Offering useful discovery and surprise through delight

Birchbox, the first ever beauty subscription box and largest in the UK, has redefined its online retail process by unveiling a new web design, offering its core ‘casual beauty consumer’ a personalised way to discover, learn about and purchase the best beauty products on the market. This site overhaul forms part of the company’s wider plans to expand in the UK, which also sees newly appointed Managing Director, Sally Scott, take the reins.

The brand’s mission has always been to make it easier and more fun for consumers to discover and buy beauty, and whilst the previous design encouraged shoppers to buy, it didn’t take them on that journey of discovery that is represented by the brand. The new look of the website, which will now match the monthly themes of its boxes, is designed to bring together the online retailer’s entire brand experience. By introducing the principle that has been so effective from its box subscription service through to the digital experience, the site now offers genuinely useful discovery and education through delight.

Unlike other beauty retailers, Birchbox’s target audience is not the product-obsessed consumer who can easily differentiate her salicylic acid from her glow tonic. The online beauty retailer is targeting ‘the casual beauty consumer’ – individuals who are interested in beauty as a functional product rather than a passion, who may find the world of beauty intimidating and confusing. With the new look and feel of the site, Birchbox is making the shopping experience feel more like a conversation with a friend who understands their needs, with increased storytelling in the editorial content introducing shoppers to new categories. To date, the site redesign has seen a 21 per cent increase in shop revenue per session, while shop revenues per customer has increased by 20 per cent.

Key features of the redesign include:

  • Navigation pane: adding more context to the search bar to help educate the customer and lead them to the best products suited for their personal needs.
  • Pillar pages: custom-built to tell a story and provide information on each step in a beauty routine. Allowing customers to shop not by brand or collection, but by specific product category and need. This allows the customer to be introduced to entirely new products and categories that they otherwise would not have discovered.
  • Product pages: increased photography and more detailed editorial copy to help educate the consumer on the key product benefits.
  • Changing monthly design: allowing for new colourways to mirror the box subscription service.

Newly appointed Managing Director, Sally Scott, comments: “At Birchbox, we are committed to reaching an under-served customer who has previously found beauty overwhelming and difficult to access. Our goal with this redesign was to create a cohesive brand experience for our customers, both visually and conceptually.

“To date we’re thrilled to have seen incredible results across revenue, conversion metrics and engagement from the re-design, which demonstrates that the site has hit our goal of serving the casual beauty consumer.”

While the web redesign makes up one of the company’s wider expansion initiatives, Birchbox is also looking to tackle how new customers are brought on-board, and how their shopping experience can be made more immersive and exciting. Overall, its mission is to be the home for beauty that its customers, both existing and new, have never had before, and didn’t even realise was possible.

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