Yesterday, The New York Times ran a story about the dramatic increase in online shopping for cosmetics. Sixteen paragraphs into the story, we learn that Avon is the leading online seller of cosmetics — by a wide margin.
This came as no surprise to me, an avid Avon user.
This 121-year-old company — which still sells through representatives who say, “This is your Avon Lady,” when they call you — seems to do most everything right.
This week in Retail Strategies, we’ll talk about this amazing and enduring company.
I live in a remote area, and when I moved here eight years ago, I realized that I would have to give up buying “mall cosmetics.” The nearest mall is too far away for me to make a special trip when I need, say, blusher. I started buying drugstore cosmetics.
Then, this summer, my husband and I went to a pizza parlor that’s eight miles up the road, and there I found a sign saying one could buy Avon products through a local Avon Lady and pick them up at the pizza parlor.
Wisely, she leaves catalogs — and samples — at the pizza place.
And so, here is the first smart bit of business from Avon. The company still has Avon Ladies. I can call or e-mail my rep to place an order. She calls me when it comes in. I run up the road and pick it up. No shipping charges for great cosmetics. Lesson? Make it easy on your customer.
Tomorrow we’ll look at yet another bit of wisdom from Avon.