TULA Skincare is a successful, DTC native, social-first skincare company that creates clean, effective, top-ranked skincare products featuring Probiotics & Superfoods. They have built a fast-growing business in a crowded space by tapping into social media and gained traction as a top Prestige Skincare brand at Ulta with a growing and loyal following.
As the VP of Global Sales & Education, Amanda Domaleczny leads their high-performing retail sales, events, and education teams for several retailers including ULTA, Nordstrom, and Dermstore. Previously at Korres and Drybar, Amanda is a passionate beauty industry leader in the retail and education space.
We’ve asked Amanda to share her insights on branding, customer loyalty and the year ahead for both digital and brick-and-mortar sales.
As an omni, D2C native brand, how are you preparing for a new year during COVID?
Given our tremendous growth over the last couple of years in both our D2C and retail channels, we have been making strategic hires across a wide variety of teams to accommodate demand and ensure we are well-positioned for 2021 and beyond. We have built out our strategic objectives for the year still highly focused on being flexible and resilient. We are focused on key levers to ensure we are optimizing the spaces both online and offline where our customer is shopping and experiencing the brand, knowing that her shopping behavior will continue to change before it starts to stabilize.
What are your top three strategies for the next few months as shopping in-store remains restricted?
We are still providing a good deal of store support, we are just doing it very differently than we ever have before. We are looking at this as a great time to A/B test that which we would otherwise may not have done. That means going narrow and deep, focusing on fewer stores more often, with a fully revised focus door strategy. Much of this aligns with our retailer’s direction and our determination to pull back on travel and focus on safety first. This way, we can still provide a best in class experience to the customer and retail employees while also adhering to the right health and safety measures. We know that consistency is key, and that education is more important now than ever. So, we have rolled out some impactful education initiatives to bring the brand and innovation experience to life in multiple ways throughout the year, including both in-store and virtual initiatives.
We are also leaning in on bringing our brand to life in-store and online. Not only have we expanded our B&M presence, but we will also continue this, with refreshed merchandising that tells our brand story throughout the store and makes it easy for the prestige customer, the skincare curious customer, or our brand loyalists to shop and navigate through without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated.
We also want to make sure we’re relevant to consumers – regardless of where they shop – and everything they are going through right now. This is part of the reason why we recently conducted a “Confidence Survey” with 10,000 of our loyal customers to get a better understanding of what helps them feel confident. The feedback we received helped to inform our approach and allowed us to recognize the need for the conversation around beauty to be shifted toward something more positive. Our response was to launch #EmbraceYourSkin to remind our community that they are enough at every stage of their journey.
How are you balancing digital and brick-and-mortar? What new technology have you implemented?
We have, of course, seen shifts in where the customer is shopping and the pendulum swings back and forth based on the timing of spikes and based on region. We have been able to capture customer demand because we have been well equipped to meet the customer where she is, based on her constantly changing shopping preferences: from TULA.com, to in-store navigation, curbside pickup, or our retailers eComm sites. While TULA is a digitally native brand, we have more than 1,300 total points of distribution, including ULTA and Nordstrom.
Within our brick-and-mortar retail partners, we have our in-store sales team — TULA product experts positioned to offer their knowledge to consumers. We also brought this expertise to our own eCommerce website when brick and mortar retail closed, and have now been able to implement a Skincare Advisor live chat service on TULA.com. We were pleased to be able to repurpose our full-time field team in this way. And while they are now back in the field, we are still continuing the program given the success.
We have also relaunched our on-site digital Skin Quiz experience to help customers find the right personalized routine for their needs, along with building out our involvement in Ulta’s Skin Care Analysis technology.
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