If its success in the US is anything to go by, the sCommerce phenomenon looks set to take hold in the Australian market – and one local beauty venture is at the forefront of this new online shopping experience.
sCommerce, a derivation of eCommerce, stands for subscription commerce and is a business model where customers pay a monthly fee for access to a range of products and services. One of the first Australian sCommerce ventures is Lust Have It!, an online beauty service that sends a sample box of five luxury beauty products to subscribers each month. Each box comes with expert product reviews, hints and links to an eStore, which sells full size products.
Founder Nicci Herrera, a 20-year beauty industry veteran, said when it came time to set up her business she looked to US company Birchbox for inspiration.
“I had an idea for a company but I wasn’t sure how to execute it and when I saw the US version I knew what I needed to do,” she said.
Lust Have It! launched in July 2011 after Herrera saw there was a gap in the market between high-end professional beauty products, and what’s available to the average consumer.
”People want to buy professional products but often they can’t justify the expense unless they know it’s going to work for them. So, giving them the chance to trial a product in their own home allows them to buy beauty products with confidence,” she said.
Key investor and Foundry CEO Dale McCarthy said: “Beauty boxes are a hot sector for investors as they are revolutionising the way consumers discover and buy beauty products in a digital age.”
Less than a year after starting Lust Have It!, Herrera recently announced acquisition of rival online beauty supplier Glossy Box.
Glossy Box CEO, Alexandra Podeanu said the merger would make Lust Have It! a “clear market leader in Australia.”
“This industry consolidation is definitely a win/win for subscribers,” said Herrera, adding that she believes the merger will make it easier to uphold the quality of products she supplies.
Herrera also said she hopes her business will increase consumer confidence levels by educating customers and allowing them to trial products before they buy.