Well, we must have done something right in a past life. In what can only be described as an autumnal equinox miracle, the Korean beauty supply sites Soko Glam and Peach and Lily simultaneously launched curated boxes containing all new, full-sized products on Thursday. And while this is definitely not a paid promotion, the founders of both have informed us that they're selling like hotcakes, so... get on it.
Korea's wealth of innovative beauty products has only started to hit the American mainstream in the last year or so, aided by sites like Soko Glam and Peach and Lily that filter through that abundance and sell those that they think are true winners. For both sites, the box packaging strategy was partly about adding a new dimension to their use as discovery platforms for U.S. shoppers. As the market for Korean products in the U.S. grows, it follows that sellers would have to make moves to help shoppers more easily navigate it.
Peach and Lily's Alicia Yoon travels to South Korea with her co-founder, Cindy Kim, every two months or so for market research, and they often return with dozens of new goodies to put on the site. They look at a lot of products: Those that get the final stamp of approval represent just 5 percent of everything they've investigated, Yoon says.
But even with an intense, multi-step filtration process, the Peach and Lily team launches three products every few days on average, meaning new ones can easily get lost in the shuffle. Packaging them together in a limited run was one way to cut through the noise and "put a spotlight on discovery," as Yoon puts it.
At $49 for six full-sized products (and one "special surprise gift," which Yoon says isn't necessarily a beauty product), Peach and Lily's box is also an insanely good deal. And in that regard, it was also something of a thank you to customers, particularly those who are checking out with massive cart sizes.
Don't expect boxes to become a core part of Peach and Lily's business just yet, though. The site will likely do more promotions of this ilk, but it won't be a monthly deal.
"We're definitely not a box company," Yoon says. "We're not going to be like a Birchbox, where there's a set expectation of a box every single month."
While Peach and Lily's "Seoulcialite Box" is an extension of its usual vetting process, SoKo Glam's "Get K-Beauty Box" is the result of a collaboration with the Korean CJ E&M cable show "Get It Beauty." The popular program is all about turning beauty into a conversation and determining what products work best — much like SoKo Glam's mission, founder Charlotte Cho says.
On this box, "Get It Beauty" took the lead on product selection, although Cho says she approved everything in it.
"I would never have done it if I didn't think the products were great," she says.
Cho couldn't provide many details on future collaborations with the entertainment network, but expect it to be a recurring thing. Similar to Peach and Lily's offering, the box is priced at a friendly $50 for seven full-sized products — a single balm retails at Sephora for $48, just for context — and will only be available for a limited time. (How exactly they kept the price that low, Cho wouldn't say.)
Given how thirsty American beauty addicts have become for Korean products, we're keeping our fingers crossed that box deals become a bigger part of the e-commerce landscape.