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                                            I
                                                n our February issue, we published “The BSB 25”—my selections
                Here’s my list of beauty        for the most fascinating beauty retailers across the United States
                                                in 2011. It really highlighted notable beauty stores—almost all
                ecommerce sites I love to   of which are what many now call brick and mortars.
                                                We got a lot of great feedback on the project. So we’ve decided to
                watch and learn from. Of    follow up with the 25 most interesting online beauty retailers. That
                                            is, the top ecommerce websites that are on my radar. This, of course,
                course, you can too.        means places on the Internet that are actually in the business of
                                                                                                                     IstOckpHOtO.cOm




                                            selling any type of beauty products—whether they’re salon, prestige,
                                            masstige or mass, etc., and not websites that only provide product
                by Marc Birenbaum           information to drive customers into brick and mortars.




July 2011 Beauty Store Business
    In my opinion, what’s happening                                                                                                                      Comment: this is the place to go online
online these days is the most exciting part                                                                                                              for travel-size beauty items.
of our sector, and there’s a bright future
in store for the online sale of beauty
products. Name a product category and
a consumer can buy an item in it online
these days. The latest category that has
been amazing me is hair goods, which has
really taken off in the past year or so.
    As with “The BSB 25,” I had to
make some decisions in this proj-                    No. 2                                              No. 5
ect. Would I include a mass-market                   Website Address: www.Folica.com                    Website Address: www.BeautyBrands.com
brick and mortar that sells beauty                   Company: Folica.com                                Company: Beauty Brands
products online? I opted not to. How                 Location: New York city                            Location: kansas city, missouri
about www.Avon.com or www.Drug                       Special Feature I Love: top 10 button              Special Feature I Love: take 10                  No. 8
store.com? Internet Retailer ranks Avon.             in eight product categories (flat irons,           Rewards program                                  Website Address: www.ULtA.com
com as No. 30 and Drugstore.com as                   hair dryers, curling tools, hairbrushes,           Comment: this is a clean, well laid out          Company: ULtA
No. 46 in its Top 500 list! Then there’s             shampoos, conditioners, heat protectants           and logical site.                                Location: Bolingbrook, Illinois
www.HsN.com and www.QVc.com. Not                     and gifts)                                                                                          Special Feature I Love: two free
too long ago, I joined Cosmetic Execu-               Comment: Ranked at No. 253 by Internet                                                              loyalty programs offered
tive Women (they let the weaker gen-                 Retailer, this site—marketed as “It’s All                                                           Comment: Industry insiders and
der in now as members), and at a CEW                 About the Hair”—also has an On sale                                                                 pundits say to watch for this national
West Coast Women in Beauty Series                    button in nine areas (blowout deals,                                                                salon-store chain to amp up its
event I had the opportunity to hear                  flat irons, hair dryers, curling tools, hair-                                                       ecommerce effort even more. You
Mindy Grossman, HSN CEO, speak                       brushes, hair care, hair loss, hair accessories,                                                    can see early signs of that already if
about the sales of beauty products on                and spa and body.                                                                                   you visit the site often.
HSN and HSN.com. It was great! But
you won’t find HSN.com and QVC.com
here. Nor will you see the ever-growing
number of flash-sale fashion sites that
often include the sale of beauty mer-
chandise. (Is www.Amazon.com’s new
www.myHabit.com next?)
    Two other notes: Unlike “The BSB 25,”
which was in alphabetical order, this list
is ranked simply on how fascinating each                                                                                                                 No. 9
site is to me. And, like “The BSB 25,” I’ve          No. 3                                                                                               Website Address:
left a lot of great beauty retailer websites         Website Address: www.sallyBeauty.com                                                                www.Beautycollection.com
off this list. There’s much more out there           Company: sally Beauty supply (sally                                                                 Company: Beauty collection
in cyberspace than you might think.                  Beauty Holdings)                                                                                    Location: Van Nuys, california
                                                     Location: Denton, texas                            No. 6                                            Special Feature I Love: special deals
                                                     Special Feature I Love: the new sally              Website Address: www.DERmAdoctor.com             for under $10, deals from $10 to $20, and
                                                     Beauty mobile for any smartphone                   Company: DERmAdoctor                             deals more than $20
                                                     Comment: sBs has been quietly redesign-            Location: kansas city, missouri                  Comment: Its site creates for customers
                                                     ing its site—perhaps more than any other           Special Feature I Love: shop by                  the boutique feel of its brick and mortars
                                                     major online beauty retailer. What it’s done       common conditions                                in the Los Angeles area. Also, it has really
                                                     so far is quite impressive—and it looks to         Comment: Don’t be fooled into thinking           grown since Beauty collection opted in
                                                     me like it’s going to get better and better.       only the DERmAdoctor brand is sold here          to the ecommerce plunge.
                                                                                                        and that there’s just skin care being offered.

No. 1
Website Address: www.sephora.com
Company: sephora
Location: san Francisco (North
American headquarters)
Special Feature I Love: Beauty talk,
where customers can “get advice, give
advice and join the conversation”
Comment: Just as sephora revolutionized              No. 4                                                                                               No. 10
the brick-and-mortar beauty biz—there’s              Website Address: www.Dermstore.com                                                                  Website Address: www.Beauty360.com
sephora.com ... and, uh, then there’s                Company: Dermstore                                 No. 7                                            Company: cVs/pharmacy
everyone else. Now it’s leading—by far,              Location: El segundo, california                   Website Address: www.3FLOZ.com                   Location: Woonsocket, Rhode Island
again—online beauty ecommerce into                   Special Feature I Love: skin Resource              Company: 3FLOZ.com                               Special Feature I Love: “Get the Look”
the exciting, new world of mobile retailing.         center                                             Location: New York city                          buttons
Internet Retailer ranks it as No. 112. Look for it   Comment: I can’t say enough about the              Special Feature I Love: phenomenal               Comment: customers can create a my
to move up in the magazine’s next ranking.           Find an Expert function on this site.              kit selection                                    Account and a my List.


July 2011 Beauty Store Business
No. 11
Website Address: www.Naimies.com                                                                                                       No. 20
Company: Naimie’s Beauty center                                                                                                        Website Address: www.Beauty.com
Location: Valley Village, california         No. 14                                                                                    Company: Drugstore.com (Walgreens
Special Feature I Love: spanish translator   Website Address: www.BeBeautiful.com                                                      has announced its intent for acquisition.)
Comment: this site sports a nice geometric   Company: BeBeautiful                                                                      Location: Bellevue, Washington
homepage layout.                             Location: New Hudson, michigan                No. 17                                      Special Feature I Love: chat with a
                                             Special Feature I Love: shapewear as a        Website Address: www.GBsBeauty.com          Beauty Advisor between 6 a.m. and 4
                                             product category                              Company: GBs the Beauty store               p.m. pDt mondays through Fridays
                                             Comment: Live chat is available from 9 a.m.   Location: coral Gables, Florida             Comment: It does a fine job of promot-
                                             to 6 p.m. EDt mondays through Fridays.        Special Feature I Love: tweens &            ing free samples of other products with
                                                                                           Under product section                       purchase as well as gifts with purchase.
                                                                                           Comment: there’s a fantastic in-store
                                                                                           events calendar for the salon-store
                                                                                           chain’s brick and mortars.




                                             No. 15
                                             Website Address: www.BeansBeauty.com
No. 12                                       Company: Beans Beauty                                                                     No. 21
Website Address: www.BsWBeauty.com           Location: manayunk, pennsylvania                                                          Website Address: www.2ndstBeauty.com
Company: Ytt canada (Beauty                  Special Feature I Love: Natural/organic       No. 18                                      Company: 2nd street Beauty Boutique
supply Warehouse)                            product category                              Website Address: www.AVEYOU.com             Location: Long Beach, california
Location: toronto                            Comment: the site prominently promotes        Company: AVEYOU Beauty Boutique             Special Feature I Love: Blog
Special Feature I Love: BsW store            joining the merchant’s mailing list.          Location: Deal, New Jersey                  Comment: this site offers a very nice
Recommendation of hair goods                                                               Special Feature I Love: customers’          presentation of shopping by product
Comment: BsW’s site is an example of                                                       reviews about AVEYOU on its homepage        categories and brands.
online multicultural beauty products                                                       Comment: check out this site’s incredible
retailing done right.                                                                      sort-by-price feature.




No. 13
Website Address:                                                                                                                       No. 22
www.BeautyEncounter.com                                                                    No. 19                                      Website Address:
Company: Beauty Encounter                    No. 16                                        Website Address: www.GotBeauty.com          www.DiscountBeautycenter.com
Location: Fountain Valley, california        Website Address:                              Company: sugarhouse salon & spa             Company: Image Beauty
Special Feature I Love: Excellent prod-      www.peninsulaBeauty.com                       Location: salt Lake city                    Location: Berlin, New Jersey
ucts slide show on the homepage              Company: peninsula Beauty                     Special Feature I Love: A lovely sundries   Special Feature I Love: same-day ship-
Comment: surprisingly, some people in        Location: Burlingame, california              product section that’s not what you         ping for orders before noon EDt mon-
the trade don’t know about this superb       Special Feature I Love: Easy navigation       might expect                                days through Fridays
operation, the story behind it (and its      Comment: customers who like peninsula         Comment: Its tagline is “Everything         Comment: this site is a great example
“where beauty is @” slogan). It’s ranked     Beauty on its Facebook page receive           Beautiful” ... there’s a costume shoppe     of how to segment the fragrances
at No. 384 by Internet Retailer.             a coupon.                                     product section that’s just unbelievable!   product category.


July 2011 Beauty Store Business
                                                                                                                                 telephone-order option 24/7
                                                                                                                                 Comment: this site is “dedicated to
                                                                                                                                 helping beauty professionals create
                                                                                                                                 and maintain a successful business by
                                                                                                                                 offering an outstanding selection of
                                                                                                                                 salon and spa products.”

                                                                                                                                           Double Winners
                                                                                                                                  In the February issue of Beauty Store Business,
                                                                                                                                  we ran for the first time ever “The BSB 25”—my
                                                                                                                                  selections for the most fascinating beauty retailers
                                                                                                                                  across the United States in 2011. So who was on both
                                                                                                                                  that list and this one? The answer is 16 businesses. In
                                                                                                                                  the order of this list, they are:
                                                                                                                                  Sephora                    Beans Beauty
                                                                                                                                  Folica.com                 Peninsula Beauty
                                                                                                                                  Sally Beauty Supply        GBS The Beauty Store
No. 23                                                                                                                            Beauty Brands              AVEYOU Beauty
Website Address: www.planetBeauty.com     No. 24                                    No. 25                                                                   Boutique
                                                                                                                                  ULTA
Company: planet Beauty                    Website Address: www.Bluemercury.com      Website Address:                                                         Sugarhouse Salon & Spa
Location: costa mesa, california          Company: bluemercury                      www.Deluxesalonsupply.com                     Beauty Collection
                                                                                                                                  Beauty 360                 2nd Street Beauty
Special Feature I Love: Affiliate         Location: Washington, D.c.                Company: Division of de~luxe Distributors,
(referral) program                        Special Feature I Love: Home Fragrance    a wholly-owned subsidiary of Drugstore.       (CVS/pharmacy)             Planet Beauty
Comment: “click here for celebrities      product category                          com (Walgreens has announced its              Naimie’s Beauty Center     bluemercury
who love planet Beauty.” that statement   Comment: this site has a fun video        intent for acquisition.)
is placed right in the middle of the      gallery that it promotes high up on its   Location: Bellevue, Washington               Marc Birenbaum is executive editor of Beauty
homepage.                                 homepage.                                 Special Feature I Love: toll-free            Store Business.




July 2011 Beauty Store Business

								
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