Beauty subscription services are popping up all over the Web and sending out a variety of samples each month. One of the newest to date, Glossybox, made its U.S. debut on May 11 and, according to the company, it accrued more than 18,000 newsletter subscribers while the site was still in its testing phase.
Glossybox first premiered in Berlin in April 2011 and throughout the year entered 18 countries, making the U.S. its 19th. “When examining different business models, we looked at how we could do things differently and decided to give Glossybox a luxurious element,” said Charles von Abercron, cofounder of Glossybox. A monthly subscription costs $21 a month, which according to Glossybox, is roughly double the price of their competitors.
Once a box is received and if the user wishes to buy certain items, Glossybox will link them to a beauty store or brand Web site for purchasing. “What sets us apart is the fact that we are not an e-commerce site,” said von Abercron. “Our focus is on delivering the best in high-end beauty to women, both online and offline.”
Including Shiseido, Clarins and Estée Lauder, Glossybox cherry picks brand partners as well as their customers. “Our subscription base is limited,” said von Abercron. “We limit it to first come, first serve and these women (who ‘come first’) tend to closely follow current-and-up-and-coming luxury beauty brands and trends. We want to ensure we match the right brand with the right subscriber, real beauty aficionados and first adopters.”
When the site runs out of boxes to distribute, they have to close the online shop. New subscribers who missed out the month before are able to receive one during the next shipping period. “Once you subscribe, you don’t have to wait in line anymore, you’ll automatically have a Glossybox sent to you,” said von Abercron, “that’s the idea around subscribing.”
Globally, Glossybox has been sending out 200,000 boxes per month, not counting the U.S.