What: Ipsy is an online beauty community platform, with a subscription service called GlamBag, featuring Michelle Phan and other YouTube beauty sensations as “stylists.”
Differentiation Points (in their own words): Jennifer Goldfarb, Ipsy President and Bare Escentuals Alum: “What is really special is the products themselves–the curation, the bags, and the experience of getting them in the mail, [chosen by] our ‘stylists,’ who are influential women in the YouTube space. We ship out the bags and the stylists create a video with exclusive content showing how to create the look from the bags. Every month, we encourage [our customers] to engage with the product and tell us what they think. [Sometimes that means] creating a video, [or] taking a picture and sharing on Instagram and Pinterest. It’s about rallying people, to connect with other women, who share their experiences.”
Products/Perks: Boxes are curated by the team, with themed months. For example, this past October was “Hello, Bombshell.” Products are mostly domestic brands, with some international beauty products, including color cosmetics, skincare, nailcare, and fragrance.
Brand Success Stories: Brands get qualitative feedback from Ipsy.com and their Facebook page. Each product has a page on Ipsy.com, where women can go in and leave comments. Although GlamBag doesn’t have e-commerce, they provide consumers with the link to purchase on a brand partner’s website. All leads and conversions are tracked, so the brands get a sense of how productive it is and how many people converted from Ipsy to purchasers. For being part of the community, consumers are typically offered some kind of discount or bonus offers to purchase full-size products.
Subscriber Base: The community is from all over the world; Goldfarb defines them as a “pretty global customer base.”
Future Plans: “Our primary focus is on creating an amazing beauty community. A place with a very positive environment where you can constantly discover the amazing thing in beauty, based on recommendations from friends and people you have connected with through the Ipsy platform. We are building a world-class subscription business that scales…and continuing to roll out additional ways to customize the bag every month.”