[Executive Edge] From beauty queen to innovator
One of the most interesting business concepts to emerge from the Silicon Valley is the subscription box model. Glamourbox, founded by Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2006 Lia Andrea Ramos, seeks to popularize such concept in the Philippines.
She settled on the subscription box model as opposed to selling beauty products only through physical locations after doing some market research with her friends who would become her business partners.
Ramos realized that she would be able to grow her brand much quicker if it were primarily online, especially as much of her target demographic was consuming beauty-related content over social media.
“How it works is very simple: You sign up on our website, purchase a subscription once it becomes available, wait for the box to be delivered to your doorstep, and get to try the products in the comfort of your own home,” Ramos explained.
Glamourbox delivers a sampling of beauty products that fit a particular theme to a subscriber’s home.
“We wanted to be where our customers were and make it as easy as possible for them to discover and try our products,” Ramos said.
She added that being online also allows the company to reduce their fixed costs. Glamourbox then passes on some of those savings onto the consumer in the form of discounts and other promotions.
Element of surprise
Understandably, the target demographic of Glamourbox is on the high end. Ramos described them as women from 18 to 40 years old, who are affluent, cosmopolitan, and interested to learn more about beauty but overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options that are available in the market.
A “discovery commerce platform,” the target audience of Glamourbox can learn about beauty products they may not have heard of yet or had access to before. Ramos said this helps women find out which products are worth their time.
While the products are all curated by the Glamourbox team, there is an element of surprise that Ramos said is enticing for subscribers. “You don’t actually know which brands or products you are receiving and so there is anticipation and excitement building until you get the box,” she said.
If a subscriber likes a particular product, they can then purchase it through the Glamourbox’s online store or at the brick-and-mortar location of partner brands. For brands that partner with Glamourbox, the company thus represents a marketing solution.
“Traditionally, beauty brands randomly give samples over the counter to passing shoppers in the hope of converting them into new customers,” Ramos said but data showed this is not a very efficient means of reaching out to them.
Glamourbox, in contrast, is more efficient because it is more targeted. “We provide a solution by getting a brand’s samples into the hands of what we call ‘primed customers’ – these are target market consumers that are eager and excited to try our brands’ new products,” Ramos shared.
Glamourbox thus increases the likelihood of a sales conversion for partner brands. In addition, Glamourbox helps extend the media reach for partner brands through their social media channels.
Ramos said that Glamourbox helps both sides of the marketplace. “We thus give brands more for their marketing buck, while also giving consumers great value,” she said. “It’s really a win-win-win.”
Glamourbox though still has to contend with a host of challenges, including low credit card penetration. “Connectivity is also an issue, when the Internet connection of a customer is slow, completing a transaction may take a while,” Ramos said.
To address these problems, Ramos said customer service team responds quickly to anyone experiencing an issue. The goal here is to make the Glamourbox experience as effortless as possible.
“Once customers know that purchasing online can be convenient, then they overcome their misconceptions of online shopping,” she said.
Ultimately, Ramos said that she eyes Glamourbox to be the launch pad for brands to find their following in the Philippines.
To date, they have already been the point of entry for many international brands like Pixi by Petra, Pop Beauty, Ofra Cosmetics, and Eye of Horus.
Glamourbox’s growth is a victory for Filipino consumers because it gives them the power of choice, Ramos said.
“For far too long, it’s been difficult to get access to the wide variety of brands that are readily available in other parts of the world,” Ramos said.
She also wants to help local brands boost their visibility, introduce new products, and increase their following, which also falls in line with Glamourbox’s mission of giving more options to Filipino beauty consumers.
“As beauty enthusiast ourselves, we can’t wait!” Ramos said, subtly tipping her hat to why Glamourbox seems so poised for success because it is led by the very people that the company wants to captivate. – Rappler.com
Rappler Business columnist Ezra Ferraz brings you Philippine business leaders, their insights, and their secrets via Executive Edge. Connect with him on Twitter: @EzraFerraz
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