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Social selling moves online

COSMETICS BUSINESS LAUNCHES THE SOCIAL SELLING MODEL OF THE FUTURE

A NEW digital platform has been launched by Avon Cosmetics to revolutionise the online shopping experience for customers and to provide a truly flexible online business opportunity for budding entrepreneurs across the UK, helping make dreams of owning a business a reality.

The new website, carefully developed by Avon, fuses social selling and social networking together to revolutionise how Avon Representatives serve their customers. It is the perfect marriage of offline and online shopping, giving the customer convenience to shop whenever they want but with a personal touch.

Each Representative will now have their own online Avon Store for them to run and personalise to suit their customers’ individual needs. A desire of many UK women found by a survey commissioned by Avon to celebrate the launch.

According to the research a staggering 60% of UK women dream of starting their own business to improve their work/life balance, but have never taken the leap in to entrepreneurship. Forty-five per cent admitted they had looked into starting their own business but gave up because it seemed too complicated or they were too scared to make the jump.

As a result, with the new digital platform Avon is setting out to inspire, support and empower 50,000 people to become ‘digital entrepreneurs’ by the end of 2017 to encourage the UK to #WorkItYourWay.

Emma Jones, founder of small business support network Enterprise Nation, comments: ‘With the lack of an idea or start-up capital often being the greatest barriers to women starting a business, My Avon store is the answer for both. There’s no need for an idea when you can work with an established brand such as Avon. With no upfront fees, you’re able to start running your business online from day one and be earning by the end of the week.’

The survey also highlighted current moans by UK consumers around today’s shopping practices as over a third of female consumers said they believed retail therapy is a thing of the past and over another half saying they find shopping an unenjoyable experience leaving them dissatisfied, stressed and at risk of losing their brand loyalty.

With a specific look at the high street compared to online, the main stresses stated of the high street were queues (37%) and parking (33%), and the stresses online were due to poor or expensive delivery options (17%) and difficulties returning and item (16%). Over three-quarters also said they would rather buy from an Independent local business than a big brand if costs were comparable.

Avon’s new website allows customers to shop online directly through a local independent business; their local Representative’s own online store and gives them the choice; free delivery delivered to their door by their Representative or via direct delivery or Parcel Shop pick up from Avon, plus there is a money back guarantee in place for returned items, a rarity for a beauty company.

Andrea Slater, Avon General Manager Western Europe, says: ’Our research reinforces that shoppers are becoming more and more sophisticated and selective, often opting for the most hassle free option, so any retailer has to be light on their feet and able to adapt to give the customer what they want.

‘The launch of the new online store is very exciting for both new and existing customers. Avon is the original social network, offering customers a personal shopping experience with a community feel, and we continually push forward to improve and evolve this experience.’

Andrea continues: ‘Last year, Avon won Verdict’s 2015 Customer Satisfaction Awards which highlights how much personal service from Avon Representatives is valued by customers. I am extremely proud of this award and I look forward to now giving Representatives the opportunity to extend this outstanding service online as well.’

The need to integrate both the benefits of high street and online shopping is something Avon has worked hard to balance, whilst still keeping Representatives at the heart of the business. Time and research has been spent developing its new digital platform to mirror the core values of its offline, door-to-door business. The new digital platform has been developed based on in-depth research, with both customers and Representatives, to ensure that it delivers the best possible online shopping experience as well as the perfect flexible business opportunity.

To learn more and set up your online Avon business today visit: www.avon.uk.com/become-a-representative

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