Beauty ecommerce is on the rise. Take a look at the numbers:
In the United States, beauty ecommerce accounted for 7.4% of total ecommerce sales in 2020, and it’s rising at a 4.75% annual growth rate globally.
For beauty brands—skin care, hair care, grooming, fragrances, period care, and more—there are many opportunities up for grabs. If you don’t know what to focus on next, we’re diving into 10 examples of successful beauty ecommerce websites. You’ll find the tools, strategies, missions, and products they use to hit huge milestones.
- Hismile: Influencer-fueled global ecommerce powerhouse
- ILIA Beauty: Tools that make online beauty shopping easy
- Beauty Heroes: Putting customers first online and offline
- 100% PURE: Leaning on customer feedback and rewards
- The Skin Nerd: Education first, products second
- Beard & Blade: Free returns as the ultimate quality promise
- Boie: Minimal product range with strong branding
- Soft Services: A resource that helps people feel good in their skin
- Blume: Challenging the status quo with a bold mission
- Skin Dope: Resources that break down barriers and doubts
1. Hismile: Influencer-fueled global ecommerce powerhouse
Hismile is known for home tooth-whitening kits that have taken the world by storm. The brand launched in 2014 with its two founders’ $20,000 investment; in 2020, it saw an estimated $250 million revenue.
In its early days, Hismile grew by working with micro-influencers in Australia and worked its way up to household names like Kylie and Kendall Jenner.
“You must have all the other stuff in your business churning at 100% before even thinking about reaching out to one of these big names,” Nik Mirkovic, co-founder of Hismile, told Collabstr.
As Hismile rose through the ranks, it had 2,000 brand ambassadors promoting its product at any one time. When you consider its paid ads on Instagram and Snapchat on top of that, it’s easy to see why Hismile’s website had to work smoothly for everyone.
That’s not just about withstanding heavy traffic, but also about looking great no matter which channel and country the visitor came from. Over time, Hismile implemented a global ecommerce approach that supports different currencies and shipping details through six storefronts.
The shipping information page removes clutter and information overload and instead detects the visitor’s country to serve only the relevant pricing and delivery estimate.
Hismile has shipped products to more than 90% of the countries on Earth and grown its key market sales stronger.
“We initially went global on one website, but our sales multiplied by 10 in each market as soon as we sold our products in Australian dollars, US dollars, the euro, and British pounds,” says Nik.
2. ILIA Beauty: Tools that make online beauty shopping easy
ILIA Beauty is a clean beauty brand known for products that enhance natural beauty and protect the skin. Its skincare and makeup products generated $22 million in sales in 2017, and are on track to exceed $100 million in sales in 2021.
ILIA’s products are sold through retailers like Sephora and Nordstrom. Lynda Berkowitz, ILIA’s CEO, told Glossy that direct-to-consumer sales through its website accounts for close to 50% of total sales.
This is a result of an intentional effort to create an enjoyable online shopping experience. ILIA allows customers to find their ideal shade using the Skin Tint Shade Finder. They can upload a selfie to get matched by ILIA’s team or complete a shade match quiz.
The shade finder is easy to access through the menu at the top from any page, as well as from relevant product pages. Product pages also feature a “see it in real life” section, with photos and reviews uploaded by verified buyers:
ILIA’s customers can rest assured they’ve picked the right product for their skin type, tone, undertone, and concern—and what they want to achieve with that product.
ILIA’s focus on online shopping experience decreased exit rates, improved bounce rates, and played a key role in its ecommerce success. Consider using tools that help customers make a choice and embedding genuine customer reviews to promote real results from your products.
3. Beauty Heroes: Putting customers first online and offline
Beauty Heroes is a healthy beauty discovery service. Its flagship offer is a membership that delivers products from a specific brand each month. Although the membership costs between $40 and $59 per month, each month’s delivery is valued at at least $100.
The current month’s brand of choice is emphasized at the top of the homepage, and the Join Now button follows you as you move around the page:
Members also receive a 15% discount on almost all products in the store, including skin care, makeup, hair care, and lifestyle products.
In 2019, Beauty Heroes decided to take its online operations offline. Its Northern California store offers the same curation, ingredient standards, and philosophy found on its website.
Opening a brick-and-mortar location meant Beauty Heroes now needed a way to efficiently manage customers wherever they buy.
“Our big requirement was that we wanted our customers to have one profile, whether they shopped online or in store,” says Jeannie Jarnot, founder and CEO of Beauty Heroes. The company now uses Shopify POS to keep complete customer profiles, history, and contact information in one place.
A curated subscription and an omnichannel presence lets Beauty Heroes excel at customer loyalty and retention.
4. 100% PURE: Leaning on customer feedback and rewards
100% PURE is a natural and organic cosmetics retailer. It has 15 brick-and-mortar locations in the US and an international ecommerce presence in more than 30 countries.
The 100% PURE website doubles down on customer favorites: products with most reviews, awards, and purchases.
100% PURE rewards loyal customers. Its Purist Pro program for estheticians and makeup artists offers a 35% discount on most products and first access to new product launches, while the Purist Perks loyalty program includes seasonal savings, birthday gifts, free shipping, points based on customer spend, and more.
With in-store and international ecommerce efforts, the company’s goal is to create an effortless shopping experience for everyone. Easy country and currency selection plays a big role in it.
On top of that, its website needs to be fast, its inventory synced, and product information up to date.
This is where Shopify Plus created a huge improvement. “It’s our customer-facing portal in different countries and allows us to custom code promotions, which have been extremely effective,” says Ric Kostick, the co-founder and CEO of 100% PURE.
It’s a powerful combination—the focus on customer reviews and feedback plus a smooth ecommerce operation—that created success for 100% PURE.
5. The Skin Nerd: Education first, products second
The Skin Nerd is an umbrella of skin-care-focused efforts: education, curated brands, and original products.
Its website points to the key areas for those seeking tips and products to improve their skin: skin consultations, The Skin Nerd book, educational articles (dubbed “skinformation”), and latest products.
The Skin Nerd is a leading example of an education-first ecommerce company. According to its About page, “The Nerd Network was possibly the world’s first online skin consultancy.” Services include initial and follow-up skin consultations, as well as bridal bootcamps, pregnancy consultations, and teen skin consultations and demo days.
Customers that book a consultation become a member of the Skin Nerd Network, which offers exclusive content, invites to events, and long-term skin guidance.
After their consultation, customers receive a list of recommended products from dozens of brands, including The Skin Nerd’s Sskingredients, all of which they can purchase from Tthe Skin Nerd store.
When the pandemic hit, people craved online education through videos and articles more than ever before—and the topic of skin care was no different. The Skin Nerd started educating its customers back in 2017, so it’s no wonder its sales saw a 10-times increase during 2020.
6. Beard & Blade: Free returns as the ultimate quality promise
Beard & Blade is a men’s grooming supplies retailer based in Australia. It has served more than 300,000 customers since 2007 with products for shaving, hair care, beard care, and fragrances.
Beard & Blade’s focus is a straightforward and speedy online shopping experience. Orders made by 3 p.m. are dispatched on the same day, and customers can choose to pick up their order from the brand’s Clayton, Victoria warehouse within 15 minutes of payment.
A huge part of this customer experience focus is offering free returns for a full year from the order date.
“We don’t have products just for the sake of it. We honed in on what we are best known for and that’s hair, shaving, and beard products,” Michael Muscat, co-founder of Beard & Blade, told Australia Post. “It means everything we sell is of high quality, so we were confident in offering free returns from day one.”
“These communities know they can rely on Beard & Blade to have all the products they need. We’ve developed a strong reputation as a market leader and an authority in men’s grooming, and customers recognize that through their interactions with us and through word of mouth,” Ben Chidiac, Beard & Blade’s co-founder, told Australia Post.
For Beard & Blade, the ease of shopping both as a consumer and a business is essential—and that strategy certainly created results.
7. Boie: Minimal product range with strong branding
Boie is an eco-friendly retailer of personal and oral care products. Its website has a recognizable look: a clean, clutter-free design with a memorable color palette.
Boie has a streamlined product offering, with just four product categories—oral care, skin care, accessories, and bundles—and four or less products per category. Each product comes in the same six colors.
In 2018, Boie saw $1.1 million in sales, but had conversion rates below industry average and wanted to improve its organic search presence. This is why Boie joined Merchant Growth Model (MGM), a service provided to all Shopify Plus merchants.
One of the upgrades that came with MGM was consistent branding through uniform colors and fonts, more prominent buttons, and clear copy. Another one was sharing social proof.
“A big thing was adding reviews to our website,” says Manuel de la Cruz, co-founder of Boie. “I think seeing other customers’ experience with our products helped increase our conversion rate.”
With MGM strategies, Boie increased its sales by 100% within a year. Having a clear focus—and a simple, clear website that supports it—helped Boie exceed its revenue goals while staying true to its mission of making personal care more sustainable and planet-friendly.
8. Soft Services: A resource that helps people feel good in their skin
Soft Services offers products, guides, and digital tools that help people with skin concerns. Its mission is to reduce physical and digital waste in this industry and the world.
In their own words, the Soft Services team see themselves as more than a brand or a company that makes things, and consider what they do a service—hence the name.
Soft Services’ website stands out through its unconventional layout and design:
Its distinctive product pages follow suit. The section that stands out is the list of “Good for” and “Not good for” skin conditions:
This is aligned with Mass Index, a resource by Soft Services that houses expert articles, treatment information, and a growing visual library of all types of body skin.
Mass Index aims to fill the knowledge gap left by the skin and health care sectors about a broad range of skin conditions, from body acne and clogged pores to fungal infections and psoriasis.
“We want people to go from having a body issue that they’re stressed about to feeling empowered, and that’s through products and breaking down cultural taboos,” Rebecca Zhou, co-founder of Soft Services, told Byrdie.
Mass Index and the company’s mission are bigger than Soft Services’ products. “Mass Index was created as a place to document research and share it with people searching for solutions, even if not our product,” according to the brand’s site.
This effort makes Soft Services a go-to resource for skin concerns and solutions and builds trust with the people they reach through it.
9. Blume: Challenging the status quo with a bold mission
Blume is a skin, body, and period care retailer focused on clean, gentle ingredients. Blume serves girls and women of all ages looking to elevate their self-care routine and daily rituals.
“We wanted to start Blume to make an impact and take on an industry that has had little innovation for over 100 years. Seventy-nine percent of us use the same products that our moms did,” Taran and Bunny Ghatrora, Blume’s co-founders, shared with Ecommerce Magazine. “This means that 79% of us are still using outdated, potentially problematic products simply because we were introduced to them when we were younger.”
Blume’s product range includes natural deodorants, organic tampons and pads, and face products like clay masks, moisturizers, and acne oils.
Each product page features key information like frequency of use, scent, skin type, instructions, key ingredients (and their benefits), and other complementary Blume products.
But Blume goes more than skin deep. It also runs The States of Sex Ed, a website that provides factual, comprehensive sex education for free. The reason? Less than a fifth of US states mandate medically accurate sex education.
Blume aims to make self-care easier and healthier and destigmatize normal things like acne, periods, puberty, and sex education, which it achieves through clean products and sex ed resources that knock down taboos and create important conversations.
10. Skin Dope: Resources that break down barriers and doubts
Skin Dope is a CBD and hemp skin care brand. It was launched in 2019 by Josie Maran, a model, actress, and veteran of the beauty industry who founded the brand Josie Maran Cosmetics in 2007.
Skin Dope’s website is infused with an orange and green color palette, taken straight from the product packaging.
The first half of the homepage focuses on recommended products and subscription formulas, while the second half only features answers to common CBD questions: Why should you buy CBD oils and hemp oils by Josie Maran? What are the benefits of CBD oil? Why are these products the best CBD options on the market?
CBD was listed as a controlled substance under US federal law, which made it hard to understand the full benefits of CBD. This is the reason behind these efforts from Skin Dope to answer questions and educate customers.
And if you ask Skin Dope’s customers, it works:
While CBD is becoming a prolific, popular ingredient in the beauty world, Josie Maran and Skin Dope didn’t want to wait until CBD beauty became mainstream. They chose to show the benefits of CBD and remove any doubts and worries—and succeeded.
Stay on top of the beauty industry
From clean products and protecting the planet to educating customers and helping them feel good about their body and the products they put on it, use these brands and websites to inspire your next move. Beauty is personal, so make sure your customer journey is too.