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How Beauty App Flip Streamlines Social Selling

The new app has already signed on brands from Kate Somerville to Cover Girl.

Social selling’s latest newcomer is shooting for the smoothest shopping experience possible — and brands are taking note.

Called Flip, the shopping app was quick to gain traction among investors, with a $28 million series A round, and consumers alike. The app sees over 4 million minutes of video content viewed monthly, and gains over 2,000 downloads daily, according to the company.

This week, brands like Too Faced, Cover Girl, Murad, Living Proof, Ren Clean Skincare and Philosophy signed on. Already on the platform include Youth To The People, Supergoop!, Hourglass and Kate Somerville, among others.

“We live in a sea of products that are available, ones that come out in the industry on a daily basis. It has made it really hard for the consumer to know what really works,” said Noor Agha, founder of Flip. “For the younger generation, the way they make decisions is definitely through other people’s recommendations. I would refrain from saying influencers, but more recommendations from people they relate to.”

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The brand’s value proposition starts with the buying experience, Agha said. “If we look at your experience when you try to buy or discover new products, you’re either starting on Instagram or YouTube, then you’re looking at what people are saying about the product. Then, you search where it’s being sold and you make a purchase,” he said. “When you see how fast the cycle is on Flip compared to everything else in the industry, you will see we’re on a very different level of service.” The app also offers free shipping and returns.

Agha has also rethought how to compensate creators on the app. Brands aren’t able to employ creators for reviews as they are on similar platforms, which Agha hopes will build consumer trust and encourage honesty from reviewers.

“All of the content is organic from shoppers, so every person that buys a product can make a review. In order to contribute to the ecosystem, you have purchased that product from the app,” Agha said.

Products may garner negative reviews on the app, but Agha reasoned that it’s really a positive in terms of Flip’s business model.

“There are a lot of negative reviews on Flip, and that is what will make us the first and only honest e-commerce destination in the world,” he added, saying that despite lower costs to brands hoping to get on the app, it also provides executives with real-time, unfiltered feedback.

“This is the way brands work with us: think of our commerce as a service, and the content is organic from shoppers and people who buy products,” he said. “All the brands need to do is ship the products to our warehouse.”

Flip still believes in incentivizing creators, however. Creators’ earnings, instead of coming from the brands, come from the app directly, based on the level of engagement or quantity of sales their reviews accumulate.

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