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Glossier. The new paradigm of cosmetics: From a Blog to the Store

Glossier, the millennial cosmetics brand created in 2014, and which since last March has become a new technological “Unicorn” (a term granted to companies with a valuation of more than one billion euros), has more than 200 employees and with activities in US,  Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Denmark and Sweden.

In 2018, the company’s revenue doubled from the previous year, surpassing $100 million. It has just achieved, in its last round of funding, 100 million from the Private Equity Firm Sequoia Capital.

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Its origin is a blog called  Into the Gloss, whose first articles date back to 2010. The founder and CEO, Emily Weiss, model in her youth and closely linked to the world of fashion, interviewed famous people about her beauty habits. From day one, Lancome was their sponsor. Its beginnings were purely online, and it currently has 3 stores, in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Weiss’s main argument was that beauty companies were not meeting the current needs of women. In 2013, with tens of millions of followers behind her back, Weiss began sketching out what Glossier’s success would be: democratising cosmetics – making women feel good rather than unsure about their appearance (“Real-life beauty products”). First, she found a gap in the market to meet a need. Then she started with a simple product line at really attractive prices, with a basic color gamut, and eliminated unnecessary product in the range. Relying on social media, especially on Instagram, she preached the brand’s goodness and created a legion of loyal followers. Making the shopping experience enjoyable and very easy to share (thanks to its original packaging ).

Afterwards, the path that other e-players previously showed us: pop-ups to generate branding and allow customers to come into contact with their products; make online shopping easier and frictionless; and create a brand around its founder (and not another soulless brand). Recently, Glossier just launched a new brand, Glossier Play, much more extravagant and full of brilliance and color. Until this launch, its assortment consisted of just 40 SKUs, focused on skin care.

Glossier is one of the disruptive brands that is transforming the cosmetics sector, along with Fenty Beauty, the cosmetics brand, and now also fashion, of the singer Rihanna, making traditional retailers rethink their strategies. Department stores and pharmacies have been dedicated to modernizing their beauty departments with a focus on services, technology and agreements with emerging new brands, in an attempt to fight the growing wave of beauty brands that, supported by the “effect influencer”, offer much more interesting experiences for today’s customer.

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Its flagship is located in the SoHo area, NYC. The showcase is nothing more than a translucent vinyl that does not allow you to see the interior. Surprisingly, as soon as you access the store, you will find a kiosk where customers can pick up their orders made through their website.

After going up the stairs (the store is located on the second floor), we come across a fully automated order preparation area, where a crowd of customers are waiting for the products they have just selected in the store, with the help of sales staff. Sales assistants are dressed in pink uniforms similar to the scientist uniforms in a lab, and “equipped” with iPads prepared to serve another client. Service and close contact with the customer is another fundamental aspect of their success. Vendors encourage you to interact with the product and provide you with beauty tips.

The store has areas to test its products and is full of mirrors in which to check the color that we want to take home.glossier. nyc flagship-min

 

At all times, it gives you the feeling that everything pretends to be an Instagram post. You can’t find any limitations when it comes to taking photos inside the store. What’s more, once inside you seem to find yourself in one of the tourist attractions of the city due to the amount of people taking photos and selfies with the decorative elements of the store.

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Cosmetics have become the pioneer and  leading Retail segment, showing the way to other sectors such as Fashion

The new paradigm of cosmetics: From a blog to the store

 

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