Guide: Starting a Skincare Brand on Shopify
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Skincare is ever-changing and given today’s fast-changing landscape, we can expect to see new trends and products every now and then. Today, the skincare industry is still one of the most lucrative in the world. Over the past year, the industry has had different obsessions from plant-based ingredients, sustainable materials, and more. For the upcoming year, it’s expected that trends will be just as dynamic and diverse.
Even though it took a dip in 2020 due to some brands having to close their physical stores, it’s expected to still grow in the next few years. According to the market research company, The NPD Group, the beauty industry is the fastest-growing consumer product category with an 8% annual growth in recent years.
Experts predict that it will be worth $200 billion by 2025, making it a viable category for new entrepreneurs to enter. Starting your own line of skincare can be exciting as it has so much potential but with the number of brands out there, big and small, it may be difficult to break into. Don’t worry though because the desire to look and feel good ensures that there will always be consumers seeking products that will help them do just that.
With more individuals today spending a lot of time indoors, more of them are seeking to indulge in self-care and some are seeking to rebuild their self-esteem, now is an excellent time to learn more about the industry and how to start your own skincare brand.
To get started, allow us to give you a step-by-step guide to starting a skincare company on Shopify.
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows anybody to establish an online store and sell items. It is being used by over 170,000 businesses globally.
Depending on the plan you select, you may have your store up and running in less than 30 minutes using the platform. It's got great features and alternatives for when you need to increase your company's success.
Several notable and well-known makeup businesses have seen immense online success in recent years, including Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, and Fenty Beauty. Despite being virtual and having no real storefront when they first began, they've made a million dollars using eCommerce, proving their prowess.
Additionally, when these cosmetic businesses are selling online, they aren't bound to a certain area. Nowadays, to target more consumers, companies can opt to sell internationally and use eCommerce instead of relying solely on having a brick-and-mortar location.
Steps to Starting a Skincare Brand on Shopify
- Check the legal requirements
Starting your own skincare line begins with obtaining a business license and determining your tax responsibilities, just like any other small business. Different procedures will be required in different states, so be careful to get everything in order before starting.
One major distinction for this category is that skincare is within the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Food, Drugs, and Cosmetic Act (FD & C Act). This implies that you must adhere to the standards and guarantee that your products satisfy the required quality and safety standards, all the more so because they will be consumed by people. Your items must always be safe for customers to use and must be labeled correctly.
A lot of skincare businesses produce their products in their own homes, and that's perfectly OK. However, you must guarantee that all of your procedures adhere to the FDA's laws and regulations for home-based cosmetic production. For further information on the requirements, consult the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines/Inspection Checklist.
We also advise you to properly document and apply for any licenses you may need to protect your brand. If you are envisioning a brand that will go big then you may consider getting an attorney to help you with the following:
- Insurance for professional liability and product liability
- Cosmetic and skincare licenses (as well as professional licensing for services)
- Certifications for health and safety
- Identify and develop your niche
We've already agreed that the beauty business is oversaturated. Even if you restricted yourself to just one part of it, say sustainable beauty, there would be hundreds of companies.
To discover your niche, you must first choose what type of product you want to provide your consumers. Skincare includes a wide range of products such as cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and more. You will need to invest time and maybe money in order to do this. Market research is essential because it helps you to see what people want, whether there is a gap that has yet to be filled, and at what price points your product would sell best. This is also the perfect time to figure out who your consumers are, and also who your competitors are and what they're up to. Look for a niche for your items where you will be able to be clear about what your company is about and what you want to accomplish in the future.
Fenty Beauty launched in 2017, offering more foundation options than other brands by launching 40 foundation tones and providing women of color a wider range of colors to select from instead of only having to create their own. Fenty Cosmetics changed the cosmetics industry and solved a problem that has existed for YEARS but that few businesses were courageous enough to confront. They found a gap, saw the huge potential that was there, and changed the game.
What types of items do you want to sell? What types of consumers are you hoping to attract? What distinguishes your product? These are some of the questions that might help you narrow down which niche to pursue and develop from there.
If you already have an idea in your head about what niche to pursue, we recommend using Wikipedia, Google Search, and Google Trends to evaluate it.
Step 1: Go to Wikipedia.com, and look at the keywords used for the ‘skincare’ page.
Step 2: Go to Google search and type in “skincare” + a few keywords to match your niche.
From here you will already get an idea of what people are searching for and you might even discover other niches.
Step 4: Check your niche with Google Trends
Let’s say you want to go for skincare for pregnant women. You can head over to Google Trends and type in those keywords. You can also use the filters below to show only the data you need.
In the example below, we used “Worldwide” and searches from the past 12 months.
You can see that the trend for this keyword is rather unpredictable, with extreme highs and lows, but there is a pattern to it. Below this chart, you'll see related terms, interest by region, and queries.
You can also use Google Trends to compare keywords. Below is a comparison of the keywords, “Skincare for pregnant women” and “cruelty-free skincare”
As you can see, they each generate various outcomes at different times. In a nutshell, the more the interest, the greater the demand, and therefore the greater the competition. The key here is to establish a good balance. Trends that are just developing, in our opinion, have the most promise. This is referred to as an opportunity, and it is likely that it is a new market with minimal competition. Also, if a trend is expanding exponentially and is currently stable, it may be safer to pursue.
Overall, using these three tools should be very effective in assisting you in discovering a niche.
- Manufacture your products
Once you've decided on a niche, make a list of the products you intend to release for your launch and begin researching how you'll make them. Now, regardless of whether you are manufacturing your items at home or in a factory, you must begin with the right equipment.
In fact, some small businesses had their start in the owners' kitchens. Whatever it is that you intend to pursue, it will require a certain set of tools. It would be advisable to look for bulk suppliers of ingredients and equipment in your local area before starting.
Another option for businesses is to collaborate with a manufacturing company. When you're developing your own brand, selecting the proper manufacturer may relieve a lot of the stress that comes with it.
- Develop your branding
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To really get going with this new skincare business, you will have to market your brand. As you know, customers will need to be aware that you even have a brand in the first place. Next, you need them to know what kind of products you’re offering them, what makes them need it, and why.
Customers don't simply fall in love with your goods; they develop a relationship with your brand and the persona you portray for your company. You need to give them a story. You need to build your brand.
After you have done so, you now need to distinguish yourself from the competition. Anything related to your product, your brand, and your company goes in here, from developing the product line to your packaging and branding.
Steps to brand building:
Step 1: Choose a memorable business name
When it comes to branding, the name is one of the most important elements to consider. Choosing the correct name may lead to a massive increase in sales while choosing the wrong name might lead to massive losses. One of the most memorable parts of your brand is your company name. Ideally, you'll want to select something that is related to the values of your company. You will also want to be distinct from your competitors, so be sure to select a unique, memorable, and creative name. Your name is what will set the tone for everything. It will also leave a first impression on customers.
So as you can see, it is not easy to come up with a good skincare company name. There are several variables to consider before settling on a name for your company. You might want to sit on this for a few days or weeks, and do your research. You can also do a bit of market testing, put it to a vote and see how people react to the name.
There are also some tools that can help in your brainstorming such as creative name generators, like this one from Starter Story, where you can generate creative names or get ideas from the list.
Step 2: Create a remarkable logo
Aside from the brand narrative and name, the most essential element of your brand is its logo. It should be the one thing that everyone immediately recognizes as yours and yours alone.
You may develop a logo yourself if you have the expertise, or you can work with an agency or an artist to have one professionally created. The most important thing to remember is that a great logo should embody your brand's story, core values, and message.
Now, in order for your brand's logo to be easily recognized, it must be applied on a regular basis. Make sure to include it on your product packaging, website, receipts, business cards, social media accounts, and everywhere else you want to be represented.
Step 3: Design outstanding product packaging
72 percent of American buyers say packaging design impacts their purchasing decisions. That clearly demonstrates the importance of design, and why businesses should begin investing more in the appearance of their packaging to ensure they are giving the best impression to their target audience.
In a competitive sector such as cosmetics, a multibillion-dollar industry, having a design that stands out might be the key to success.
Your packaging should help you stand out and be distinct from your competitors, but it should also keep your products safe. When making your choice, make sure it’s a type of packaging that you can put your logo and brand colors on, and choose materials that represent your brand.
Of course, the whole thing should still be practical and usable for your customers. Some businesses forget about this and simply go for aesthetics then get bombarded with complaints of how the product doesn’t dispense properly or even leaks.
Some key things you need to remember:
- Define who your target customers are and determine what kind of packaging they like and need
- Check trends to see what other brands are doing today and how customers are responding to it
- It might help to put a mood board together to see what elements of design will fit your brand and customers
Today, packaging that’s innovative, travel-friendly, and sustainable is your best bet. Recently, minimalist packaging has also been doing well but has been oversaturated. Again, balance is key!
- Build and develop your online store
Building an online store has never been easier with eCommerce builders like Shopify and here at Webinopoly, it’s no secret that we think Shopify is one of the best platforms out there. It’s easy to use, it’s customizable and it can scale as your business grows. Shopify provides merchants with all the tools they need and even big brands such as Tesla, Kylie Cosmetics, and GymShark are on this platform.
Some of its best features are:
- Fully hosted platform
- User-friendly customer management system
- Convenient mobile app to manage your store
- Easy to understand product management system
- Marketing capabilities through apps like email marketing, shopping cart reminders, etc.
- Supports various payment gateways
- Safe and secure
Key steps to launching your store via Shopify:
- Choose your plan
Figure out what fits your budget and requirements. Good thing about Shopify is that it has different types of plans to suit different needs. Here are Shopify’s plans:
BASIC SHOPIFY PLAN ($29 per month + additional fees)
This is best for when you are just starting out as it already provides you with the basics, as per its name. You will be able to launch a website and sell products even with just this plan.
SHOPIFY PLAN ($79 per month + additional fees)
This is the middle-tier plan and is best when your business is starting to grow and you’re looking to expand both the business and your services. You get a few more features on top of what’s included in the basic plan.
Advanced Shopify Plan ($299 per month + additional fees)
This is the best plan for businesses that are scaling as it provides more advanced features that can complement your growth. This plan gives you all the features from the Shopify Basic and Shopify plan, with more additional and advanced features.
Read more about Shopify plans and costs in our article, How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website On Shopify.
- Choose a theme
Many customers get caught up in flashy theme previews, which generally promote the functionality of a theme without accurately representing the features and capabilities of the theme. Some of these themes are also “designed” for certain industries such as beauty and skincare. This causes clients to think that these designs are the right choice.
In some cases, this is true, but in many others, it is not, and the theme they believe is a good fit for them is likely lacking some functionality they want. When looking at theme previews, pay attention to factors like the layout, the sorts of material displayed, how easy the site is to browse, and so on.
There are several free themes available on Shopify store, but there are paid versions as well. You can also opt to go for a custom-made theme to ensure that you get exactly all the features and capabilities you want while having a theme that no one else has.
When it comes to launching your business on Shopify, Webinopoly can provide you with everything from setting it up until your store is operable. Whether it is a big or small business, our team is dedicated to providing only the best and effective website solutions to drive results.
- Set up key pages
Your online store should provide more than just products for sale. It should enable customers to understand your company, give them reasons to trust you, and make other important information available to customers who are seeking for it.
You do not need to have all of your pages ready for launch, but the following are key:
About page: An About page connects personally with customers, explains your business model, and/or shares the reason you started your business. A persuasive About page can go a long way in earning trust for new online stores.
FAQ page. A frequently asked questions page helps alleviate some of the more common customer support inquiries.
- Add high-quality images (and videos!) of your products
The way you present your brand makes all the difference. Make it easier for buyers to picture themselves as owners of your product. Allow them to see it in use or how it will look like if they bought it. A short video helps too! It gives customers a different perspective than they would otherwise not get from a still photo.
- Provide a detailed description for each product
Example from Kylie Cosmetics
Customers need to understand the product and have all of their questions answered prior to making a purchase. Thus, they will frequently visit the product pages to learn about the product and research before making a buying decision. You might be amazed at how much impact a seemingly small detail can make. Details matter, and conveying the appropriate information in the right way can really make a difference.
Your product title should make it obvious what the product is. As consumers browse through your store, this will assist them in finding exactly what they are searching for from your catalog. Attempt to keep the title concise, and make use of your product description for additional information and benefits, and use variants to show product alternatives, such as colors and sizes.
The way your product is explained and how it sells is dependent on the product descriptions. Think of it as your pitch to the customer. You need to sell this product to them without being too aggressive while also giving them a reason to buy it.
- Market your brand
One of the most essential aspects of eCommerce is marketing since it enables you to get more consumers and sell more products. The moment has come to put your items in front of the right people.
Beauty companies have fantastic advertising opportunities through visual social media applications such as Instagram and Pinterest. You may post photos and short films of your product being utilized in various ways. There is a sizable group of people who are eager to see beauty-related content on both channels, so it is possible to expand your followers and attract consumers by finding creative ways to include your products into your content on both Instagram and Pinterest.
Although the beauty market is expanding, many newer companies are going to face significant competition. Your best chance of making a product comes from creating a well-thought-out marketing plan, one that is capable of shining above your competitors and attracting your potential consumers.
Think about what kinds of marketing materials are most appealing to your target audience and how your audience sees your campaign, and then base your campaigns on your persona profiles.
- Launch your store!
Your store launch provides the perfect chance to jumpstart brand awareness and generate visitors quickly. Create excitement for your brand by planning out a full campaign filled with teasers, communication materials, and find the perfect time to release them.
For many beauty businesses, having a live event at a shop debut is one technique that is wildly successful.
A few big beauty firms have events with beauty influencers, where influencers lecture about how to get beautiful skin and give out a few of their goods. By holding some of these events, you can get customers to come to visit your website quickly. Webinars and digital events are all the rage right now, and you can do them on most social media platforms.
You might also want to go all out and come up with an opening promo that entices potential customers to make their first purchase.
The possibilities are endless and there are several ways to creatively launch your brand. Find one that best fits your brand story, and go for it!
You now have everything you need to start your own skincare company from the ground up. The skincare sector is seeing huge growth right now, so this is the ideal time to introduce your brand to the globe.
While it is a very competitive market, it still offers space for new entrepreneurs who are ready to capitalize on popular trends and who will fill industry gaps.
To summarize, here are all the steps to making your own skincare line and selling it on Shopify:
- Check the legal requirements
- Identify and develop your niche
- Manufacture your products
- Develop your branding
- Build and develop your online store
- Market your brand
- Launch your store!
We hope that you can utilize the guidelines found in this article to create and set up your beauty and cosmetics shop on Shopify.
However, if you're still trying to figure out how to create an online presence for your business, or if you're unsure of the best ways to grow your brand, your Shopify Experts here at Webinopoly can provide assistance in these areas.
We'll help you build a Shopify site that will enable you to track and keep up with your consumers, sell cosmetics and beauty products, and build an online brand.
Since 2014, we have worked with major and small customers on creating websites. We've supported over 200 businesses only in the last year with their Shopify targets. We don't just construct websites — we work with you to build something that you can really use. Our Shopify Experts ensure that your online store is in sync with your identity, vision, goals, and purpose, and it includes Shopify capabilities that give you more control over your site and help you generate revenue.
Our combined expertise and understanding in eCommerce and digital marketing allows us to create a fantastic Shopify shop for you while ensuring that you receive the greatest value you can. We've discovered from years of experimenting with various layouts, tools, and design, which aspects create a great design and which contribute to Shopify website conversions.
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Webinopoly has worked with various brands from website development to app creation. View some of our best work and get inspired.
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If you need to build your Shopify website, need a Shopify app, or require eCommerce solutions to be developed, you may call us at 713-805-5888, email us at [email protected], or leave us a message here.