Beauty Pie raised $100m in funding last September to help further its expansion plans, which it says will involve “more warehouses, pop-up shops and a new membership model (for devotees).” This round of funding follows on from the huge growth Beauty Pie generated during the pandemic, with the brand doubling its number of members and turning a profit in the fiscal year 2021.
So, what’s behind Beauty Pie’s success, and what does it mean in the context of today’s beauty industry? Additionally, in an increasingly fractured consumer climate – where loyalty is a challenge – how is Beauty Pie aiming to combat subscriber headwinds, and drive acquisition?
Disrupting the beauty industry through ‘sourcing as a service’
Beauty subscription boxes have been around for some time now, with the likes of Birchbox, Glossybox, and FeelUnique popularising the model. These examples offer customers a subscription for a monthly box of curated beauty and skincare, which typically include a selection of products from a range of brands and that are tailored to suit the individual.
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While it still offers a subscription service, Beauty Pie differs from this traditional model – a direct-to-consumer membership is perhaps more of an accurate description. The brand calls itself a ‘buyers club’, as customers pay a monthly or annual subscription fee in order to get access to Beauty Pie’s own high-end beauty products, which can then be bought without luxury mark-ups (that often accounts for spend on marketing, middlemen, or expensive packaging). Customers can buy from the website without membership but will be charged regular retail prices. For example, members can buy the Beauty Pie triple hyaluronic serum for just £19, while non-members are able to purchase it for its retail price of £44.
Beauty Pie effectively entices customers to sign up for membership through its 60-day free trial, which gives customers a significant amount of time to try out products at a lower price point before they decide to commit.
Sourcing direct from suppliers is the key to Beauty Pie’s business model. Founder Marcia Kilgore describes the company as a ‘sourcing as a service’ business. Essentially, this means that the company buys direct from labs. It is entirely transparent about what products cost to make, which is then reflected in its discounts for members.