Cosmeticos24h: digitizing the advice experience of beauty salons, with Francisco Durá

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One of the most important things for people is their beauty and skin care and thanks to e-commerce, consumers can have all the cosmetic products they need to achieve their goal at the click of a button.

We interviewed Francisco Durá, director of Cosmeticos24h, that we met during a Digital 1to1 event. It is a platform that offers cosmetic brands and she told us a little about her business model, her evolution and her plans for the future.

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Interview to Francisco Durá (24h Cosmetics)

What is Cosmeticos24h?

Cometicos24h is focused on beauty salon clients. That means they are willing customers, put themselves in someone’s hands and spend their money on products that a person has recommended to them.

We are for those clients who They have already been recommended a product and simply want to buy it, because it happens a lot that your beautician no longer carries that brand, has closed or has come across a product on a trip. Even those that have sold him certain things but he doesn’t know very well how to use them.

How does the business come about?

While studying engineering came the 2008 crisis. My mother is a beautician and this was a dramatic moment for the family, as there was no income. At that moment, my mother put me on the decision-making wheel and we began to make them: we laid off staff and, with the little we had left, we tried set up an online store. This was 2008, there was no online world and it was a leap forward.

we had a hard time riding the store between 3,000 or 4,000 euros at the time and we set to work morning and night for a year. When he came home from university, we started to chop up the texts of the products. In my room I built a small still life, with the flexo with which I studied and a sheet of paper I put the products and took pictures with a camera. With a lot of effort, we spent months digitizing products that had never been on the internet.

In 2009 We open the store. And here came the big question: what we have to do. So we had to continue learning with digital marketing, we started working on Adwords (now Google Ads), which at that time was prehistoric.

So I was dedicating more time and I was taking courses. In 2015 I did an MBA to continue growing in the company, taking on new projects and here we are, everything that started in my room, now we are in a warehouse with all the logistics and that’s it. we are 10 people working.

To make a composition of the place, key data that we always ask: annual billing, estimated web traffic / average basket and conversion rate.

When we started in 2009, it was about 600 euros per month which were 10 sales, a sale every three or four days when we started advertising. But it was doubling year after year. Now we invoice between 150-180 thousand euros per month and the year 2022 will close with about 2 million euros. We have a high productivity, about 200,000 euros per employee.

The average spending basket is 75 euros. 20% of our orders are for more than 150 euros. The installment payment is from 50 euros, but people use it very little. As to conversion rate, we have a 2 or 2.5% more or less, of traffic that enters the store, because we discard the traffic that enters the blog. In fact, I have the blog literally hidden.

Half of our traffic is SEO and the other half is online marketing. We have excel to keep track of all channels. Although the newsletter does not include it in this traffic mix, but it brings us 5%. 80% is Google Ads, because the purchase intention is mainly on Google.

When choosing a platform for your store, how did you do it? What technology did you bet on: shopify, magento…?

Initially, we worked with a platform called OsCommerce, which you see now and it’s also prehistoric, but at that time the agency that was going to develop the project for us had quite a bit of skill with that platform. We looked at a bunch of examples and said this is what we wanted to do. We had very few products.

In 2018, we changed the platform to Prestashop and we chose it because the experts told us that it was the one that best fit our project, because of the size, the speed we had, because of the things we wanted to customize and others.

Are you present in any marketplace?

We’ve tried a few things. We have a limitation, our business model is to work with beauty salon brands. Very professional brands that are very comfortable offline, but not very good online.

They invite us not to touch the prices. You know that as a competition they cannot limit us, but they are not comfortable and we want long-term relationships, so we try to follow their policy and we do not do much in that field. The only thing we do in markets is liquidations of some old things. In any case, some brands that we have tried and we could do, we are not competitive in markets, We don’t have enough profit margin.

How have you managed to differentiate yourself from so much competition today?

I wanted to apply the same philosophy that my mother applied in the beauty salon, but online. Her philosophy was: a product is not good for everyone and a brand is not good for everyone. When we make the first contact with a client asking about a brand, the first thing is to ask: What does your skin need? What cosmetics do you have at home? How do you use it? Are you constant or do you use it from time to time? This way we know that we can recommend, advise and organize your cosmetic protocol.

Our clients are very loyal and call us for everything, even for cosmetic advice with other products. When you already have that level of trust with the client, it is because you are already in their top of mind and they will consider you for everything. And they buy, there comes a time when the ticket can be 500 euros.

We focus on consulting to retain customers Y many times we add communication in the shipments we make, we send them personalized things, but the client is quite resistant to communicating. Analyzing the competition there is no real advisory service, the only thing that others do is send the links and close the sale.

How are your emails? Are they more than newsletter with products?

We have two email lines. One is promotions and campaigns, customers expect them a lot, because they are loyal to a brand and expect the discount or the Christmas pack a lot.

And we also have the line of communication “I’m going to tell you what nobody tells you.” I am going to tell you why this cosmetic works and how the different active ingredients and others work.

And on social networks?

Personally, I don’t trust much social networks to broadcast. We’ve tried, but because we’re not getting strong organic growth, we’re creating great content that way, but they get lost. So, efforts on that track are a bit limited.

We have a barrier, none of our advisers, who are capable of telling very good stories, have wanted to get in front of the camera. I die of jealousy when I see a brand on social media that has a beautician behind it and thanks to that their organic growths are very good. I have a great structure, I have thousands of references, but until now I did not have a person who wanted to get in front of the camera.

We have set up a set in the office and we are going to start recording easily, because the other option was to put people in front of the camera who like the camera, but do not understand and cannot transmit everything that we are, something that we did not want. I think that TikTok would not be the network for our audience, because our perfect target is 40 to 45 years old, but we will begin to take some steps on Instagram.

And what are the challenges in 2022? Where is the next step for Cosmeticos24h?

The next thing is to internationalize and take this business model to countries with similar idiosyncrasies, such as Italy, France. In fact, we are already in Portugal and it works very well for us. Maybe make the leap to South America, we’ll see.

we also want continue growing with the hairdresser, because you can tell the same story with very specific hairdressing products.

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