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Makeup Cartel slashes online store maintenance costs by 85%

Makeup Cartel product assortment

Based on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, Makeup Cartel was born out of a desire to create unique makeup and skin care products that are easy to use, quick to apply, and fast to deliver results. Since its humble beginnings in 2013, Makeup Cartel has grown to encompass multiple boutique skincare and beauty brands, including esmi Skin Minerals, PONi Cosmetics, Lip Heroes, and Sun Skills. The brand’s extensive range of affordable and easy-to-use products has drawn fans not only in Australia, but around the world.

Since upgrading to Shopify Plus, Makeup Cartel has seen:

  • 85% reduction in web maintenance costs
  • 40x increase in concurrent traffic on its sites
  • 19% rise in the rate of returning customers


Ecommerce sites are central to Makeup Cartel’s success because the online channel is a major part of the brand’s consumer and wholesale strategies. However, the platform it previously used to handle its online sales struggled to host more than a few hundred customers at a time, and it would frequently crash if too many people tried to find and buy products at once. To prevent this from happening, the brand had to stagger its promotional emails to customers, making marketing activities unnecessarily complicated and time consuming.

Due to the limitations of its previous ecommerce platform, Makeup Cartel had to spin up five individual sites, one for each of its labels, its US presence, and its wholesale channel. But given the work needed to maintain each site and fix bugs in the platform as they arose—much of which needed to be handed off to an external agency—the brand was unable to invest in and execute on new online store features for customers and its own internal team. This prevented Makeup Cartel from attaining the growth velocity it wanted to achieve as a business.Not only that, but a lack of data management tools meant that it faced huge problems in achieving personalization for customers based on their location, such as customers in the EU and USA. This led to additional sales losses.


Makeup Cartel launched its new online stores on Shopify Plus in June 2022. Employing the Shopify Plus expansion store feature, Makeup Cartel consolidated its five independent sites into a single platform with three defined storefronts: one to host its brands in the local market, another to do the same in the US market, and a third for its wholesale business. Thanks to the unified backend of Shopify Plus, each of these sites was managed via a single admin page, making multi-site management less resource intensive.

At the same time, Makeup Cartel used Shopify Flow to automate numerous ecommerce tasks that previously could not be automated, including the allocation of the most appropriate free product sample to be offered to customers as a gift based on the detection of specific products in their orders. Such automations have freed up team resources so that Makeup Cartel can invest more in developing and creating new store features and offerings.


With Shopify Plus, Makeup Cartel can now host thousands of customers on any of its sites at any time, giving the brand the ability to send promotional emails to all of its customers at once without the fear that its sites will buckle under the weight of online visitors. This was particularly important during the 2022 Black Friday, Cyber Monday sale period, when Makeup Cartel hosted some 8,000 online customers at the same time without incident.

Thanks to Shopify Plus, the brand has also enjoyed a dramatic reduction in website maintenance costs. The team has shifted substantial resources from maintenance and support tasks to focus on the delivery of compelling new online features and services for customers and internal team members alike. Most notably, while the traffic volume on Makeup Cartel’s collective sites has exploded, the ecommerce team’s productivity has also increased thanks to labor-saving tools like Shopify Flow.

With new product category ranges, new brands, and new international launches in the works, Makeup Cartel plans to take further advantage of the all-in-one ecommerce system Shopify Plus offers to continue driving its long-term growth goals.

With Shopify Plus, Makeup Cartel saw results fast.

  • 85% reduction in web maintenance costs
  • 40x increase in concurrent traffic on its sites
  • 19% rise in the rate of returning customers

Not having to spend all the time and costs maintaining the platform and upgrading it has been great. With Shopify Plus we can focus our effort and budget on rolling out new features and innovating. We’re a products and customer-focused company, we don’t want to be bogged down in tech.

Makeup Cartel

Jaylon Martin — Head of Ecommerce & Technology


Health, Beauty, and Cosmetics

Previous platform

Adobe Commerce


Expansion stores, B2B, Shopify Flow, Shopify Plus

Use case

Growth and Scale, B2B and Wholesale, Automation, Cost Effectiveness, Global Commerce

Join the ranks of brands changing health, beauty, and cosmetics every day.

  • Skin Inc
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