Farfetch, Shopbop and Moda Operandi are three companies selling apparel and accessories online, with a combined 51-year history. Each introduced their own spin on this category. Sophisticated editorial content (Farfetch). Good logistical capabilities (his Shopbop, owned by Amazon) and a gorgeous curatorial experience (Moda, which launched a beauty shop this week).
In 2013, Net-a-Porter became the first viable luxury fashion online site to venture into the beauty space. At the time, the retailer’s managing director told me that despite the launch of Quintessential Edit, Net-a-Porter has “always been the fashion business first and foremost.” A decade later, and the novelty of being the fashion and beauty retail hyphen has worn off.
Beauty has proven to be a compelling space due to its low returns, resilience and high crossover of luxury fashion and beauty shoppers. Online retailers of luxury goods, like department stores before, are eager to expand their authority beyond designer handbags and shoes. Like Net-a-Porter, newcomers say skincare and makeup will never be the center of sales (and even if they were, we’re not against it).
However, some struggle to sell their product at all.
Sales on Shopbop fell below $100 in the week ending Jan. 7, according to a sell-through reporter reviewed by the BoF. In his four weeks ending Jan. 7, he made less than $1,000 in total sales on the site. This includes the weeks leading up to Christmas. Shopbop declined to comment.
After all, simply placing bottles and tubes of skincare on your website or store shelves won’t convince shoppers that you’re a viable beauty seller. It’s authoritative, and it’s easier if the retailer is all about beauty (Sephora and Ulta Beauty aren’t trying to sell fashion).
Manola Soler, Senior Director, Alvarez & Marsal Consumer Retail Group, said: “All these luxury sites have their own authority and say when it comes to fashion. How much of that translates to beauty?”
Shopbop presents product shots in the same grid format as fashion. But when the model is wearing clothes, most beauty products are shown as bottles or packages on a neutral background. Selling beauty online is already difficult. Images and presentations should feel as close to the real-world experience as possible.
There is clearly no label for The Estée Lauder Cos., which sells its own brand on Farfetch and Moda Operandi. This is surprising because Fabrizio Freda, CEO of The Estée Lauder Cos., who is dedicated to maintaining the company’s reputation, has publicly commented on his ELC’s decision to avoid Amazon. not.
Farfetch has acquired a beauty authority. Marketplace acquired luxury beauty retailer Violet Gray in 2022 before entering the category. Violet Gray creates sophisticated, highly-produced content and its “Violet Code”, “a community of top makeup artists, hair stylists, estheticians, dermatologists and celebrity influencers who bring you the best beauty products in the world. known for its testing process and set of criteria to distinguish between From tens of thousands of worlds on the market, according to its website.
Although it’s a small business, Violet Gray is already an authority on premium skincare, makeup and tools, and a much-needed endorsement. Violet Code’s “endorsement” could legitimize beauty brands, resulting in Violet Gray’s site, social media platforms, and beauty industry influencers (often the retailer’s founder and chairman). Cassandra Gray’s friend).
“Farfetch offers storytelling, education and atmosphere unlike any other place. [and] Shopbop is a lot like Amazon,” says Marie Driscoll, managing director of luxury and fashion at consulting firm Coresight Research.
However, the jury is still out on whether this approach is successful in driving sales. Prices for goods sold on Farfetch’s marketplace (including fashion and beauty) were stagnant last year, and the company’s stock hit an all-time low in his December.
Lauren Santo Domingo, Moda’s Chief Brand Officer, is a global fashion authority, and her fashion, accessories and home “recommendations” are often highlighted throughout the retailer’s social content and marketing materials.
When it comes to fashion, Santo Domino does more than showcase designers. She is often photographed in her site looks and campaign images. Being named a Santo Domingo favorite increases exposure and sales for your brand or product.
Jessica Matlin, Moda Operandi’s beauty director, said Moda is expanding “Lauren’s Picks” to include beauty.
“I send her products and Lauren tells me what she loves,” she said. “I know what Lauren uses and what her favorite lotion is.”
Moda has a tight compilation of matrine called “Heroes and Hidden Gems”, exclusive products and experiences. Among them is the “Escape to Iceland” trip with unlimited spa access (and Blue Lagoon Icelandic Skin Care) for $13,000. An $8,500 masterclass with celebrity hairstylist Mara Rosak and a $12,000 mathematical facial analysis with a top New York City-based plastic surgeon with microneedle treatments and skin care products (no surgery).
Taking luxury seriously, regardless of category, starts with a strong point of view. It leads to becoming an authority and being an authority allows for opportunities for differentiation and may include access to renowned hair stylists and doctors. $10,000 for a session with a plastic surgeon that does not include plastic surgery I’m not sure who pays more than that, but “experiences” like these help establish Moda as a player with serious access that sets them apart from their competitors.