At-home hair color specialist eSalon is branching beyond its digital flagship.
The Culver City, Calif.-based company is launching a virtual pop-up this week with British beauty e-tailer Feelunique.com. The pop-up marks the first time eSalon is integrating into another web site, a difficult proposition for the hair-color purveyor because of its customized approach to creating products. “The idea is to see how it goes. We can roll this out to more potential partnerships online,” said Francisco Gimenez, cofounder and chief executive officer of eSalon.
Visitors exploring eSalon’s presence on Feelunique.com, which is expected to last for a year, will click through to eSalon’s site to finalize purchases. Prices charged to customers arriving at eSalon via Feelunique.com won’t differ from prices charged to customary eSalon customers. The companies inked a revenue share agreement to divvy up proceeds.
ESalon spends around $10 million annually on online advertising, and Gimenez figured the partnership with Feelunique.com could potentially be impactful from a marketing perspective as well as from a sales perspective. “These online merchants have eyeballs,” he said, noting Feelunique.com is sending an e-mail blast about eSalon to its extensive customer base.
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If it proves to be successful, the tie-in with Feelunique.com could provide eSalon with a framework to use in additional outlets. Gimenez explained it gives specialty beauty retailers such as Ulta and Sephora that haven’t been able to carry eSalon’s custom solutions a way to incorporate the company’s offerings. “They can monetize without having to worry about managing the stock,” he said.
While eSalon is expanding digitally, it’s also working on expanding physically. Earlier this year, the company brought on board Amanda Hamilton, formerly director of operations at Drybar, as vice president of retail to help develop a salon concept for eSalon and identify possible locations. Salons featuring eSalon’s proprietary custom-blending hair-color machine will start rolling out next year.