Everywhere at Once: why omnichannel beauty retailer Birchbox is updating its site

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Everywhere at Once: why omnichannel beauty retailer Birchbox is updating its site
This summer, the subscription makeup and personal care box company launched a newly revised and refreshed website. Cosmetics Design checked in with Meredith Schwartz, Birchbox's VP of product, to get an inside view of the redesign project.

“We’ve seen and heard how people react to our monthly boxes, and we wanted to replicate that feeling across our website,”​ Meredith Schwartz, VP of product at Birchbox, tells Cosmetics Design.

“Our goal with this redesign is to create a cohesive brand experience for our customers, both visually and conceptually,” ​she explains.

Metrics

With the site redesign, Birchbox is apparently also measuring success differently. The company is looking firstly to build relationships and cultivate loyal consumers.

“We’re focusing on different metrics overall with this redesign, all related to creating and sustaining long-term relationships with our customers,” ​Schwartz tells Cosmetics Design. “Instead of considering conversions to be the only metric that matters, we’re also looking at indicators of a deeper engagement such as repeat sessions per user and increased time with our content,” ​says Schwartz.

People have always mattered immensely, as she tells it: “Birchbox’s number one focus has always been our customers - the underserved, non-obsessed beauty consumer.”

And she explains the company’s unique position in terms of both discovery boxes and now an equally discovery-focused digital platform: “We realized that this customer (we call them casual beauty consumers) doesn’t have the time or desire to dig through every product to unlock what piece goes where in a makeup routine, so we’ve cut out that process and made a thoughtful experience that invites everyone to come, discover and confidently shop for beauty,” ​says Schwartz.

“Our new online experience is designed to bring the principle that has been so effective from our monthly subscription boxes into the digital experience -- genuinely useful discovery and education through delight.”

Visuals

“Our goal is to offer an experience that’s consistent and considered regardless of how a person comes to it,” ​emphasizes Schwartz.

So the site and the boxes are now closely coordinated. “Creating a stronger visual connection to our monthly box experience helps to reinforce the sentiment people have towards their monthly boxes, as well as to subtly bring together the ideas of subscription and shopping. Perhaps the easiest way to explain it is to say that we’re aiming to ensure that every touchpoint with our brand truly ‘feels like Birchbox’.”

Site visuals, of course, go beyond the design assets Birchbox creates, they include branded product as well. “We’re updating our product photography style to include subtle shadows that help to bring some dimension to the products and help them leave a more tactile impression,” ​Schwartz tells this publication.

Words

The new Birchbox site content has been developed to give consumers the answers and details they need as they navigate through.

To do this, says Schwartz, “We’ve created ‘pillars,’ where each pillar page is custom built to tell a story and provide information on each step in a routine. What differentiates us is that our pillars allow consumers to shop not by brand or collection, but by specific product category and need. We now have a way to meaningfully introduce entirely new products and categories to our customers that they wouldn’t even know to explore otherwise.”

“For example, one division is ‘makeup’ and then it is divided into the pillars: complexion, eyes, cheeks and lips. Within the complexion pillar are categories for Foundations, BB & CC Creams, Tinted Moisturizers, Concealers, Primers, etc., allowing us to help explain to customers how and why different products are best for different goals.”

Additionally, she tells Cosmetics Design, “we’ve developed new product copy with a clear, straightforward voice that lets us teach the customer something not only about the products, but also when and how to best use them.”

And as the new site exemplifies, the online content and the Birchbox brand are dynamic by design: “At Birchbox,” ​says Schwartz, “we hope to grow with our customers and really be on a journey with them, learning and evolving as new information and new products come to light.”

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DeannaUtroskeEditor

Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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