How to Achieve International Success with Your Cosmetics Brand

August 1, 2023 
|  Passport

The global cosmetics market grew to over $262 billion dollars in 2022 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2% over the next several years.

With such growth, cosmetics brands have a unique opportunity to widen their market share by catering to new and/or growing audiences.

But to make this happen and have it go smoothly, brands will need to balance opportunities with challenges, especially when it comes to international shipping. This might require the right mix of sticking with (or slightly modifying) what’s worked for you domestically – and adapting as needed to secure shipping success in new countries.

Let’s explore all angles of this opportunity in more detail.

How International Shipping Can Boost Cosmetics Brand Growth

The nature of cosmetics products—often compact and lightweight—makes them ideally suited for international shipping. Couple this with the allure of global brand prestige and the possibility of reaching a wider customer base, and the case for international expansion becomes even stronger.

Here are some key considerations for leveraging international shipping to grow your cosmetic brand globally:

Refresh Your Value Proposition for Global Appeal

Comprehensive market research beyond your domestic sales regions can reveal cultural preferences, popular beauty trends, and customer behavior in different countries. This knowledge, in turn, can enable your sales and marketing teams to tailor your value proposition(s) to meet the unique needs and desires of various new target markets.

Create Deeper Global Customer Connections

An effective way to stand out in the competitive cosmetics industry is to cultivate a personalized and memorable experience. Swift responses to customer inquiries, empathetic problem-solving, and personalized interactions make your international customers feel valued, fostering deeper loyalty and turning them into brand advocates.

You may already be implementing many of these practices domestically, but it can be helpful to reassess and adjust as needed for new markets. Differences and unique circumstances abroad may require changes to what works for you at home.

Unboxing presents another opportunity to deepen customer relationships, and this experience can be customized for your new international customers. A simple strategy could be to include a “thank you” note specific to each country. This shows that you’ve done your research and are not treating your international customers as an afterthought, but rather as valued individuals with unique needs and preferences.

Utilize International Shipping as a Key Driver for Global Expansion

In the cosmetics world, the journey from order to delivery is a pivotal part of the customer experience. Because of this, it can become a powerful driver of your growth strategy when executed well.

Efficient and dependable international shipping can boost customer satisfaction, encouraging repeat purchases and nurturing global brand recognition. This doesn’t have to mean “fast shipping” either. In fact, many customers care more about the price of shipping than the speed.

Successful deliveries to new markets do more than sell a product—they establish your brand’s presence and reputation as they grow your physical footprint across the globe. Consider each delivery as an opportunity to cultivate a repeat purchase and as a stepping stone toward broader recognition.

Maximizing these benefits at the right price points for you will require not only internal strategic planning but also the right partners. The fastest and most efficient route can often include engaging with experts in international shipping that can help ensure timely deliveries and proactive communication—no matter where your customers are.

Factors to Consider for Successful International Cosmetics Shipping

At Passport, we’ve pinpointed several key tactics that can pave the way for a successful and profitable venture into international markets. These can also serve as a starting point for an internal review if you’re already shipping internationally but aren’t achieving the desired outcomes.

  1. Clear Pricing Structure: Unforeseen expenses can transform the joy of online shopping into a shock. By clearly detailing all taxes, duties, and shipping fees in the final cost, you can prevent unexpected surprises, potentially lowering the rate of cart abandonment for international shipments. As such, it might be worth considering Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) pricing for your cosmetics brand. If Delivered Duties Unpaid (DDU) is your preferred method, ensure that the likelihood and responsibility for added costs are communicated clearly.
  2. Dependable Delivery: For your customers, the path to enhanced beauty extends beyond the mere act of buying. Dependable and consistent delivery will often be a crucial part of your customer’s beauty regimen. Delivering packages within the initially estimated delivery window is vital to meeting expectations.
  3. Efficient Customer Service: Communication is paramount here too. Whether it’s proactively sharing order status updates or addressing concerns promptly, timely and thorough customer interactions can greatly enhance your selling and fulfillment experience. While this may require a few extra steps compared to your domestic customer service process, these new workflows can be integrated or automated into your existing practices with minimal effort or some assistance.
  4. Navigating Customs: The cosmetics world can sometimes involve dealing with country-specific regulations, which might seem intimidating at first. Assisting customers through this process, or ensuring it’s efficiently managed by your shipping partner(s), streamlines their buying journey and positions your brand as trustworthy and customer-centric. As an example, consider the benefits of obtaining a Free Sale Certificate to get ahead of regulations.
  5. Memorable Packaging: In the cosmetics market, where repeat purchases are more the norm, every unboxing is a chance to strengthen a positive relationship with your brand. Thoughtful, personalized packaging can leave a lasting impression. This doesn’t have to require a significant amount of work or expense. It could be as straightforward as designing convenient packaging that adequately protects your product, possibly also reduces environmental waste, and that the customer finds easy to open.
  6. Reasonable Returns or Customer Satisfaction Policies: Cosmetics can have various effects on different individuals. An easy, fair returns policy can encourage customers to try your products without hesitation, knowing they have a fallback option. If this proves challenging for your brand or doesn’t align with your business practices, consider a mix of other policies for unhappy customers that still balances your business needs.

The effectiveness of following these specific guidelines may vary for your own brand and products. Your leadership will always know best how they might fit into your global strategy. But evaluating or reassessing how they might play out in your sales and fulfillment pipelines will likely result in significant gains for your international shipping operations.

When to Partner with an International Shipping Expert

If managing all these aspects of international shipping for your cosmetics brand internally seems daunting, or if you simply prefer to delegate to an expert, partnering with a seasoned shipping specialist like Passport could be to your strategic advantage.

Take the guesswork out of global expansion and let us navigate the complexities for you, freeing you to focus on what you do best–creating exceptional cosmetic products. We can help navigate international regulations, provide end-to-end pricing transparency, and mitigate shipping risks—freeing you to focus more on your core business functions.

For inspiration, check out how Passport helped Native decrease return-to-sender shipments by 75%, helping to make global expansion a key part of their overall growth.
Ready to smooth the wrinkles of global expansion and propel your cosmetics brand to international success? Book a call to learn how we can tailor our services to your brand’s unique needs.

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