The Series B round for Witherspoon’s Draper James brand was led by San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures.
In selling health and beauty products, it’s all about the individual shopper.
Everyone is an individual, with their own needs and desires when it comes to looking good and feeling well. The health and beauty retailers on our Hot 100 list stand out for their attention to providing consumers with the individualized information they need.
EsteeLauder.com, for instance, offers a Foundation Finder that lets a woman choose the shade she prefers, then leads her through a series of steps to find the right foundation. There’s a similar tool for choosing a skin care product. And a shopper can upload her own photo and experiment with various kinds of makeup, including seeing before and after versions of the photo. Still not sure? A shopper can pick a product and stop in to an Estee Lauder store for a free 10-day supply.
Smashbox.com also offers guides for finding the right makeup, as well as dozens of videos on such topics as fashion advice and seasonal collections. When it comes to video, few sites have used it more effectively than BeautyChoice.com. President Jordan Blum realized nearly two years ago that there were makeup artists creating advice videos on YouTube, sometimes attracting 100,000 views for a single video. Blum engaged about 20 of the most popular makeup mavens to make videos featuring his products, clips that drive traffic from YouTube and also are available on BeautyChoice.com.
BareEscentuals.com offers another form of personal testimonial. A shopper can choose the skin condition that concerns her, such as acne, wrinkles or freckles, then see photos and the personal story of a woman who used a Bare Escentuals product to solve that problem.
Other retailers in this category also rely on their customers to help sell their products. For instance, GNC.com, which sells nutritional supplements and vitamins, and is limited by government regulation about the claims it can make, promotes the community section of its site where consumers relate their experiences and upload photos.
Diving deeply into the most popular social network, Mark, an Avon cosmetics brand, developed a widget that lets its sales representatives sell directly through Facebook, and to tailor messaging to each of their Facebook friends. After all, as these six Hot 100 retailers clearly recognize, in selling health and beauty products, it’s all about the individual shopper.
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