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Benefit Cosmetics launches first voice-led campaign in the UK

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Cosmetics brand Benefit Cosmetics has launched its first voice-led campaign with Send Me A Sample this week – the first cosmetics brand in the UK to do so.

Consumers have been served ads with the Send Me A Sample call to action, which prompts them to simply request a sample of Benefit’s POREfessional primer via Google Assistant or Alexa. It’s the first time the UK cosmetics brand has used Voice to get its product into the hands of consumers.

The campaign will allow Benefit Cosmetics to not only tap into the nascent voice commerce market, bt also to accrue a wealth of customer data. The average opt-in rate with Send Me A Sample  is 50%, with most brands offering a minimum of 10,000 samples.

“At Benefit Cosmetics, sampling is essential for us as a way to raise awareness of specific products and increase brand loyalty,” says a spokesperson for Benefit. “While essential it can also be problematic, as it’s not always easy to get key insights into who you’re sampling with and to be able to follow up.”

They continue: “This opportunity with Send Me A Sample has opened a route that was never available before; to drive in-home product trial via voice. Using voice in this way has allowed us as a brand to collect key marketing data at scale, allowing us to harness that data to build future relationships and create strong brand affinity. It’s amazing to say that we are the first cosmetics brand in the UK to drive product trial in such a new, innovative way.”

Commenting on the future of voice-led campaigns, Will Glynn-Jones, co-founder of Send Me A Sample says: “Voice may be the ’buzzword’ of the year but there’s good reason for that – given it’s used in the correct way. The real value of voice-led campaigns comes from the collection of data from users who opt-in and who have tried the product at brand level. This wealth of data can play a crucial role when it comes to brands re-targeting and building ongoing relationship with consumers.”

He continues: “Voice should never just be a gimmicky ’look at us, we’re doing something new’. It should be integrated from the beginning of any campaign and used in a way that reduces friction for customers and allows brands to access data that can help them deliver exactly what consumers want.”

Benefit Cosmetics joins a small but growing band of early adopters of voice, with Virgin Trains selling train tickets through Amazon Alexa and Argos allowing for shoppers to sort out their click and collect orders with Google Home.

According to Rowena Patterson, Head of Consumer Research, Simpson Carpenter, at the current rate of growth, by 2022 almost half of UK households are expected to own a smart speaker, increasing the v-commerce market from just £200 million today to £3.5 billion.

Amazon’s Echo currently leads the space, accounting for 41% of global smart speaker sales. This is followed by Google on 27%.  

“The technology, and Amazon’s hold over it, represents a clear challenge to the retail sector,” says Patterson. “However, adoption of the tech and of v-commerce by traditional retailers has been very slow. Many are still unconvinced and waiting for more evidence over whether it can have a real impact on the point of purchase.”

In fact, Amazon’s Alexa has made such in-roads into the ecommerce space that the company cites its growth as one of the main reasons why it canned its Dash buttons last week.

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