Did you know that the revenue of the cosmetics industry is predicted to reach $17K million in 2021? Most of that revenue will be generated in the United States.

Another study found that nearly one-third of beauty buyers are more likely to buy beauty products online after the coronavirus outbreak.

It is a good time to learn how to start selling cosmetics online and make money.

Starting an online cosmetics business requires you to do more than just build a website or set up an ecommerce store. You need to register your business to stay legally compliant, get licenses, and find ways to reach and engage potential buyers.

Wondering how to get started?

Let’s find out.

6 Tips on How to Start Selling Cosmetics Online

Here are some of the best practices we recommend that you follow while starting your online cosmetics business:

1. Stay Legally Compliant

Before you start selling, you need to pick a business name and legal entity type for your cosmetics business. Along with registering your business, you should also create essential legal documents, agreements, and contracts to avoid issues later.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Choose a business name that is unique, relevant to the cosmetics industry, and has not been trademarked by anyone else. Also, ensure that the name is available as a domain name to build your ecommerce website.
  • Pick a business structure that fits your operational, management, and taxation needs. The most common business structures include Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Corporation.
  • Create essential agreements such as an LLC Operating Agreement (if forming an LLC) or Corporate Bylaws (if forming a Corporation). You should also create non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements when hiring employees or contracting with vendors.
  • Check with the state and local authorities to see if you may need any licenses or permits to sell makeup products.
  • Ensure that your cosmetics products are in compliance with the laws. The FDA regulates cosmetics in the United States under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).

To create all of the legal documents correctly, you can buy our business formation package and leave the rest to us. It will help prevent mistakes that can turn out to be costly for your business. Check out our packages and inclusions for more details.

2. Decide on the Type of Cosmetics Business You Want to Run

When it comes to starting an online business in the beauty industry, there are multiple ways to sell makeup products. You need to finalize a business model that best suits your resources and budget.

Let’s take a look at the types of cosmetics businesses you can start.

  • You can create your own beauty brand by manufacturing unique makeup products and selling them online. It is easy to create products such as lip balms and face oils.

While you can also manufacture these at your home, you will have to follow the FDA guidelines for ventilation, air control, and surfaces.

To manufacture your products on a large scale, you’ll need to set up a manufacturing unit.

  • The other way to start a cosmetics business online is to buy products from popular beauty brands wholesale and resell them online after adding your profit margin. You can choose to sell products from local-only brands or natural/organic products.

By reselling products, you can skip the step of manufacturing beauty products. However, you’ll have to contact vendors, find a supplier who offers the best prices, list products on your website and other marketplaces, and be responsible for shipping and customer service.

3. Set Up an Ecommerce Store

You can either set up an online store on platforms such as Shopify or build your own ecommerce website.

You should:

  • Buy a domain and use website builders such as WordPress and WooCommerce to build your ecommerce website. Or, choose to sell cosmetics online on Shopify or other online marketplaces.
  • Pick a simple and minimalistic website design for your makeup brand.
  • Use high-quality product images to showcase your products from different angles.
  • Write concise, keyword-optimized product descriptions.
  • Segment your beauty products into relevant categories to make it easier for people to find the products they need.
  • Use search engine optimization to rank your product pages in the SERPs.
  • Optimize your checkout process for conversions.

4. Know Your Product Inside Out

To successfully sell makeup and beauty products online, you’ll need to know everything about your products. You should be able to answer all questions that your potential customers may have about your products.

You should know:

  • What are your products made of?
  • How should customers use your products?
  • When can they expect it to be delivered?
  • How can your product make their lives easier?
  • Do your products suit all skin types or are there any specific guidelines about who they are the best fit for?

5. Do Competitor Research

Along with understanding your target audience, you should also check out your competitors. You need to ensure that you’re offering better products, prices, and service quality than other cosmetics businesses online.

If you want to increase sales and generate more revenue, you need to convince people that your brand is better than others.

Answer the following questions:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • What do your competitors do well?
  • What do they do poorly?
  • What can you improve in your site, products, and marketing strategies to get more market share?
  • What mistakes did your competitors make and how can you avoid them?

Competitor research can help you strengthen your brand’s position in the market. This will, in turn, help you get more leads, conversions, sales, and revenue in the long run.

6. Promote Your Beauty Products on Social Media

47% of beauty product buyers mainly use social media to research products to buy, which makes social media platforms powerful marketing tools.

You can:

  • Build a solid presence on the top social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • Create Shoppable posts to help customers buy your cosmetics while they are browsing through their social media feeds.
  • Run affiliate programs to encourage people to help you drive more sales. Offering affiliate discounts can help customers make buying decisions faster.
  • Partner with beauty influencers to promote your makeup products and reach wider audiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I start selling beauty products online?

To start selling beauty products online, you should:

  • Choose a business name.
  • Register your ecommerce business.
  • Build an e-store or ecommerce website.
  • List your makeup and beauty products online.
  • Optimize your online cosmetics store to attract more traffic.
  • Promote your products on social media.
  • Use affiliate marketing and influencer marketing to increase sales.

2. Do you need a license to sell cosmetics online?

To sell cosmetics online, you will have to get a license from Drug Control and Environmental Regulations. You may also need trade licenses to operate your online business.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) also regulate the cosmetics and makeup market.

3. How much does it cost to start a cosmetics line?

You can start your own makeup line by investing $5,000-$25,000. You can always start small and then scale your online business as you make profits.

4. How can I start my own makeup business from home?

It’s easy to start your own makeup business from home. You need a computer, an internet connection, an e-store or online shopping website, good beauty products, and the right marketing strategies to get started.

However, it is also important to register your online business as a legal entity to prevent penalties and lawsuits.

Either make your own products or find makeup brands and suppliers that allow you to buy wholesale and sell on your online store.

Make sure that you build a unique brand identity to attract and engage customers.

5. Where can I buy makeup products to sell online?

You can buy makeup products from the official brand websites or find vendors on online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

Are You Ready to Start Selling Cosmetics Online?

Setting up an online store is not easy. You need to create a well-documented plan for your online business, which will include your preferred brands, makeup products, suppliers, and marketplaces.

Do you need help selling cosmetics online and building a profitable ecommerce business? Connect with our business formation experts to start your online cosmetics business on the right foot.