After more than two years spent building an online community that loves to dish about all things beauty, Beautylish officially enters the ecommerce game today. Along with leaving comments about everything from duck feet nails (a new fad, apparently) to easy skin care and oohing and ahhing over the latest looks from high-profile makeup artists, visitors to the site will now be able to buy products on the platform.
While the chance to buy on the site will no doubt be a welcome bit of news to those who frequent it (and there are many, including over 305,000 Facebook likes and nearly 500,000 Twitter followers), what’s likely to be most interesting to everyone else is not that the company is entering the retail realm, but that it’s waited two+ years to do it. In a landscape riddled with companies trying to build community and commerce at the same time, the community-first, store later approach is an intriguing reversal.
“What we’re doing is partnering wth the brands that our community loves to be able to make those products available for purchase….It was just a natural evolution,” says Founder Nils Johnson, whose low-pro attitude and super-connected rep have lent his company one-to-watch status from the beginning.
While ecommerce has been part of the plan all along, Johnson says building the community first was key in being able to debut on-site shopping with sought-after brands and popular products. Along with that, collecting data about the trends and products Beautylish users like the most has helped the company assemble what it’s betting will be a product assortment perfectly poised to please its loyal member base.
“We’ve already gathered preferences, everything from their skin type and the shade. We have over 2 million data points that have been shared across 30,000 products,” says Johnson, who’s also invested in such style-driven startups as Warby Parker and Everlane.
While none of that data is shared publicly, it can be used internally to tailor the Beautylish ecommerce experience to its existing audience, Johnson says.
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