After more than two thousand beta testers played with it for a year, New York’s fledgling ecommerce company Stash has finally unveiled its iOS app for taking the bother out of buying beauty products. E‑commerce analysts in search of a new business model in the crowded beauty products space might do well to take a closer look at what this app has to offer.
For one thing, it’s not attempting to emulate Birchbox, which is a subscription service for various beauty delights, and neither is it attempting to tread the path of ecommerce firms like Julep, with a heavy emphasis on social recommendations. No; Stash offers users recommendations for products as evaluated by influential experts writing about them in top fashion and beauty magazines, blogs and websites. These product-endorsing editorial outlets include big names like Vogue, Glamor and W; by scouring the web for the best offers, it provides listings of the best products at the lowest prices, too.
MIT alum Sid Henderson hatched the idea behind Stash out of his own frustration and displeasure while shopping in drugstores. But it was Sid’s fellow co-founder Veronica Gledhill who thought Stash could do much more by offering trusted product recommendations. You don’t need to be a veteran e‑commerce manager to appreciate that some of the best ideas take shape through the cross-fertilization of different minds.
Once they open the Stash app, customers can use keywords, brand names, hashtags and even barcode scans from their own bathroom collections to search for beauty items. And even the most seasoned ecommerce analyst would agree that the app’s price comparison capabilities are formidable: it lets users comparison-shop for literally thousands of beauty items across a raft of major online sites – Amazon, BeautyBar, Drugstore, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks, Sephora, Soaps and Walmart amongst them.
The app also takes the hassle out of re-ordering. It lets users put regular items on a shipment schedule, and lets them know when it’s time to reorder (based on tracking earlier Stash order histories). Users have to approve the final transaction, and Stash takes a cut when they do (it also offers free delivery on items over $25).
“Our beta users have saved 16.1 percent off retail on average, of which 13.4 percent was from our automatic price comparison tool,” Henderson reveals.