with, and respond to a brand’s messaging on this platform. So, you can put your best ‘customer-first’ foot forward.

Simplify rescheduling, cancellation, and refund

An outstanding brand that wins customer loyalty makes their interactions easy every step of the way. This applies as much to purchases as to cancellations, returns, or refunds on products and services.

Thanks to Inbox Commerce, customers can do all the above quickly and easily – right inside WhatsApp messages.

By making these actions easy for users, brands can establish a reputation for prioritizing customer experience even after the sale.

AMP for email

AMP for email is a framework through which brands can embed interactive and dynamic features within an email, like forms, image carousels, copy accordions, real-time data, quizzes, games, payment gateways, chatbots, etc. A user can open an AMP email and do almost anything they would do on a website or an app.

This technology empowers customers to scroll through products, order them, make payments, track delivery status, offer feedback, and do much more without leaving their email inbox.

Users don’t have to click through to any third-party site or an app – an action often resulting in ‘lead leakage.’ As with RCS and WhatsApp Business, this is a significant advantage of AMP for email.

Generate FOMO to scramble some action

If you offer a great deal that is time-bound, your customers should know the clock is tickin. It’s the limited availability that makes short-time deals oh-so-tempting. If customers are worried that they’ll miss out on a ‘40% off’ in the next 2 days, they are much more likely to make a purchase.

Thanks to Inbox Commerce, you can embed a countdown timer within an AMP email. It will display live numbers – days/hours left for a sale to end or until a discount stays valid.

Provide instant support and response

Customers can now get support from brands within their inbox instead of calling, writing an email, or even going to a website.

You can create live chatbots that answer relevant, commonly asked questions within the AMP email. The chatbots can fetch answers from your site’s backend 24/7 and respond to queries in real-time, offering solutions, recommendations, etc. You can also include multiple FAQs in a compact, drop-down format within the inbox, so even mobile users can look at them without screen clutter.

Offer calculators for customers to check budgets

Some purchases, like an expensive, year-long rejuvenation program or fixed-routine sessions over an extended period, require a bit of financial planning by the customer. They would want to think the budgets through rather than get into it impulsively.

You can offer interactive calculators within Inbox Commerce AMP emails so customers can do the math themselves. With a couple of inputs and a click, users will have the information they need at their fingertips. They don’t have to leave the inbox to make the decision.

You can also use the data collected by calculators to send hyper-personalized product/service recommendations and content.

For example, if someone is trying to calculate their BMI, you can send helpful tips on diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes to get to the ideal weight. Similarly, if they are not interested in products that overshoot their budget, email them a customized list of more economical options.

Enhance cross-selling with on-point recommendations

Instead of pushing random recommendation lists, use customers’ previous purchase history to suggest products that fit into their lifestyle and help them. You can also draw upon insights from their browsing behavior to curate the best possible products and services.

Leverage Inbox Commerce in AMP emails to send your recommendations in space-saving formats with rich images and compelling text. Get awesome layouts without cutting down on the educational information you want to send.

Address abandoned cart issues effectively

The nightmare of recovering abandoned carts just got a little easier with Inbox Commerce. Using AMP email’s ability to persuade with high-res images, social proofing, and content elements, you can remind customers that they have items in their cart that really deserve to be checked out.

Feel free to add quirky, fun visuals, interactive scratch cards, and other tactics to delight the customers and incentivize them to hit ‘Buy Now.’

Inbox Commerce has proven itself

We’re not recommending an experimental technology here but a groundbreaking innovation that’s already changing how marketing works in the real world.

Our clients across industries have adopted Inbox Commerce to amplify their content reach and efficacy. Inbox Commerce is turning out to be highly effective in pushing personalized and interactive communication that converts users at scale.

And we have proof of this efficacy, too. Our clients have shown decidedly higher ROI with implementing Inbox Commerce into their marketing ecosystem.

Are you interested in knowing more about Inbox Commerce? Reach out to us, and let’s talk about leveraging this technology to transform your marketing efforts and boost conversion.

Understand how you can benefit from our expertise and experience. Serving over 6,500 customers across 40 countries, Netcore delivers over 1 billion inbox experiences every day – including 500 million emails and 700 million push notifications. Netcore’s AI is trained on 25 billion+ interactions from 1,300+ eCommerce stores, making it an invaluable Inbox Commerce asset for global brands.

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