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Meet Stash, the app that simplifies buying beauty products

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.

Pro­fes­sion­al recommendations

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.

Price-slash­ing versatility

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.

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