TOOLS + RESOURCES

Shop Talk :: Why Organic Beauty Shoppers Love Samples (and Shop Owners Should Too)

Why Organic Beauty Shoppers Love Samples (and Shop Owners Should Too)

Shop Talk is a new series I’m starting here on OBS. It’s geared toward the organic beauty professional – shop owners, larger web sites, brand creators… But anyone is welcome to join in the conversation.

We’ll be covering things like what consumers love/hate in organic beauty, ways to connect with your audience, how to make your shop or site the best it can be, content ideas, and more. Whether you are an organic beauty pro or not, I’d love to have your input on this. Feel free to contribute to the comments or contact me with ideas or questions.

So, here we go with the first official Shop Talk post. Today we are covering samples, why shoppers love them, and why shop owners should love them too.

Why Shoppers Love Organic Beauty Samples (and Shop Owners Should Too)

This may seem obvious at first glance…because everyone wants to try stuff for free or almost free, duh. But there truly is more to the whole organic beauty sample game than just getting to try something out for free.

Remember when, in your pre-organics days, you’d walk through the department store beauty section and score some high end samples? You’d take those suckers home, feeling like you’d just won the mini lottery, and commence to using them like a fiend. Or was that just me? C’mon, you know you did it too.

You’d feel like it had miraculously turned your skin into someone else’s and you simply had. to. have. more. So you’d hop your sweet little buns back out to the mall for a bigger score. This time, on you.

In short, you bought the dang products, didn’t you?

Me too. Even if they didn’t work for the long term. You bought them because you got to try them out. You bonded with them. A connection was made.

Sure not all products are a match made in heaven. Plenty of them get pitched and never again see the light of day. But some blossom into a full on love connection.

Samples are even more important with organic beauty products than conventional. And that is because not everyone is sold on the fact that clean beauty products can behave themselves the same way the department store brands do. We know they do, but some people are still skeptical. Another reason, lack of experience. Most people simply have not tried as many organic beauty products as they have conventional.

Let’s think about this organic beauty samples thing in terms of food. Say, almond milk. When almond milk started to become popular you may have wanted to try it, but maybe not enough to buy an entire carton. What if you didn’t like it? What if it sat in your fridge and no one drank it? What if it was downright gross? And did you really want to be someone who drank almond milk, anyway?

Then one day as you strolled through your favorite Target, there was a sample of almond milk. You tried it. You weren’t that into it. You didn’t buy it.

The next week there is yet another sample of almond milk. Been down that road before, you are thinking. But this time it’s different. This time they are offering vanilla almond milk. Hmmm. You try it. You love it. You buy it every week because you just can’t get enough. You put it on your cereal, in your coffee, use it to make smoothies. How did you ever live without your precious almond milk? The rest is history.

Would you ever have considered buying the vanilla almond milk without a sample? Probably not. Target got the sample of vanilla almond milk in your hand and you weren’t so scared of it because they’d already introduced you to the regular almond milk the week before.

Green beauty shoppers are at you store, so they are already interested in green beauty. You just have to help them find the stuff that is right for them.

Samples are a super helpful way of getting organic beauty products into the hands of buyers. They may not love each and every sample, but it is introducing them to different products and brands. They are interested in investigating further. A connection has been made.

Whether you offer standard samples with each purchase, give options, or make sample sizes available for purchase, this is a valuable way of helping consumers find products they like and getting your items on their radar.

Time to up your samples game.

Ingredient Focus :: Estrogen Disruptors

Endocrine Disruptors

I’ve been spending some writing time on toxic ingredients over at Feelgood Style this past week. In particular, hormone disruptors.

Unless you’ve been living in some extremely remote location, you’ve heard of parabens. These preservatives are widely used in cosmetics. And they are synthetic. And they are toxic. No matter how slyly a company may try to portray them as coming from nature. Nope. Parabens used in cosmetics are synthetic. You can read more about what I have to say on that here.

Then there are metalloestrogens. This class of chemicals are metals and they mimic estrogen in the body. They also take longer (like, a lot longer!) for our bodies to expel than parabens. This means they have longer to do their dirty work. For the full deets on metalloestrogens, read what I wrote on FGS.

So what’s the big deal with estrogen? Don’t our bodies make this hormone anyway? Yep. Women need estrogen to stay balanced and healthy.

But too much of this good thing can cause serious health issues. When estrogen levels become too high, inflammation occurs and disease can follow. Some toxic ingredients block hormone receptors, which can also lead to disease.

The moral to this story: Avoid parabens, plastics and estrogen-mimicking metals.

Shop Talk :: Trust + Transparency

Organic Beauty Shopping Trust + Transparency

Often when I am talking with someone about a beauty products they are using I’ll hear And it’s natural! Ugh, some of my least favorite words.

Why?

Because so very often it really is not that natural. Maybe not natural at all. We’ve talked about natural being a less than definitive term. No true definition, super ambiguous, sorta ripe for the greenwashing.

Women want good health. They want to buy healthy products for themselves, their daughters, the rest of their family. But it’s like this – remember the fat free foods phase? Everyone was eating anything marked Fat Free and believing it was good for them, even if it was a cookie or cracker? Ya, that.

Cosmetics are the same deal. If someone slaps all natural on the front of the product, well people are going to think it’s good for them. Lots of people. No questions asked.

Since not everyone wants to memorize or carry around a handy dandy list of ingredients you don’t want to see in your cosmetics, there has to be another way to get healthy products in the hands of consumers. And there is. It’s called trust.

Trustworthy, transparent brands and shops can do this. They can get their truly healthy products in womens’ bathroom cupboards and on top of their vanities. If you have a heavy duty no toxins allowed commitment , let everyone know about it. Put it on your About Us page. Announce it on Twitter (maybe even daily). Instagram it. Slap it underneath your logo. Something along these lines:

We only sell nontoxic products!

We believe in toxin free!

No greenwashers allowed!

Here’s what we put in our products! (linked to a list of healthy natural ingredients)

Here’s what we don’t put in our products! (linked to a list of harmful cosmetics ingredients, use mine if you want it)

Whatever your stalwart stance on safe cosmetics, scream it from the roof top. Tell your followers and encourage them to tell theirs.

And be sure to tell me so I can scream about them too.

Shop Talk :: Rekindling Your Passion

Blogger Biz Rekindling Your Passion

I’m the first to say that this is my dream job. Maybe not my dream salary (yet) but definitely love setting my own hours, working from home (often in my pjs or workout clothes), and getting to know other kindred spirits. And, not lastly, writing.

I’ve always loved to write and adore that it is the crux of my daily work. Still, sometimes it can be difficult to ignite that fire that got you blogging in the first place. Most of us started out in this biz because we felt passionate about something and wanted to share that interest with others.

So what happens when you just aren’t feeling it?

Here’s my go to fire igniter: READ.

That’s right, read other people’s stuff. Blogs, magazines, books, newspapers. Read what you like, written by people you like. Read stuff in your niche and on subjects completely different from what you write. Read controversial and subversive writings. Read sweet and fluffy pieces. Just get started reading somewhere and you will be surprised how inspired you become. Betcha you’ll be jumping up to jot down hot ideas before you’re even finished.

If you are having trouble getting anything fresh in print, or just can’t seem to get yourself to sit down at the computer, maybe you need to take a day (or even an hour) and read. It’ll getcha going. Promise.

*Image by Christopher at Flickr.com, cc