Affordable makeup brand Nyx is forging ahead with digital stores

Nyx, an affordable makeup brand available at stores like CVS and Target (but not higher-end Sephora), opened its first storefront late last year, and five more locations are slated to follow in 2016.

The stores, in addition to expanding on the product offerings that customers can find in the drugstore, are putting the digital experience front and center. According to Nathalie Kristo, svp of global marketing and business development, the goal is to give shoppers the power to create makeup looks, get inspiration and share their own photos in-store using technology; ultimately, Nyx wants to empower them to buy.

To drive those purchases, the digital stores place an emphasis on user-generated social media content.

In Nyx stores, all of which will be opening in California, shelf displays are outfitted with an item scanner and digital screen. When a customer scans an item, the screen will come alive with all of the user-generated content tagged with that specific product, down to the exact shade, powered by Olapic, a visual commerce platform. If an item doesn’t yet have any tagged images, customers will be directed to share their own content to be featured in the store. The screen will also show price and product reviews.

Social content comes into play elsewhere in the store on a broader scale in the form of a digital content wall. Makeup trends, top-selling items and most-liked products appear on the wall and, with a tap, users can learn more about the featured products and find them in store.

“Nyx has an online community of millions of beauty fans, and we want our stores celebrate the new generation of makeup lovers and give shoppers a unique experience,” said Kristo. “We took an interactive approach with our stores in order to create a welcoming environment for consumers to find their style.”

Nyx is also incorporating video tutorials into the stores in the form of a “Beauty Bar,” a hub for digital screens that display video blogger content.

Nyx’s digital strategy is similar to Sephora’s, but Nyx will be introducing it to a younger demographic with lower prices. At Sephora’s digital store in California, LED displays show trending content and in-store makeup tutorials are led both by a store associate and follow-along how to videos. While Sephora can offer a digital experience led by content for hundreds of brands, Nyx’s stores are designed to give the customer control over a one-on-one brand experience, according to Kristo.

It’s not just the highly visual beauty industry that’s jumping on user generated content as a tool to drive sales. Sperry, which works with e-commerce software platform Demandware alongside Nyx, uses social media-pulled content to inspire shoppers to customize their own pair of Sperry boat shoes online.

“Everyone is moving toward a customized experience,” said Rick Kenney, head of consumer insights at Demandware. “The in-store display or the online store should feel personal.”