Patrick (no relation to Chris Chong) said: “The beauty business is a dynamic one, and the question is always how can we serve customers better, whether online or offline? If you only have online without the offline, you reduce the experience factor.”
This tactile experience, one that allows shoppers to touch, feel, smell and live, cannot be replaced by online shopping. Nor a department store counter.
“Having your own boutique is important to give customers what they want. The beauty industry has changed dramatically over the years, and so has the consumer: What they look for, how you are servicing them. Today’s consumer is more educated, more savvy, and buy what they feel is best for them at that moment. You need to cater to new trends, the new consumer shopping habits and react to their needs in real time,” he said.
The advantage of having a standalone store versus a department store counter, is the great experience that is more personable and intimate for the consumer. “Once you have the relationship between the customer and the staff, you can better service them. A regular client can ring in to place an order when they need a restock, and we can have the items delivered to their homes or offices,” he shared.
While a department store, he noted, may be a good entry point for new brands to the market, there are limitations, mainly visibility (you get lost in the sea of competitors), size, and delayed responsiveness.
“At a department store, it’s a limited experience of the full glory of a brand, because some concepts or promotions are difficult to orchestrate. But at your own boutique, you can continue to curate and improve the experience for the customer,” he explained.