The eight-year-old Web site, which Drugstore.com acquired in 2000, went live earlier this month with a new home page and plans to roll out new features between now and November, wrapping up the site's relaunch prior to the holidays.
The changes are designed to make the e-commerce site easier to navigate and to better organize its content, according to Kathleen McNeill, vice president and general manager of Beauty.com and vice president of beauty for Drugstore.com.
"It's a rolling approach," she said during an interview Monday. "Our customers are shopping more and more online for prestige beauty, which is an impulsive, emotional purchase, so we wanted to provide the best shopping experience."
The site boasts more than 200 prestige beauty brands, including Elizabeth Arden, Nars, Frédéric Fekkai, Fresh, Philosophy, Urban Decay, Tarte, Kevin Aucoin, Murad, Brandt, Vincent Longo, MD Skincare, Elemis, Somme Institute and Ted Gibson.
"We have added over 30 prestige beauty brands in the last six months," Dawn Lepore, chairman and chief executive officer of Drugstore.com, said in a recent earnings statement. She added that in an effort to grow earnings next year "we continue to expand beauty."
Both Beauty.com and Drugstore.com carry beauty products, but Beauty.com carries the brands with a prestige positioning while the mass brands are available on Drugstore.com. Each site has a link to the other.
Drugstore.com had revenues of $415.8 million last year and, while the firm does not break out sales of Beauty.com, industry sources estimate Beauty.com might generate 5 percent of revenues, or nearly $21 million.
Some of Beauty.com's new features include magnification and multiple product views to help visitors see things like shimmer and texture, a fragrance finder where one can search by fragrance categories like floral or woody and expert advice from the founders or executives of different brands.
Currently, the site features content from hairstylist Ted Gibson; Carol Shaw, the founder of the Lorac brand, and Dennis Gross, founder of MD Skincare.
There are also behind-the-scenes video clips from fashion shows, such as the recent Lela Rose spring presentation. The aim, according to McNeill, is to show customers "how to get the looks and what the current trends are."
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