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CLARIFICATION: Due to incorrect information from ComScore Networks, the ranking of the Top 10 Most Visited Beauty Web Sites that appeared in the August issue of WWD Beauty Biz was incorrect. The correct information, measuring unique visitors for the period of January through May, is below.
Beauty is booming on the Web. From January through May of this year, almost 154 million unique visitors surfed the Internet monthly. Of those, almost 10 million were trolling for beauty goods, tips and trends, according to ComScore Networks. Here, the top 10 beauty sites for the first half of the year, with a focus on the special features that helped propel their popularity.
- Avon (Avon.com, Youravon.com) Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 2,932,000
Avon claims to be the first major beauty company to sell online, and its two sites—Avon.com, which sells beauty, jewelry and accessories, and Youravon.com, a nonretail site for Avon reps—have earned the company the top spot. Avon.com’s bestseller is Anew Clinical 2-Step Facial Peel.
- Reflect.com Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 1,353,000
A subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, Reflect.com claims to be the first site to sell customized beauty products. According to the company, it has sold nearly 10 million customized items since its launch in 1999. Reflect’s best-selling product is the True Blend Custom Foundation & Concealer.
- Lancome.com Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 1,227,000
Lancôme’s USA site allows visitors to shop via its online boutique. The site’s Sneak Peek section highlights upcoming launches, such as the Resurface Peel kit. Visitors also can receive makeup, skin care, sun protection and hair care consultations via the site’s Online Consultation link.
- Mary Kay (Marykay.com, Marykayintouch.com) Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 1,160,000
The Mary Kay corporate site functions as a portal for Mary Kay customers and consultants alike. Customers may access consultants’ personal Web sites (there are more than 250,000) via the Consultant Locator. Mary Kay processed more than 90 percent of its $1.8 billion in 2003 revenues online through wholesaling products.
- Sephora.com Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 831,000
A virtual one-stop shop for all things beauty, Sephora’s retail Web site showcases more than 250 brands. The current bestseller is Dessert Beauty’s Kissable Plumping Lip Fragrance Gloss. The most visited section is the makeup category. The site also features in-house beauty editors and stories by industry insiders such as Sue Devitt.
- iVillage Beauty (ivillagebeauty.com) Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 603,000
Formerly known as Substance.com, the lifestyle site recently renamed its beauty channel. Although iVillage is not a retail site, the Beauty Boutique section links to Drugstore.com and Beauty.com. The most popular area is Makeover-o-Matic, where women use their own photos to see how they’d look in different hairstyles and makeup.
- Coty Inc. (Coty.com, Cotyshop.com, Takemeaway.com and Jovansexy.com)
Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 506,000
Coty’s site includes product information, company news and an area where visitors can find retail information. The Beauty Pass area allows registered visitors to request free product samples and more.
- Fragrancenet.com Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 329,000
Founded in 1997, the discount site offers more than 7,000 brand-name fragrances, skin care, hair care, candles and aromatherapy products at prices it claims are up to 70 percent off retail. Popular features include an advanced search function by scent.
- L’Oréal (Lorealparis.com) Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 300,000
A recent home page on the L’Oréal USA site features three multicultural, metallic-clad models, referencing the company’s Mythic Metallics color collection. Recent key launches, like Re-Finish Microdermabrasion Kit, are highlighted. In terms of e-tailing, visitors are directed to sites such as Drugstore.com and Walgreens.com, but special offers, such as a $2 coupon for Volume Perfect Re-Shaping Lipcolor, are available.
- Clinique.com Average Monthly Unique Visitors: 208,000
Clinique’s retail Web site is as clean as its Irving Penn-shot advertising. Bestsellers are Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser and Naturally Glossy Mascara. The What’s New section and the My Skin Report section, which offers personal skin care consultations, are among the most visited features.