Online beauty retailer Birchbox is set to open its second brick-and-mortar store in Paris, following its first physical store that opened in NYC in 2014. The company plans to deliver a store experience that emulates the “beauty products in a box” subscription service it offers online, allowing customers to personalize their own box of sample-sized products from the store’s shelves or buy full-sized products. Birchbox, founded in 2010, now claims claims one million subscribers across the U.S. and a few European markets.
What Brands Need To Do
This is the latest addition to the ongoing trend where online retailers are branching out into the brick-and-mortar world. A most prominent example in this regard, of course, is Amazon, which has opened several physical bookstores with plans to open more, including one in Manhattan. Besides bookstores, Amazon is also piloting an innovative grocery store concept called Amazon Go that is register-free. After all, physical retail still accounts for nearly 90 percent of all retail transactions. Therefore, it makes sense for an e-retailer like Birchbox to try to recreate their online customer experience in the real world to attract new customers. As shopper behaviors continue to evolve, retailers need to better utilize customer data to connect with shoppers across all sales channels by taking a more personalized approach.
The Lab has extensive experience working with retail and CPG clients to create and implement digitally-enhanced experiences for their stores. Our recent work with NYX Cosmetics incorporated the brand’s social assets into its retail experience and offered an innovative take on in-store sampling with a digital beauty bar powered by tablet apps. If you’d like to learn more about how to modernize your in-store experiences, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a visit to the Lab.
Birchbox is joining the live-stream craze as the subscription-based, online beauty retailer recently started doing live shows on Facebook on a regular basis. The goal, according to Rachel Jo Silver, the former director of social marketing for Birchbox, is to build relationships with customers in real-time and convert interested social followers into customers. Birchbox has seen success in using livestreaming to acquire new subscribers and promote products. One of its best-performing livestreams lasted for 40 minutes and racked up nearly 50,000 live viewers with an average view time of 10 minutes. In addition, Birchbox is taking advantage of Facebook Live’s feature of saving livestreams as videos after they end to generate content for its various social media outlets.
What Brands Need To Do
Livestreaming is starting to explode across digital channels with Facebook making a strong push for its Live video feature in the past few months, which creates new opportunities for brands seeking to engage with online audiences in real time. Birchbox’s early success with Facebook Live is illustrative of how brands can use livestreaming to directly engage with online consumers. As this trend continues, we expect to see more brands start exploring live-streaming platforms to elevate brand image and attract new customers.
Source: Marketing Dive
Subscription-based beauty e-retailer Birchbox will start putting Google Cardboard in their monthly box for male customers in August, leveraging the inexpensive, makeshift virtual reality viewer to prompt subscribers to download an iPhone or Android app to watch some branded, immersive video clips. It’s the first time Birchbox has experimented with virtual reality, and its monthly mailings could give a boost to the VR technology if the brand is able to consistently put out new content. If successful. Birchbox could also bring in some of its partners like Sephora or Ulta to create their own branded content, such as a virtual store tour or a shoppable tutorial video, for its VR platform.
Header image courtesy of Google Cardboard