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Choosing The Right Product for Your Online Business

Finding the right product for your business might be a challenging job, especially if you are a first-time business owner. Well, you’re not alone. It really is hard coming up with a product that is both in demand and will give you high profits at the same time. A product that makes enough sales to keep the lights on is needed.

But don’t worry, ‘cause here are some tips you can use to come up with the right product.

Identify Customers’ Pain Point
Knowing things about your customers such as their financial limitations, or preferences might be of great help when it comes to formulating a product of your own. Coming up with a product that helps them solve their problems is also a huge factor that influences their buying behavior. There are several pricey products in the market that lacks uniqueness and are of low quality which causes frustration on the part of customers. This makes them look for alternatives that give them what they need and are worth their hard-earned money.

Go With Your Personal Passion

Doing business is not for everyone, it needs a lot of time, effort, and attention. And this is what makes your passion an essential part of coming up with a product. Choosing a niche that is in line with your passion might be risky, but it gives you the advantage of having full knowledge about what you will be selling. Working on something where your passion lies makes everything seem easier. 

Capitalize on Trends

What is IN now? What sells these days? What do the consumers prefer? Recognizing trends at the early stages of your entrepreneurial endeavor can already be a significant win for you and your business. This allows you to carve out your place and establish a name for yourself in the world of business. 

Look for Products with High-Profit Margin

There are factors you may want to consider first before coming up with a product, and some of them are the cost of production, promotion cost, and shipping costs. These things should be taken into consideration before finalizing what product your business will be offering. Sure that when these are carefully planned and researched, then you’ll be expecting high returns and profit. 

Choosing the right product can be a huge contributing factor to the success of your business. And this is what makes it an essential part of establishing a business, regardless if it is online or not. 

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The Power of Diversity and Inclusion in the DTC Beauty Space

Sell, sell and sell. If it’s not obvious enough, making a sale of either a service or a product is what companies need to do to stay in business.  Change is constant and when the pandemic hit, the usual brick-and-mortar stores had to step back from the limelight. Online was the buzzword. The beauty industry had to adapt and one of the most popular ways it did was via Direct to Customer (DTC) selling.  

Direct to Consumer beauty brands are nothing new. One notable example is Fenty Beauty which made Rihanna not just one of the most popular pop icons of our time but also the owner of one of the most sought-after and successful beauty brands.  Like any other business model, companies need to set themselves apart. There are a ton of categories that could be considered but, in this article, we’ll be covering why diversity and inclusion should be an itinerary for anyone wanting to succeed in the beauty DTC space.

What do they mean?

Before we go any deeper, we must ensure we understand what they mean.

The simplest way to remember them is that Diversity refers to traits and characteristics that differentiate a person from another while Inclusion refers to a sense of behaviors and social norms that makes one feel welcome.  2 very important things to the target audience – The Gen Zs and Gen Ys.

The Customer

Gen Zs and Gen Ys make up most of the target audience. It has been confirmed that Gen Zs are the decision-makers regarding purchases while Gen Ys tend to listen more to recommendations. Gen Zs define the trend. They want to be part of something and be unique enough to stand out. This is why DTCs are popular because they are able to provide what Gen Zs need the most, attention.

Diversity and Inclusion

The main advantage of a DTC approach is that the sellers get to know the customer firsthand. There is no middleman in between and thus a relationship is easier to form as they sell directly to the customer.

In a 2016 survey, 70% of Black women confirmed that big-name beauty product companies are not meeting their needs. Though it is changing, for a long period of time, the majority of sold cosmetic shades for example are that of the lighter type. Diversity has been in the spotlight for some time now and it would be a waste for Beauty companies to neglect it.

Since DTCs can listen to customer feedback more effectively they are able to fill this gap much sooner. One fine example is MDM Flow. A make-up company that was built by Florence Adepoju saw how limited the options for dark-skinned women such as herself are while working on a major beauty brand’s makeup counter. She was able to start her business by the simple fact that she listened.

DTCs also benefit from a close-knit connection with customers because it fosters brand loyalty. Remember how Gen Zs yearn to be part of something? DTCs can fill this need by building a community of people who enjoy their brand. Beauty companies should also be segmenting consumers holistically by interests, style, and location demographics. The best way to keep someone interested in something is to make sure he is not alone. Inclusivity is key 

TL: DR

Inclusion and Diversity are in. If you want to successfully build your business, make sure you take notes.

You wouldn’t want to be left behind, would you?

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Sustainability & Affordable Price Point: The Ultimate DTC Beauty Brand Concoction Powered by the Gen Z

Gen-Z consumers have higher asks from brands in general. It is no longer enough that a product or service works well for it is now also vital that the brands they support are both civically & socially responsible, eco-friendly, both inclusive, and diverse, just to name a few. 

It is also for these reasons that DTC brands are being driven by this generation. Because the direct-to-consumer business model allows its customers to build relationships directly with the brands, the customers are being given the opportunity to get a very close look at the brands’ operations, call out what they don’t like, and applaud what they love on social media. 

Sustainability is Key for the Gen Z

In April 2021, Forbes Magazine labeled Generation Z as the sustainable generation. It is the generation where 73% are willing to shell out more cash to purchase products that are sustainable. 

As the “inheritors of the Earth”, it makes a lot of sense why Gen Zs are very concerned about the environment. Adding to the fact that the oldest of their generation has turned 25 this year, Gen Zs are now emerging into young adults who have started to contribute to the workforce and the economy all the while carrying with them their commitment to sustainability– their choices to cut down on consumption, reducing their carbon footprint, their support to small and local businesses, their pride in thrifting, among other decisions to put the planet first like no other older generations every did. 

At this point, it only makes sense that brands must make their moves to shift to the sustainability route if they haven’t yet. Aside from the fact that it’s a wise move to take in order to stay relevant and profitable in the years to come, but also because the Gen Zs have also shown to influence not just their generation but even the older ones. As a result of Gen Z’s influence over their Gen X parents on the issue of sustainability, Gen X consumers’ preference to shop for sustainable brands increased by 24 percent, and their willingness to pay more for sustainable products increased by 32% percent since 2019.  

Furthermore, as of this writing, a research conducted by First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania shows that nearly 90% of Gen X consumers said that they would be willing to spend 10 percent extra or more for sustainable products, compared to just over 42% two years ago.

The Race in Offering Affordable Price Points

Gen Zs are becoming known to be the faster ones to acclimate and adjust to situations presented to them. Also known as the generation to quickly learn from the past mistakes of previous generations, they are much wiser when it comes to their spending habits. 

Gen Zs witnessed their Gen X parents struggle with the Great Recession and are still seeing the Millenials work very hard to pay off their student loans. With both of these in mind, the Gen Zs perception of money has been shaped. 

While previously mentioned that Gen Zs are willing to pay more for sustainable products, it does not mean that they are willing to spend a lot of money on things just because. Their requirements for sustainability are heavily charged on the fact that they want to get their money’s worth. More than just getting their desired function of a product or service, the justification of their purchases also encompasses the values they deeply care about such as the impact of the brands they support on nature and other people’s well-being. 

These factors in mind pose the challenge of offering sustainable products at affordable price points. 

Emerging DTC beauty brands are now starting to circulate in the eCommerce market and the consumers are welcoming them with incredible hype case in point is the beauty brand FieldTrip by Edgewell which boasts about their luxury formulation at an affordable price point. 

Edgewell has only launched the brand this early this month and everyone in the beauty space has already been raving about it. 

Is it really that difficult to be sustainable and affordable at the same time?

Now that a couple of brands are causing a major disruption in the beauty industry, time can only tell if the rest will follow suit. As of this writing, one of the most popular affordable beauty brands The Ordinary by Estee Lauder has always been transparent that while they are very affordable, they are still not considered sustainable but they have ongoing initiatives that are geared towards becoming a sustainable brand. 

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The Key Opportunities for DTC brands in the Live Streaming Commerce

DTC, also known as D2C, is short for Direct-To-Consumer eCommerce, where merchants can sell their products online directly to consumers. The DTC business model first emerged in the 2010s but has continued to gain popularity among today’s consumers who appreciate the advantages of buying items directly from brands, specifically, the totality of experience they receive from the authentic connection built between them and the brands.

With the influx of competition, fueled by the pandemic where a lot of people were forced to be entrepreneurs, there have been really high standards placed by the consumers on the brands they choose to give attention to, and there lies the need for brands to offer the most authentic, one-of-a-kind experience designed to produce customer-delight.

And this is where the DTC model shines brightest- a space where there are no middlemen or retail stores that go between the relationship of the brand itself and its consumers, just exactly how consumers today want it.

Why is Live Streaming Commerce a Huge Opportunity for DTC Brands? 

This business model carries the DTC trifecta – social media, influencers, and online shopping making it the most logical next step for DTCs. It also fills the gap that seems to be the missing piece people crave from retail shopping: the human connection it offers. 

With live-streaming commerce, the buyers can shop online via the platform of their choice, with the influencers they support, straight from the brands they love. It’s been the rave in China, the biggest e-commerce marketplace including live streaming commerce, where netizens enjoy live online shopping, where their favorite influencers-turned-celebrities answer all their inquiries about the items while entertaining them both at the same time.

What does Live Streaming Commerce Look Like Today?

China, the e-commerce marketplace that international brands continue to tap but it’s so vast the marketplace only keeps on getting bigger, earns an estimated $6 billion annually from live streaming eCommerce alone according to Forbes. 

The rest of the world, on the other hand, particularly the West, has slowly but surely been penetrating the live-streaming market. They may be a couple of years behind their eastern counterpart but they are getting there. International brands like Tommy Hilfiger for example recently extended their live-streaming efforts in the US and Europe where 1,300 hoodies were sold in 2 minutes. The biggest western eCommerce companies such as Amazon, and Google making plans to make YouTube an integrated e-commerce destination, Walmart, to name a few has been making huge investments gearing toward the relatively new business model. 

A Call for Early-Adapters 

The best time to embark on the live-streaming eCommerce ship was yesterday but today would be a pretty solid business move too. As DTC brands in general pay very close attention to their relationships with their consumers, the enhanced engagement that live streaming strengthens this relationship even further. It’s an effective stage to showcase and sell your products in real-time, with the help of real-time feedback from your Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and returning customers present and watching the live stream. 

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#TiktokMadeMeBuyIt – The Effects of Tiktok on GenZ’s Buying Decisions

No, we are not just talking about one of Tiktok’s viral duet chains, we will be discussing Tiktok’s effects on GenZ’s buying decisions and how it has garnered such strong influence over the recent years.

Generation Z has officially become a bankable market starting in 2020. Because it is the first generation to be born in the post-digital era, they are fully dependent on smartphone apps and arguably lived on social media. 

With that being said, as GenZ has started to become part of the working economy, brands and marketers are looking closely at this generation and what they think they need and want, and here enters TikTok.

TikTok, the Social Media App of GenZs

As of April 2022, Tiktok users are made up of 60% of Gen Zs. A number that has grown substantially in the 4 years of the app’s availability in the world. Gen Zs prefer exclusivity and uniqueness and with social media, finding that perfect “That’s me!” content is easier than ever. TikTok’s “For you Page / FYP” is their destination to be. It focuses on content that the user themselves specifically love with the help of specialized AI algorithms that look into search entries, likes, and user activity. Tiktok also enables GenZs to express themselves through innovative content creation tools that are easy to understand and use. At this age, anyone could be a content creator and at the same time, anyone can show the world their individuality. Tiktok took notes and when the Gen Zs arrived, they were there to shake their hand and welcome them.

Finding that connection

As Gen Zs find a way to define themselves, they are not just looking at who is endorsing what but also at who the people behind it are. They want to know their origins, values, and beliefs. They want to find an emotional connection to drive their purchasing power. This is why Tiktok has been a popular venue for both consumers and producers. It has become a platform for each to tell their respective stories where videos are viewed as many as 1 billion times a day. Influencers have been paramount as they keep people engaged and looking for more. Once something is found, the next logical step would be to share it. #TikTokMadeMeBuy had over 3 million views after all.

Who influences who

“I want that” is a common thought that leads to a purchase. GenYs and GenZs are the 2 main purchasing groups right now and studies show that Gen Zs play a bigger role in deciding what to buy as they are now the trendsetters. GenYs on the other hand, have the tendency to listen to recommendations and thus are more likely to be influenced into buying items and services. Gen Zs are passionate about letting themselves be heard which is why they made up 43% of Tiktok’s global audience for the year 2021. The more time they spend, the more they are engaged. Tiktok is no longer just a pastime, it has become a way of life for many so if you are in the market to sell or buy, you’d probably want to put TikTok on the top of your list.