HSN is about to give its beauty section a digital overhaul — and it’s calling all doctors with skin-care lines.
Customer feedback shows that customers want more doctor-created skin-care lines — and HSN is giving it to them. In a year’s time, the multichannel retailer will quadruple the amount of these brands on site from five to 20, according to Alicia Valencia, senior vice president of beauty at HSN.
It’s been a year since the company brought Valencia on board, an Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. veteran of over two decades, to head the multichannel retailer’s beauty division. In the midst of gearing up for an overhaul of the beauty portion HSN’s web site, Valencia said the company has conducted and analyzed an enormous amount of research — and the demand for experts, doctors specifically, led the charge.
In 2015, HSN had sales of $3.67 billion for the year ending in March 31, with beauty comprising over a third of revenue. The category is meaningful for HSN, and figuring out exactly what its millions of customers want — largely those in the 45- to 55-year-old demographic — is key.
Earlier this year, the lineup of doctor brands at HSN included Dr. Sevinor Skincare Solutions, Beauty Bioscience, Intelliwhite, BeautyRX by Dr. Schultz and Dr. Jeannette Graf.
Valencia said recent launches to the site are collections from Dr. Nassif, Dr. Audrey Kunin’s DermaDoctor line and Dr. Annette Tobia’s and MEG 21, with 13 more collections rolling out over the next few months.
“The most important thing is that they don’t step over each other. Each has a distinct ingredient story, whether it’s Retin A, glycolic acid or vitamin C,” Valencia said of offerings from plastic surgeons, dermatologists and internists. “Dr. Tobias was working on diabetes research and she came up with a patented ingredient that increases collagen production in skin. Each of these doctors has their own distinct story.”
She has also found that HSN is bucking industry beauty trends.
Video content, which has exploded since the advent of YouTube and beauty vloggers, is not a welcome addition to product pages for HSN’s top beauty customers in their 40s to 70s. Valencia said the retailer was adding a lot of How To videos, but the feedback was: “how-to videos are hard, we want step-by-step instructions.”
“Maybe it’s for Millennials, but [they said], ‘We want to look at and see steps.’ We reversed gears. We worked with brands to do that,” she said.
According to the executive, high performing sub-categories within beauty include celebrity fragrances and bath and body. Valencia said that fragrance tied to a famous face — such as Nicki Minaj — can result in up to $100,000 in sales in one day. The celebrity doesn’t even have to appear on air, just tweeting or posting from their Instagram account is enough to drive traffic and sales to HSN.com.