Online sales grew by more than 30% in the fourth quarter, but store sales slid by 6.1% year over year.
The Stash Shopping iPhone app features a bar code scanner that a consumer uses to add items already on her bathroom shelves to her shopping list.
Although a consumer’s bathroom drawers and shelves may be messy with jars and tubes of health and beauty products at various levels of emptiness, a new app aims to make reordering those supplies—including finding them at the best prices—a simple process. Called Stash Shopping, the app launched officially last Friday, and its user base has grown about 20-fold from the roughly 10,000 consumers who have been testing it for several months, says co-founder Veronica Gledhill. The app is available only on the iPhone, though an Android version and an e-commerce site are forthcoming, she says.
Stash Shopping includes a bar code scanner that a consumer can use to scan and load—or “stash”—the items in her medicine cabinet or makeup bag into a dashboard in the app. For each item, the consumer may then specify when it should be reordered. The app then automatically adds those items to her cart when it comes time to reorder them so that she can checkout in just a few swipes when she opens the app, Gledhill says. “We will send gentle reminders when items are accumulating in your shopping cart through push notifications and e-mails,” she adds.
Stash Shopping uses payment processing from vendor Stripe, though it plans to add more ways to check out soon, according to Glenhill. The app does not charge for shipping on orders of more than $25; otherwise shipping costs $2.
When a consumer is viewing products or perusing her stash, the app automatically displays prices from across the web at the bottom, with the best price highlighted in the center. “We update the inventory several times a week so that the prices are always accurate,” Gledhill says. The prices come from the nine retailers offering products for sale via the app: Amazon.com Inc., Soap.com (a unit of Amazon’s Quidsi Inc.), Sephora USA Inc., Walgreen Co.’s Drugstore.com and Beauty.com, Macy’s Inc., Saks Direct, Walmart.com, and Nordstrom Inc. So far, 95,000 products are available via the app, Gledhill says. Retailers pay an affiliate fee, which she declined to disclose, to Stash Shopping for each purchase coming from the app.
“What we aimed to create in our inventory was a selection that included both high-end, luxury products as well as affordable, household brand names,” she says. Any retailer is welcome to inquire about featuring its wares in the app, she says.
In addition to shopping by price, a consumer can filter product searches in the app to see only natural or organic products, or sort the results by keyword, editorial coverage in blogs and magazines, and hashtags, Gledhill says. Or, he can filter to see products recommended by his favorite blogs and magazines, which he can also follow so that those products populate in a feed in the app. “We are constantly staying on top of the product recommendations from blogs and magazines—those are usually in our system within a day or so after being featured by an outlet,” Gledhill says.
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A consumer may also share and view products that her friends use—though Gledhill is quick to clarify that privacy controls are in place so that the consumer can choose which items in his stash are public or not. Intimate items, such as condoms and sexual lubricants, are always set to private by default.
A popular feature among the 10,000 app testers has been a notification when one of the items in their stash goes on sale, she says. The average revenue per customer has been $90, she adds, and the average customer has saved 16.1% off full price on the products he has ordered, with 13.4% of those savings a result of the automatic price comparisons in the shopping cart. The most popular items among male shoppers using the app are colognes, intimate items and deodorant; for women they are acne care products, skin creams and intimate items, she says.
So far, the app’s appeal has been broader than the founders expected, Gledhill adds. For one thing, she says, “The app was always designed with both men and women in mind, but we are kind of astonished by the amount of men who are faithful, repeat customers.” Stash Shopping also has an unexpected number of suburban and rural users, she says, without giving specific figures.
“As people who live and work in Manhattan, we thought this product was targeting people who live busy lives in urban settings, like us, but there are many users who are in suburbs and even rural areas that are repeatedly using Stash,” she says. “It would seem that a trip to the drugstore is a hassle anywhere you live.”