Preview

Ipsy, queen of the beauty subscription box, unveils Shopper, a members-only, direct-to-consumer site.

What happened

  • Ipsy, a subscription service that began in 2011, sends members Glam Bags, which include a personalized bounty of five full- and/or sample-size items for $10 a month. Now with Shopper, an exclusive marketplace, Ipsy members can peruse and purchase from more than 200 beauty brands. Eventually, the company plans to sell all brands represented in its Glam Bags on the ecommerce site.

Why it matters

  • Much like Prime, which requires customers to sign up for a membership before experiencing any of its exclusive services, anyone who wants access to Shopper will have to become an Ipsy member first—for the cost of $10 a month or $110 a year. For those who are already members, Shopper thanks them for their loyalty by offering an exclusive ecommerce site and other benefits like cash back.

  • However, for a company that built its membership on the element of discovery, Shopper’s success will depend on whether it is able to convert samples in the Glam Bags into recurring purchases on its marketplace—one of the main failures of fellow beauty subscription company Birchbox, which was acquired in May after seeing low conversion numbers and caving under distribution and marketing costs. At the same time, Ipsy has a much more solid financial ground than Birchbox, particularly thanks to its solid YouTube and Instagram presence and army of influencers who cut down marketing costs.

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