"In-store testers will be for display purposes only, so guests can have a visual sense of colour and textures."
"As we reopen our stores, our goal is to provide guests with a safe shopping environment without losing the unique experience of Ulta Beauty," said the retailer's chief merchandising officer, Monica Arnaudo. "In-store testers will be for display purposes only, so guests can have a visual sense of colour and textures."
That means physically swatching a new lipstick (or any of the other most popular beauty categories to test, like foundation, eyeshadow, nail polish, fragrance, and moisturiser) will be replaced by other "try-on" mediums — whether virtual or take-home.
Product Sampling Will Get a Makeover
Just because you won't be able to test a product at the store doesn't mean the "try before you buy" structure goes completely out the window — it might just look a little different.
Take Violet Grey's new strategy, for example: "We will work with our brand partners to supply individual sanitized samples," said Uchitel. "While clients may prefer to take them home to try, which could, in turn, impact immediate purchases, it is a much-preferred experience to not being able to try before they buy."
Similarly, Bluemercury CEO and founder Marla Beck said the retailer would be offering three packets of product samples as opposed to physical samples to be used in stores. These are included with purchase, regardless if you order online or pick up at any of its 115 curbside locations. "These are vacuum-sealed packets, varying from face masks and wellness supplements to foundation samples," she said.