Why Diverse Beauty Product Reviews Are Essential To A Brand’s Success
Diverse and transparent product reviews are the new “digital currency” for any beauty brand.
Remember what purchasing beauty products was like before the era of online reviews? We relied on magazine editors to report on trends, recommend the creamiest lipsticks and skin-smoothing serums—and when someone you knew and trusted made a noteworthy find, their opinion was gold. So, it makes sense that when reviews started popping up online around 20 (!) years ago, and bloggers (a.k.a. everyday people) began sharing their thoughts on the latest hair masks and swatching shades of new foundations, it had a tremendous impact on sales.
In today’s marketplace, authentic online reviews are crucial to a brand’s success and longevity. The opinions and experiences of other consumers are accessible at any time and reading reviews online prior to making a purchase is common practice for the majority of people. According to Inc., “91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews.” And Yotpo, a leading eCommerce marketing platform reports “the #1 thing that convinces women of every generation to make a discretionary purchase are positive customer reviews.”
Yes, online reviews are a necessity for any brand. But more important is the quality of the reviews and the actual people who are writing them. “More than 7 in 10 women say diversity impacts buying decisions,” per Yotpo. “Women prefer to buy from brands whose ads feature a variety of ethnicities.” And transparency is center stage given the ongoing controversy around many brands encouraging their own employees to post reviews of new products and sites selling fake reviews. But savvy consumers have become adept at quickly recognizing the deception.
Enter the new commodity for any beauty brand – diverse, authentic and detailed product reviews.
Different Times, New Standards
Nowadays, a simple one- or two-sentence review from someone you know absolutely nothing about just doesn’t cut it—especially when it comes to purchasing beauty products. For one thing, it helps when the reviewer has a credible opinion. This is why Beautytap vets their beauty experts: consumers can feel confident that the person behind each review is coming from a place of knowledge as an experienced beauty professional. Authenticity is also important: you’re more likely to take a cue from someone you trust and have developed a relationship with, rather than a random stranger.
But for a beauty review to be truly invaluable, knowing pertinent information about the person who actually wrote it is crucial, especially when considering the skin tone, age, and hair type of the reviewer. Just as learning the height and measurements of someone who bought a piece of clothing in a specific size can aid in determining how that same item might fit on you and help trigger a purchase, understanding whether a sunscreen formula left a white cast on someone with a similar skin tone as yours is vital. As brands offer products catering to a wider range of skin tones, hair types and specific beauty-related needs—it’s imperative to offer customers honest reviews that are written by individuals from a diverse range of ethnicities, ages and backgrounds.
A shift toward diversity and inclusivity, which is reflected in everything from model representation and available makeup shades, to a new crop of genderless brands and age-inclusive product lines, has been a main focus in the beauty industry over the past few years. When singer Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017 with no fewer than 40 foundation shades, many brands quickly followed suit—but not all of them were as successful (what’s the point of launching 30+ shades of makeup if most of them are geared towards one type of skin tone?). In these scenarios, online reviews also provide useful feedback and help steer brands in the right direction.
“Beauty companies are encouraged by their customers and held publicly accountable to support high diversity standards,” says James Sun, CEO of Beautytap. “In addition to the employees they hire, execs they promote, and models they use, the people who review their products should also represent diverse faces. Reviews are the new digital currency for product sales and the industry should be proactive about having diverse people write these reviews,” he adds.
This is why Beautytap’s brand ethos is centered around driving diversity through professional reviews. Not only are their reviews written by professional experts whose opinions you can trust, their beauty expert base is also made up of a veritable rainbow of people from different origins, ages, skin tones, and hair types. Makeup and skincare products never work exactly the same for any two people—no matter how similar their complexions or skin types may be— so collecting as many honest insights as possible from an array of multicultural voices is the best way to form an idea of whether a product may actually work for you before taking the plunge and hitting that “Add to Cart” button or making purchases at the store.
Do you read beauty reviews before making a purchase? What makes a review useful in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments.