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Birchbox: A Discovery E-Commerce Platform

August 23, 2013

Beauty products are a hassle because products work differently on each individual person. People have different skin and hair types, tones, etc. Birchbox gives you the chance to get samples of new beauty products through e-commerce so that you can test them out and see if they are good for you. If you like how the product works, you can then purchase the regular-sized version of the product and if you don’t, well at least your tried it so now you know.

Birchbox is a great way to discover exactly what beauty products you want. Beauty is a field of commerce that is difficult to sell online but through this method of shipping samples to subscribers, they are able to reel in some money and give people the opportunity to find makeup that works well for them. The ability to fill out your beauty profile on birchbox.com also allows Birchbox to send you the products that cater to you.

This service of discoverability and experiementation has also helped beauty product brands as well, giving them feedback on their products. The brands are able to use the feedback to improve their products before they release their full-sized products out to the public. It also gives people the brand awareness opportunities as they try products they have never heard of before.

“Working with Birchbox has given us the opportunity to receive tangible feedback on our products and increase brand awareness by reaching new customers,” said Megan Mildrew, business development director, Stila. “Retailing our full-size products on their e-commerce site has provided us with insight on customers’ purchasing habits and intent to buy after sampling.”

Another way Birchbox paved its road to success through e-commerce was by making it exclusive. Anyone can potentially sign up to receive a beauty box for $10 a month but the wait time after you sign up is about 4 weeks to start the process. The subscriptions come on a first-come first-serve basis and therefore, only a certain amount of people are able to receive the products at a time. The exclusivity inclines more people to subscribe as they now send over 5 million boxes to over 400,000 subscribers. On top of that, nonsubscribers, including those waiting in line to subscribe, are also purchasing the beauty products directly from the Birchbox e-commerce site itself.