Social commerce app Flip emerges as the TikTok of online beauty shopping
Glossy | 7 September 2021
While TikTok has been adding e-commerce functionality to its platform, beauty shopping startup Flip has gone all-in on bringing buying to the short video experience. Launched in 2019, U.S.-based Flip announced $28 million in Series A funding on August 30 as it attracts a growing number of beauty brands selling through its short videos. The app is similar to TikTok, but every video is focused on beauty and has a built-in shopping link for a featured product. It currently sells over 200 brands, including Fekkai, Kaja, Hourglass Cosmetics, RMS Beauty, Joanna Vargas, Dr. Jart+, Zitsticka, Coola, Lord Jones, Happy Dance and Jason Wu Beauty. On average, the platform is adding about 20 brands a week and hopes to have 500 by the end of October.
Unlike TikTok’s nascent e-commerce offering, which has brands handling their own fulfillment, Flip functions as an e-tailer. The platform offers one-click checkout for multiple brands, storing items in its two warehouses and shipping them in its own branded packaging. It currently offers one-day delivery in some locations, which it plans to expand across the U.S. with the opening of an additional four warehouses in the next nine months. It is currently purchasing products at wholesale prices from brands, but plans to eventually expand to an Amazon-style marketplace model. Influencers with followings on other platforms have been posting Flip videos, and their Flip profile pages link out to Instagram and TikTok accounts. Jackie Flores, a beauty TikToker with 26,000 followers (@lajackieflores), has promoted on her Flip account brands including Dominque Cosmetics and I’m Meme. Meanwhile, makeup artist Sasha Karagianis (@sasha_sasha_mua on Instagram, with 37,000 followers) has promoted Jouer and Hourglass on Flip.
August launch roundup: 5 beauty brands to know
Glossy | 1 September 2021
Simihaze Beauty – Simi and Haze Khadra are twins, L.A. “it” girls (they have 1.3 million followers on their shared Instagram), DJs and now brand founders. The duo launched their highly photogenic makeup line, called Capsule 1, with a tight edit and playful, “Euphoria”-esque eye decals. Capsule 1 includes Velvet Blur Matte Lip Balm ($36); Sun Flush, an “all-over face tint” ($35) and Lip Trace lipliners ($24). “
JVN – Created in collaboration with Amyris. Its hero ingredient is hemisqualane, which the brand says helps protect and repair hair. Van Ness is so hooked on the ingredient, he ensured it’s in all of the brand’s 10 launch products.
Good Faith – Good Faith reflects a number of trends in the beauty industry, including the democratization of skin care, and the incorporation of scientifically proven ingredients in a fun, user-friendly way.
DermaGeek – Dermageek was created by Procter & Gamble and is the latest in a series of launches intended to capture skin-care-savvy customers and Gen Z. As such, it matches younger shoppers’ values: It is a PETA-certified Cruelty-Free and vegan skin-care brand.
Endota – Endota has a massive presence in Australia, and now, it’s making its way stateside. It’s launched a local website, plus it’s selling at NYC’s Showfields, a concept store with a revolving display of brands. In Australia, the brand has over 100 spas, employs over 1,200 therapists and performs over 750,000 treatments per year. And its products are COSMOS (Cosmetic Organic and Natural Standard) certified to claim their “clean” status.
Six Tips For Succeeding At Retail As An Indie Beauty Brand
Beauty Independent | 25 August 2021
She points out there’s a ton of work that goes into making a product fly off the shelves at retailers—and she should know. Adit is a partner to 17 retailers, including Asos, Bluemercury, Credo, Ulta Beauty, Neiman Marcus, Whole Foods Market, Grove Collaborative and Saks Fifth Avenue. Recently, it revealed Beauty Heroes has joined its roster, and an 18th retailer will come on board next month. The program provides brands with pitch training, and insights from retailers on pricing, ingredient standards, category preferences, selection gaps and backend infrastructure.
(1) FOUNDER AND TEAM INVOLVEMENT
Founders need to be willing to step into the spotlight. “Consumers genuinely enjoy getting to know a brand founder and retailers can leverage a founder’s ability to connect with shoppers,” says Goldberg. “Whether they are an educator in this space, write blogs or someone who will just hop on a retailer’s Instagram and answer questions, having an outspoken face of a brand makes a huge difference.”
Some beauty retailers like Beauty Heroes and Credo have ended sampling from brands to prevent single-use plastic samples from flooding into landfills and oceans. Credo has jars constructed from upcycled green tea fibers that it uses at its stores for sampling, and Beauty Heroes uses aluminum jars for sampling at its physical retail location. Despite those examples, traditional sampling remains crucial for the overwhelming majority of retailers. Still, Hunt suggests that brands turning to sustainable sampling options, which likely will be embraced by retailers in the future, will be big winners.
(3) DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Brands can make a significant impact by delivering pre-packaged digital content, including photography and video assets, to retailers for use to promote products. Foley said, “Indie brands will be on the forefront of that innovation, as they always are. I’m selfishly hoping for new modes of social selling, new ingredients and formats, and more.”
(4) STRONG VALUE PROPOSITIONS
If a brand can demonstrate why a specific ingredient or product is more effective than others in a similar price range, pretty much no matter how high that price tag is, shoppers will feel the purchase is worth it.” Gifts with purchase, high-quality reusable or refillable packaging, bulk sizes and special discounts on related services can also convey value.
(5) ALIGNED PRINCIPLES
Establishing what is a best-fit retailer and why it’s a best-fit retailer gives a brand a better chance at thriving at a retailer. Hunt says, “If you land in a retailer that has shoppers with entirely different core values and priorities than those your brand delivers, it’s never going to work, no matter how great an opportunity being in that retail environment may seem.”
While not every brand entering a retailer can offer full exclusivity, providing something special for only this retail partner can go a long way. It could be a unique product bundle, limited-edition packaging, gift with purchase, collaborative project or single stockkeeping unit for a truncated run.
Nordstrom Raises Revenue Forecast as Customers Return to Stores
BOF | 24 August 2021
Nordstrom Inc raised its fiscal 2021 revenue forecast on Tuesday, as Americans buy more apparel and footwear at its stores following the easing of coronavirus restrictions. The resumption of social gatherings, school and college has encouraged people to splurge on everything from tops to dresses, emptying inventories of clothing chains and helping department store chains rebound from last year’s slump. Nordstrom said it expects revenue to rise over 35 percent in fiscal 2021, compared with more than 25 percent forecast previously. Analysts on average expect revenue to jump 29 percent, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Revenue rose to $3.66 billion in the second quarter, from $1.86 billion a year earlier, beating market expectations.
TikTok Partners With Shopify to Launch In-App Shopping
BOF | 24 August 2021
The partnership will begin by testing TikTok Shopping with a group of Shopify merchants in the US, UK and Canada in the coming weeks. It marks the first time users will be able to shop directly in the Gen-Z favourite short video app, which has already proven itself a powerful tool for driving brand exposure and sales. TikTok joins other social media platforms Facebook and Instagram in ramping up in-app shopping capabilities.
”TikTok is uniquely placed at the center of content and commerce,” Blake Chandlee, president of global business solutions at TikTok, said in a statement. “And these new solutions make it even easier for businesses of all sizes to create engaging content that drives consumers directly to the digital point of purchase.
CREDO BEAUTY COO ANNIE JACKSON’S TIPS FOR RETAIL SUCCESS
Beauty Matter | 25 August 2021
Keys to Successful Retailer & Brand Collaborations
- Newness: Plan ahead! Always keep your retailer in the loop months before new launches to build a solid and impactful cross-channel launch plan together.
- Exclusives: Give one of your retailers a head start on a new product launch and team up to bring it to the next level. Amplify marketing and messaging over a short period of time, drive brand awareness, create excitement, and eventually boost sales.
- Marketing programs: Stay top of mind throughout the year by working on a feature cadence in between launches. That includes rewards, special promos like flash gifts and multi-branded gifts, local activations, and more. The goal is to keep brand awareness strong for loyal customers, and encourage discovery and/or repurchase.
Top Focuses to Ensure Product Sell-Through
- Overcommunicate! About your NPD pipeline and marketing focus on your own channel, in order to build successful launch strategies and find messaging synergies.
- Plan ahead! Invest in deluxe/mini sizes for your retailers’ marketing programs to drive brand awareness, qualified trials, and prompt reviews, as well as full-size purchases.
- Content is king! Ask your retailer what kind of content works on their channels and plan on shooting accordingly.
- Be proactive and stay top of mind! Inquire about existing programs and check in regularly to get involved. Find a cadence to pulse throughout the year.