ASOS has joined the beauty teen retail party this week with the launch of its own label cosmetics line ASOS Makeup. Part of a wider re-focus on beauty, the e-commerce giant has expanded its online category Face + Body, which now features a huge range (6000+) of branded products, including many newcomers to the site this September.
Fast beauty for fickle teens
Over the last couple of years there have been plenty of teen retail launches from fast fashion players looking to target fickle Generation Z and Millennial customers with even faster beauty offers. Over 90% of girls and 69% of boys in the US aged 9 to 17 are cosmetics users, according to Mintel.
From Primark and H&M to Missguided, New Look and more recently Boohoo, the sector is alive and well with new fast cosmetics product launches that take their design cues from beauty dupe brands such as Kiko, E.L.F. and Nyx. While more ‘hyper-transparency’ focused brands such as Beauty Pie also appeal to this cohort and serve up a more informed, ethical stance that offers a value-led proposition in the same price bracket.
According to a Business of Fashion report (sub req), these types of cosmetics brands are disrupting the distribution model of the market with monthly or fortnightly product drops that focus on SEO driven social media commerce and influencer marketing to drive sales. ASOS has its own network of in-house beauty stylists to help drive this influencer-commerce marketplace and is now in a position to further drive innovation via its new 46-piece make-up line (top and below) that features liquid lipsticks, prime colour eyeshadows and contouring palettes with names such as Decisive, Just Breathe and Overqualified.
Adventures in make-up
‘It is about embracing and expressing the full range of who you are,’ Alex Scolding, head of buying told us at the press preview. ‘We believe your face and body are a canvas, an adventure in individual self-expression. For our customer, make-up is an adventure not a quest, it’s a leisure passtime.’
The key in this increasingly crowded retail sector is self-expression and attitudinal marketing. Creative direction and language is less fashion or catwalk influenced, more gender-fluid and tribal nuanced. Niche cosmetics brands such as Milk and 3INA have shown how strong brand community and identity-focused imagery can do the job of visual storytelling.
Snapchat lens experience (go on, try it!)
It is this adventurous, disruptive mood that ASOS has tapped into with its new Go Play digital campaign that was launched via a Snapchat lens and experiential two-day physical pop-up event in London at the beginning of September. The ASOS Go Play bespoke Snapchat lens is available for 90 days (from 4 September) via an exclusive Snapcode on outdoor media, which lets customers unlock the lens.
The Retail Planner takeouts:
ASOS Go Play combines a multi-functional digital focus across social-commerce, augmented reality experimentation and influencer marketing-led experiential, immersive retail. I like the clever phygital approach that shows how physical retail brands should be thinking about digital marketing whether they have stores IRL or not.