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One month after its e‑commerce debut, Beautylish goes mobile

E‑commerce start-up Beautylish is expand­ing its make­up com­mu­ni­ty dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the mobile mar­ket after its suc­cess­ful iPhone app launch four months ago.

Any e‑commerce man­ag­er or e‑commerce ana­lyst who remains skep­ti­cal about the poten­tial of the mobile mar­ket should take note: the num­ber of dai­ly mobile ses­sions record­ed by Beautylish is now run­ning at twice that for its Web alter­na­tive and amounts to hun­dreds of thou­sands of down­loads a day.

Why e‑commerce should include m‑commerce

The firm’s founder and CEO, Nils John­son has just announced a sim­i­lar app for the Android OS, mas­sive­ly expand­ing the poten­tial cus­tomer base in the process. Like its iPhone pre­de­ces­sor, the app gives users full access to edi­to­r­i­al con­tent and reviews for beau­ty goods, but doesn’t yet allow them to make pur­chas­es (its e‑commerce plat­form, Bou­tiques, which launched a month ago, does allow purchases).

Recent­ly, the Asso­ci­a­tion of Online Pub­lish­ing (AOP) pro­duced data that sug­gest­ed inter­net adver­tis­ing agen­cies were fail­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the mobile market’s bur­geon­ing growth, con­ser­v­a­tive­ly cling­ing on to more tra­di­tion­al online plat­forms instead. In this respect, many SMBs and e‑commerce start-ups are ahead of the game. Recent sur­vey find­ings sug­gest that 72 per­cent of SMBs in the U.S. plan to main­tain or increase mobile adver­tis­ing over the next year. Even estab­lished retail­er Wal-Mart has devel­oped a mobile app. Beautylish clear­ly plans to be one of the ear­ly ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the con­sumer migra­tion to m‑commerce.

Step one: user engagement

There’s lit­tle doubt about it, more and more con­sumers are turn­ing to their smart­phones for gen­er­al shop­ping and they’re also using them as in-store shop­ping guides. John­son is can­ny enough to have seen the trends emerg­ing — beau­ty prod­ucts are see­ing espe­cial­ly strong growth on mobile. He’s play­ing the long game too, by begin­ning with con­tent only, which he sees as a “bet­ter dai­ly hook” to attract poten­tial loy­al cus­tomers of the future than just e‑commerce. User engage­ment, he believes, is the first step to pay­ing cus­tomer engagement


The app lets users review tips from com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, watch demon­stra­tion videos and scan through prod­uct reviews. Beautylish has built a strong online com­mu­ni­ty of make­up afi­ciona­dos since its launch two years ago, with around a mil­lion unique vis­i­tors com­ing to the site every month. If that trans­lates to mobile too, this start-up is look­ing at stratos­pher­ic success.

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