Health and wellbeing are some of the biggest trends during the pandemic, with self-care taking the lead as people stay home. We sat down with Stacey Trinh, E-Commerce, CRM and Digital Marketing Director for The Body Shop Australia, to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the business.
Self-care is one of the leading trends during self-isolation, with millions of the people around the world taking extra time to ensure they are treating themselves well while in lockdown. The Body Shop has taken this by the horns and ran with it.
During the early stages of lockdown, retailers were forced to close their doors, and have head offices work from home. Rather than seeing this as a setback, The Body Shop understands the importance of connecting with others around the world.
“We are also finding we are now more connected than ever before with our colleagues from around the world, as we navigate our new normal together,” Stacey Trinh told Power Retail.
Of course, as with most multichannel retailers, there has been an immediate impact from sales in brick-and-mortar stores.
As with most multichannel retailers, online and direct-selling platforms saw significant growth. “In terms of sales, due to store closures, we have seen our customers turn to our online and direct-selling channels, which have both seen significant growth during this period,” Trinh said.
According to Google Trends, the search term ‘self-care’ has boomed over the last few weeks. Moreover, there have been breakout searches for ‘quarantine self-care’, ‘self-care during COVID’ and ‘self-care during quarantine’.
For The Body Shop, this was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this booming trend and the changing consumer patterns that come with it. “Self-care is a big trend – people are buying more for themselves, they are treating themselves to skincare and other products that encourage ‘me-time’,” Trinh told Power Retail.
This trending topic was the perfect opportunity for The Body Shop to push categories within its product range. “As a category, skincare has seen significant growth during this period,” Trinh said. “People have also been visiting our website to discover more about Self-Care through our #TimeToCare campaign, which is being driven through social and online.”
As online continues to flourish throughout Australia, The Body Shop has also ramped up its social media offering. “We have adapted our social media strategy to focus on our #TimeToCare campaign – which is all about promoting positivity, self-care and connection with others during what has been a challenging time for many people,” Trinh told Power Retail.
While content has been a trend for a long period of time for retailers, The Body Shop has taken it to the next level. According to Channel Advisor, 66 percent of social media users say their consumption will increase during the pandemic.
“We have created content to inspire, such as our ‘World Views’ series where we encouraged our audience to post the view from their windows at home; we’ve created content to entertain, like isolation-bingo and at-home trivia,” Trinh said. “We’re giving self-care tips and encouraging mindfulness through meditation and breathing techniques, and we’ve focussed on promoting positivity through giving a platform to our fantastic collective who have been giving back to our medical heroes, and supporting vulnerable people in our communities.”
Consumers across Australia have had to adapt to plenty over the last couple of months, one of which is extended delivery time. Retailers have adapted to this too by increasing returns times and slashing shipping costs for consumers. “We have reduced our free shipping threshold from $99 to $49 to ensure more customers can access free delivery, and increased our returns policy from 30 to 60 days,” Trinh explained. “Delivery timelines have also been extended, so we have ensured we have given clear updates around Australia Post shipping timelines to our customers.”
Delivery times have been one of the biggest challenges for Australians for several weeks. According to Australia Post, it’s ‘bigger than Christmas’ right now, with a seismic influx of parcels due to store closures. “Normally we see 20,000 parcels come through here each day, it’s up to 30,000 and day and it’s still rising,” said Alan Laydon, Australia Post Manager at the Alexandria Sorting Hub in early April.
So, what do Aussie consumers think about this increase in delivery time? “We found that customers understood the lengthy delays from Australia Post,” said Trinh.
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