PARIS — Clarins is getting into the subscription box business.
Starting Oct. 1, the beauty brand is launching its new service Clarins Unlimited in France. It involves various types of boxes, which are to be delivered once every two months.
“This is something coming from the DNA of the brand: It should always be women first, what they need — [including] to try different products, rituals. They need to discover,” explained Katlin Berenyi, global general manager of Clarins. “We have always been there for service.”
The Box Curieuse (or Curious Box), priced at 19.90 euros, will contain four travel-size products (of up to 50 ml.), including face and body care, but not antiaging items or makeup.
The Box Initiée (or Initiated Box), for 39.90 euros, will hold four deluxe-size products (up to 100 ml.), such as face and body care — aside from antiaging items — and makeup miniatures.
The Box Experte (or Expert Box), with a 69.90 euro price tag, is to offer three to four full- or deluxe-size products, such as one full-size face- or body-care product or two full-size makeup products and two deluxe-size products, which can be face and skin care — antiaging items included — plus makeup.
For those not wishing to choose their own items, there is a “surprise” box option, for which the products are pre-chosen for the client.
Also in each box come instructions on a DIY activity, an advice card, a written pointer about self-care and a surprise.
Signing on works like this: Through the site clarins-unlimited.fr, people can chose every two months which subscription they want and compose their own box of products or opt for the pre-prepared box. Then they can choose where to have it sent (free of additional charge).
Users may easily, in two clicks, unsubscribe or change their subscription at any moment.
The service was conceived to have numerous sustainable elements, such as less product wastage, since people will be ordering what they need on a two-month basis. The boxes themselves are of FSC-certified cardboard.
Pre-COVID-19, Clarins had started up the Pick & Love concept, allowing people to be able to create their own product assortment in-store.
“It’s a tremendous success,” said Berenyi. “So we were thinking we have this incredible large assortment of discovery sizes, and this very service-oriented mindset. It’s not just [about] pushing novelties, but it’s really trying to [offer] the best advice for any given moment in your life.”
Then, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in France, Clarins quickly began a free virtual consultation service with beauty advisors either by phone or video, called Clarins & Me.
Online sales boomed. According to industry sources, the brand’s e-commerce revenues grew by about 70 percent and Clarins gained market share in its home market of France.
Berenyi said it’s important the subscription service, now in beta test, be very easy to use. Clarins Unlimited could widen the brand’s reach of consumers in France, and also be rolled out to different countries in coming years. Next up is probably another European country.
The subscription box idea was not conceived due to COVID-19, when people worldwide were confined to their homes.
“We wanted to launch it earlier, and then of course we had — like everybody else — delays in manufacturing, warehousing and finalizing technical payment capabilities,” said Berenyi. “So actually, we lost a little bit of time, but the plan was to launch a little bit earlier this year.
“It’s really a whole new world of servicing that we build up around this subscription [model],” she said.