The dictionary definition of a widget is a “gadget” or “an unnamed article considered for purposes of hypothetical example.” Consider this excerpt from a January 2021 article about football coach Nick Saban as a good example: “That guy can sell his shiny widget better than anyone.”
But thanks to advances in technology, widgets are actual things now.
What Is a Widget?
A website widget is a block of code you can easily embed into your site without manually changing the overall code. That means you don’t need any coding skills — and you definitely don’t need to hire a web developer. Instead, you can simply copy and paste the widget code into the back end to enhance site functionality or change the way the website looks. Examples include a weather widget and a clock widget. Once embedded, they would display the forecast and the time on your site.
But let’s say you have an ecommerce site. You probably don’t need to showcase the weather or the time. Widgets can still help, though.
That’s because ecommerce sites using the same content management system (CMS) start to look too similar over time. By tapping into widgets, these sites can enhance the customer experience and differentiate themselves from competitors.
And some widgets even collect data on site visitors to help increase conversions. This is especially important for direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty brands that face increased competition in a rapidly growing industry.
Here’s a closer look at the six beauty widgets you should embed in your site if you haven’t done so already:
For more information on establishing your ecommerce beauty brand:
A Quiz Widget
One major challenge for digital beauty brands is customers can’t try on new products before buying them. Savvy companies are adopting technology to help bridge the online-offline gap — but if you don’t have the budget or bandwidth, one alternative is to integrate quizzes into your site experience.
By doing so, you can guide site visitors to the products most likely to match their wants and needs, such as letting them answer a few questions to identify their ideal color palette. Meanwhile, you can also start to understand those shoppers on a deeper level, allowing you to better serve their needs in the future — and giving you the chance to start building a long-term relationship now rather than later.
One of our favorite quiz tools comes from Outgrow. It offers powerful analytics compared to other beauty widgets, as well as integration with many popular marketing platforms. That means you can immediately start using the data you pull in to your advantage.
It’s incredibly simple to integrate media and animation to make your quiz pop, too. This sample one — How Unhealthy Are You? — should give you a better idea of what Outgrow has to offer.
A Carousel Widget
As a beauty brand, your website likely includes visuals. But you can take that imagery up a notch with carousel beauty widgets.
In fact, image widgets like PhotoSnack, Magix, and Smilebox help create onsite slideshows, which you can use to feature a range of products — and potentially expose site visitors to items they wouldn’t have known about otherwise. It’s also a great way to highlight the most in-demand products on your site at any given moment.
With PhotoSnack, for example, you can pull in content from social media platforms. Plus, slideshows are mobile-friendly, so you won’t risk slowing down your site.
Another image-based widget comes from Elfsight, which is an easy-to-use tool for creating content carousels. By adding this content slider to your site, you can display images, videos, and promotional offers in a format that naturally draws visitors’ eyes — and compels them to click. The best part? There’s no limit to the number of slides you can include.
A Chat Widget
Amazon has come to dominate online commerce in part because it bills itself as the most customer-centric company in the world. And while you may not be a $1.5-trillion business, you can still upgrade your customer service experience with another important widget.
By integrating a customer service widget from a provider like SnapEngage, Userlike, Olark, or HelpCrunch, you can connect shoppers with brand reps who can help answer questions and resolve problems.
While it’s wise to include an FAQ section on your site for customers looking for quick answers, these beauty widgets with live chat functionality help ensure no shopper abandons their cart because they needed assistance they could not easily get. It’s also a much more affordable tactic than building up a call center.
For more information on strategies to overcoming cart abandonments:
That being said, these customer service widgets also allow users to communicate with a human representative if their problem remains unresolved after an initial try. Ultimately, the entire package helps increase engagement — and conversions.
A Social Media Widget
Social media is a vital marketing channel for beauty brands, so it’s critical to remain active on relevant platforms and engage with existing and potential customers.
By incorporating social media widgets into your website, you can add eye-catching social media buttons virtually anywhere. From there, you’ve made it simple for site visitors to not only find your brand content on social networks but also like your content and share it from their own profiles. As this behavior builds, it increases the likelihood your content will be shared while helping you grow brand recognition.
Social bookmarking service AddThis is probably the most popular social widget as it allows users to add floating social media buttons or sidebars on every site page. Other beauty widgets for social media include Shared Counts and Sassy Social Share.
A Reviews Widget
By now, we know how powerful reviews and ratings can be when it comes to influencing customer perception and behavior. Thankfully, the next beauty widgets on our list make it effortless to showcase real reviews from actual customers alongside the products they purchased.
For an ultimate guide on generating more ecommerce reviews:
Here, the clear favorite is Yotpo. This reviews widget allows users to pull in reviews — including title, content, and rating — in a customizable format, so the reviews align with the look and feel of your existing site experience. Beauty brands with this widget can also prioritize the order in which reviews are displayed.
There’s a bonus: Seeing onsite reviews encourages more customers to leave reviews of their own, too.
A Booking Widget
If your beauty brand offers in-person services, such as makeup appointments or haircuts, you should consider adding a booking widget. This widget allows brands to add an interactive calendar to their site, helping customers book and manage appointments online.
A few beauty widgets in this category include JRNI, Booking Engine, Reservio, and ScheduleOnce. JRNI, in particular, offers industry-specific features, including tools catered specifically toward the beauty sector.
The Best of the Beauty Widgets
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify have made it easy for beauty brands to sell products online. But for beauty brands to stand out, they need beauty widgets.
These tiny blocks of code can pack a powerful marketing punch, allowing brands to upgrade their sites with quizzes, carousels, live chat, and more — and all without hiring a professional web developer.
It goes a long way toward perfecting the customer journey. Of course, once you nail the user experience, driving conversions and loyalty is a piece of cake. But just in case you need a little extra help, AdRoll is ready.
Angie is the Content Marketing Manager at AdRoll. Prior to AdRoll, she was a Content Writer at various digital marketing agencies. A writer by day and a reader by night, Angie’s other hobbies include cooking and learning useless movie trivia.