D2C companies have been shaking up industries left and right, but makeup is one of the final frontiers for e-commerce.
It takes a lot of trust to get someone to buy a highly individualized product that they’ll wear on their face every day, and traditionally, beauty brands have been beholden to mall department stores and wholesalers.
Yet, since their inception, Glossier has been known for their ability to mobilize fans and rise above the noise in the crowded beauty space.
According to founder and CEO Emily Weiss, their showroom in SoHo generates more revenue per square-foot than the average Apple store, and the company reportedly tripled their revenue in 2017 (they won’t disclose actual numbers).
And it’s almost all organic: Glossier says 80% of their growth and sales come from peer-to-peer recommendations or their own channels.
So what’s in the Glossier Kool-Aid?
Transparency in concealers
Glossier boasts radically open communication channels with customers, including highly personalized one-on-one interactions with members of their 30-person “customer experience” team, whom they refer to as “editors.”
Weiss is also acutely aware of the power of social media groundswell for consumer-facing brands: In 2016, Glossier gave their biggest brand evangelists landing pages and started paying them to participate in feedback sessions, host community events, and share content on social.
In Weiss’ words, every customer “has a microphone and she’s reaching 50, 500, 5,000 or 500,000 of her nearest and dearest friends” — so you better have ‘em on the payroll.
A strong foundation for the future
Their last round of funding helped them expand their presence overseas, but they plan on funneling this new cash into product innovation (Glossier currently launches a new product every 6 weeks).
The question is, at 22 products, whether they’ll be able to scale their same level of customer intimacy as they grow.