How direct sales business models integrate with ecommerce II

Fri 16 March 2012 12:00, Qin Hu

How direct sales business models integrate with ecommerce II

Remember my first article about this topic? Well here’s part 2 of me looking at the Mary Kay and Avon websites and this time asking myself whether these brands are really ready to sell online. Have they taken into account that customers of beauty products always want more details before actually buying? Do they realize that customers are indeed concerned about possible allergies to any or some product ingredients? And what about concerns of mismatching colors?

In this case, I think Avon’s products are suitable to sell online because on its website, every product feature has been fully displayed, rated and customers can check reviews as well. Although customers still cannot order some small samples from the online store, Avon is now being sold in some stores globally. Customers can just go to the shops and ask for some samples.

We cannot buy Mary Kay’s products without beauty consultants so far. So if customers want to get some samples, they need to find their beauty consultants around geographical locations. Those beauty consultants also will give customers more professional suggestions for choosing beauty products. In my opinion, as soon as customers can get some samples, Mary Kay’s products are also suitable to sell online.

After visiting both companies’ websites, I would like to give some personal opinions about improvement:

  • Both Mary Kay and Avon need to give some information about on which payment methods they accept.

  • Travel kits could be a good idea. Avon already has a holiday category where customers can find many travel kits. So Mary Kay also can think about providing the same.

  • I can see that both companies have men as a target group. However, we cannot see any pictures to promote this segment.

  • Many other companies in the beauty industry have been selling samples online for a long time. It brings a lot of convenience to customers. It is time for Mary Kay and Avon to think about this too. I highly recommend that both companies provide some samples of their products which can be purchased online at a cheap price.

  • Mary Kay needs to clearly inform their customers that it is not possible for them to buy online up to now. From the website, customers will think they can buy Mary Kay’s products online, but in the end, they will see that they have to find their local Mary Kay beauty consultants. Customers will feel kind of fooled. It is also my personal experience and feeling when I visited Mary Kay’s website for the first time.

Of course there are many other aspects..You might have suggestions. Can’t wait to hear from all of you :)


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