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If you were to receive a voucher code or a special deal offering you a great deal in the skincare sector, what kind of product would you be looking for?
Would you be drawn to the promises and very visual marketing tactics of facial skincare brands, who use flawless models and natural colours and motifs to entice buyers in?
Might you be drawn instead towards the concept of luxurious body care, with creams and toners and all manner of accessories designed to reinvigorate the skin and leave your body as buffed and smooth as that of a baby?
Or are you constantly on the lookout for specialist skincare products, designed to rectify and provide solutions to ongoing skin problems such as eczema, dry skin, and acne?
The fact is, skincare may be one industry, but the contents of that industry and what we associate with it is wide ranging and extensive – with no clear boundary.
And so, to return to our first question, how might you spend a skincare voucher or gift? And would it be on a multitude of affordable products from high street brands like Nivea and Simple, or are you drawn towards the luxury and goal-orientated formulas promised by big brands like ARK and La Mer?
When it comes to finding the best skincare for our own unique and individual needs, knowing what works for us and what doesn’t is largely a matter of trial and error, and understanding the ingredients behind some of the industry’s leading products. While word of mouth marketing and in-store brand representation is still a huge part of getting brands noticed, in recent years consumers are far more drawn towards retailers who hand out testers and who allow potential customers to feel and experience the skincare products that they are interested in buying.
Of course, one way to achieve this is through the use of Tester products on the shop floor, with many brands competing for prime positions within their retail stores in order to attract the attention and footfall of passing customers. Some of the main retailers that herald the benefits of and stock a wide range of skincare brands include department stores and health and beauty retail stores, with the latter in particular dedicating entire areas of the store to skincare brands and allowing each to enjoy their own marketing space.
Some of the main examples of health and beauty stores that we associate with skincare include:
While health and beauty retailers benefit from the immediate association of skincare as an integral part of their offering, and thus provide skincare brands with the ease of knowing that the customers shopping with them are likely potential customers who are interested in their products and deals, you will often find some of the most high end and expensive skincare brands stocked in department stores rather than high street beauty stores. This is largely due to the simple fact that department stores are seen as providing a more luxurious shopping experience, supported and backed by only the most prominent and high quality of brands. This is also represented in the way that skincare brands are able to present and market their product lines within department stores, with stores typically placing their top selling skincare ranges in small pop-ups pods by the entranceways to the store, immediately enticing passers-by in with fragrant creams and luxurious products.
Some great examples of this in action across department store retailers includes:
And then we have the skincare brands who appear both in larger department and health and beauty stores, and who also benefit from having their own footfall and presence on the high street – for example The Body Shop which operates a successful chain of environmentally friendly and effective products, and Liz Earle which is a brand popular for its high end skincare offering and the fact that its wholesome story began – and continues – from its small store on the Isle of Wight. Not that this isolated store is stopping them – with Liz Earle taking control of department store counters all over the main cities in the UK.
While the retailers provide the footfall and the customer base, a large part of the skincare industry success is down to the broad range of brands now available – with more popping up every single day with new promises to tailor skincare and provide solutions to a certain type of person, with a certain colour of skin, or a certain skin condition.
The easiest way to separate these brands is into the high street products and the high end luxury products, with the degree of separation between these two factors largely resting in the aesthetic of the packaging, the scent and the texture of the product, rather than in how effective it is. That’s where marketing comes into play in a huge way.
Some of the best affordable skincare brands, which can be found across most health and beauty stores, include:
At the other end of the scale lie the high end skincare brands, many of which enjoy notoriety with famous faces as their ambassadors, while others have simply become renowned for the incredible benefits and effects that their customers report after purchase. Popular examples on the market include:
It can be very easy to limit the skincare industry and our top range of brands to those we consistently see on shelves and listed on skincare brand lists online. But what about the many hundreds of skincare brands which are not recognised by these large retailers, and which enjoy steady sales through online marketplaces or even their local communities?
Some of the best examples of tailored skincare which has been created for a specific purpose can be found in this sector of independent creators and sellers, and so it follows that using marketplace sites can be hugely beneficial to those seeking skincare in line with a very specific problem.
What defines a skincare brand as luxury? Aside from the price tag, the way in which the industry ranks its brands largely comes down to the texture of the creams, the fragrances they emanate, the ingredients they use and the effectiveness of each product.
Some of the most popular products on the skincare market are the most basic, with the market continually saturated by such a wide range of options that buyers are often drawn towards brands they have heard of or brands which have a famous face or high level endorsement.
These popular products include:
Spoiler alert: a serum is largely the same as a moisturiser or cream, with a more intense hit of the most potent ingredients. More than anything, it is a skincare buzzword which is used to make the product sound more upmarket and high end!
We have already talked about the effect and prominence of in store testing and how important providing testers is for the skincare market in terms of attracting customers. After all, providing a voucher or a deal is all very well, but customers are likely to stick with what they know unless they are given a very good reason to try something new.
This is where some of the other physical marketing solutions for the skincare industry come in, with one of the most innovative in recent years being the dawn of the beauty advent calendar – a concept which is growing year on year and which is a great way for retailers to compile some of their best brands into one product which customers can take home and enjoy as a way of trying up to 25 different products from 25 different brands. Advent calendars are not limited to the skincare industry, in fact they are generally associated with chocolate and edible treats – however, the skincare industry has responded to a desire for more luxurious gifts throughout the festive period, and has delivered; with a plethora of both retailers and specific brands creating advent calendars which are essentially just big marketing tools in getting their products out there and in the homes of potential future customers.
Another form of marketing in the skincare industry and one which is a large driver in sales uptake for many brands and products, is the use of vouchers, deals, discounts and in some cases free gifts. If you were to walk into a health and beauty retailer, the chances are that at least one of the skincare brands has some kind of promotion on, offering a free gift when you spend a certain amount, or offering a “3 for 2” buyer deal for those who purchase a specific number of products. And this isn’t just happening in store. Deals and vouchers are rife online as well, with ecommerce playing a big part in boosting the prominence of the skincare industry across the media, social media and online market.
Another hugely successful move by the skincare industry has been to design and market the concept of the skincare routine – something which consumers are actively encouraged to engage in as part of their own daily routine, and which utilises a series of different products – often all from the same retailer or brand dependent on their specialisation and how well they tie their products together into one package solution.
And then we have the use of social media – a tool for marketing used by almost every modern industry due simply to the fact that social media is everywhere and the effect of one viral post can be magnanimous for a small brand.
For those brands who do not feature in widescale health and beauty and department store retailers, using ecommerce makes up a key part of their brand story – harnessing the power of social media as a way of sharing images, skincare tips, reviews and testimonials, and other relevant sector stories which are essentially designed to showcase the brand as a leader in their field. The fact is ecommerce in the skincare industry poses a huge challenge – until the brand has made a name for itself. Once a brand has the backing of larger sites, big names and tons of reviews, ecommerce and selling online becomes straightforward. But until then, the uphill battle lies in getting the brand name and products out there.
While some rely on clever targeted marketing, offering their own vouchers and deals and getting pick up at events and in pop up stores wherever possible, others turn to the consistently successful method of influencer advertising – sending stock to social media influencers and even celebrities in the hopes of getting a mention of a specific post which will end up on the feed of all the followers of that individual. The fact is, convincing customers to buy a skincare product that they know nothing about is difficult – but as soon as you have got the endorsement of a high influential individual with a large following, business will boom.
Customers will always need skincare products, and they will always be on the lookout for great deals. One of the main areas of competition between some of the top retailers, particularly in the health and beauty sector, lies in the deals and vouchers they offer, and the ways in which they band together different skincare brands and products under an umbrella deal. The industry will continue to grow and expand as long as brands remain aware of their global footprint and continue to innovate their products in line with customer needs and specific requirements.
And you never know, you might just come across a whole new brand or product range, thanks to our exclusive range of skincare vouchers and deals.
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