Kits, calendars, customers: How product kits fit into the cosmetics world

By Ravyn Cullor

- Last updated on GMT

Retailers like Sephora have built multi-brand kits, introducing consumers to a number of new products. © Getty Images - Tinatin1
Retailers like Sephora have built multi-brand kits, introducing consumers to a number of new products. © Getty Images - Tinatin1

Related tags Packaging Recycling Sustainable packaging Packaging and labeling Cosmetics Personal care

Cosmetics brands and retailers build kits to create customer engagements, but in a DTC world kits also offer a shopping experience outside of a physical store.

Give me a little background on what your company does around building kits.

We work directly with Sephora and support to create the Sephora Favorites. Sephora will create the lineup of brands and then we take over the project from them. On the brands’ track, we coordinate all the delivery of products. 

We work with Sephora on design, on packaging. Everything is brought into our Texas warehouses where it’s assembled. 

They do several different kits throughout the year. Advent Calendars are huge right now. Calendars are really important, sustainability is very important. Everybody is constantly trying to figure out how to make it better because there are so many factors that everybody's looking into. 

CosmeticsDesign spoke with Sue Kelly, vice president of client relations at packaging supplier Vivabox, about how kits fit into the cosmetics and personal care industry.

What's the value for a brand of doing a kit?

It makes a huge difference in their sales. If you're a new brand at Sephora, and there are thousands of brands, how do you get noticed? If you're a skincare product, and you're in the store, you're one of hundreds, whereas if you choose to be in this kit, you're one of 10. 

The Sephora Favorites sell so fast that your client is trying your product. The amount of business that brands participating in the kits are very good, they see their investments back quickly.

How are you trying to balance the sustainability and luxury aspects?

We do it in a few different ways. We switched to 3d printing, we tried to make it as much as we can to be recyclable. But another element is reusability. We find if we do pouches and stuff like that, then consumers get the second use out of it, it's not just trash. Even with the boxes, we try to make them so that people would want to keep them on their dressers or in their closets to organize. 

If we can't be completely recyclable, we try to be completely reusable.

What do you see as the challenges in building cosmetic kits right now?

Supply chain. Usually, we're such a well-oiled machine, but with delays from China, everybody's got the same problems. When we have to wait for a brand, missing one piece to a kit, the whole kit has to stop. 

The last two years have been tough, but we still get it done, it's just more challenging. It's made the timeline longer, which is unfortunate because we want it to be as fast as possible.

What do you see as the value of kits as consumers are more interested in doing DTC shopping?

They're important because, especially with the Sephora Favorites kits, you get to try on multiple products. Sephora is really unique and doing that and they really were the creator of the multi-brand kit. 

It was unbelievable how many people responded because they could get the sample. A lot of times now people don't want to go into the store, so they can order these kits. They can try multiple products, figure out which one they want, and then they usually will return to buy a full-size product. 

However, in the fragrance arena, they do a lot of kits that have a redemption characteristic. You try all the fragrances and you can redeem for a full-size version of one of those fragrances, and that has been really successful.

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