Industry: Online Retailer – Beauty Products
Ipsy is one of the many new subscription based companies that have sprung on to the market in the last couple of years. Ipsy is one that offers sample side makeup products to its subscribers. They are a start up that is founded by Michelle Phan. After being snubbed for a job at a Lancome makeup counter, she took to Youtube to post makeup tutorials for people. She spun her success on Youtube into what is now a million subscriber company.
The concept is simple
The customer logs on to their website, fill out a small questionnaire on their skin colouring and type and what kind of makeup style they have, fill out the killing information and usually by in the first week of the next month you will receive a Glam Bag with 5 sample side products. The services cost $10 a month plus shipping and you get on average $53 in products that can range from brushes to powders to nail polish. Thing is, you don’t know what you are getting each month.
The customer does know, however, the products they are getting are ones that are from brand names and come highly recommended. The only way a product can get into the Glam Bag is by being recommended by one of Ipsy’s online bloggers. Brands do not pay to be included in the bag but instead supply the product inventory if they are chosen in exchange for the marketing exposure.
Michelle Phan on the Ipsy relationship between Ipsy, its brands and customers:
“We find value in developing relationships and partnerships with brands and helping them create better products.”
Each Glam Bag is shipped in the first week of the month. In the bag, the customer gets on average $53 worth of product for $10. The Glam Bag is shipped from a centralized packing facility. When the bag is shipped they customer receives an email with a tracking number for their package. When they receive their package they are encouraged to create media and post to the various social media platforms on what they received and then also review their bag on the Ipsy website. Ipsy also have video bloggers that create tutorials on how to use the products received in the bag.
On the Ipsy website, consumers can earn points through doing things like subscribing to their bloggers on Youtube, follow them on Instagram and like them on Facebook. Consumers are also given a unique link that their friends can use to start their own subscription. When a friend joins the customer also gets points. These points can be used to get an extra mystery item in their bag the next month.
The brands that Ipsy use also have special offers for product through the Ipsy website. You can buy full sized versions of the products received in the bag, at a discounted rate, through the Ipsy website.
On their social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube) you can find video tutorials from their blogger and customers on the products, pictures of how people have used their products and much discussion about what people received and if they like it.
Things to Learn
Ipsy and their bloggers and reviewers have created a large amount of trust between them and their consumer. The consumer trusts that they are getting quality products each month, and subscribe to the service with the knowledge that the contents of their Glam Bags will be a surprise.
Ipsy also know their customer. Ipsy knows that their customers want to try new products but are hesitant to buy a potentially expensive full sized version of the product, just to find out they don’t like it. They also know what type of products their customers are interested and the skin colouring of their customers. They provide in the bags products that suit their customers in these ways.
Ipsy also knows that their customers are people who are highly active on Social Media. They encourage their customers to post what they got, who they have used it, if they liked what was in their Glam Bag. Ipsy also knows which platforms to target. They use Instagram for pictures and Youtube for video. They then use Facebook to bring it all together. In many of the postings, products are referred to by name which helps to market the products. Each month’s bag has a simple theme to it. The theme is then carried through all Ipsy’s post on their social media.
Interestingly, instead on spending a large chuck of change on a marketing budget, Ispy has invested in their video bloggers, or Vloggers. They have created a large video creation and editing space for them and host a convention where their consumers can rub elbows with their favourite online personality.
Ipsy strives to be transparent in the timelines of the bags to their customers. They bill their customers on the 1st of the month, and attempt to have the bags shipped within that first week of the month. Customers are sent a tracking number for their bag, so they can follow it along on its travels from the packaging location to your doorstep. The methods of shipping that they use, strive to have the customer their bag by the middle of the month.
Submitted by Chelsea Norris
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