Alex Irvin: How eCosmetics Plans to Disrupt the Beauty Industry

by Amir Bakian

In the past few years, the beauty industry has undergone a significant transformation, and the emergence of online cosmetics stores has played a major role in this shift. Customers can access more products than are available in physical cosmetics stores thanks to the remarkable ease that online retailers provide. Modern technology has given us the flexibility to choose what we see on the shelves of our neighborhood stores and even access almost anything we can think of.

According to Insider Intelligence research, US cosmetics and beauty retail e-commerce sales doubled compared to 2019 (up from $9.21 billion to $18.6 billion). The report also predicts that in 2023, US shoppers will spend nearly $24.5 billion on beauty and cosmetics online.

Alex Irvin co-founded eCosmetics (alongside Richard Kirsch) in Pompano Beach, FL, USA. eCosmetics provides beauty enthusiasts with a unique collection of major skincare, haircare, fragrance, and cosmetics brands. The business was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, which worked in their favor as online shopping boomed.

“The pandemic helped us immensely,” he says. “We sold much faster than we imagined because everyone was holed up in their houses doing online shopping. You would think, ‘no one is going to buy cosmetics if they can’t go anywhere!’ but it was the opposite.”

Irvin believes the rise of online cosmetics stores has many advantages for owners of online businesses, allowing for a much greater reach and more product variety. Lower production and distribution costs also help, as well as changes in how companies do their marketing—for example, social media and other digital marketing outlets.

“I’m a data and marketing guy at heart,” he says. “So, staying on top of the current marketing trends is important. For example, online retailers are experiencing a major shift to mobile access to websites. So, you have to make sure your e-commerce site appeals to mobile.”

He says big names like Sephora, Ulta, and Amazon have taken advantage of the fact that people have become used to shopping for beauty products online. As such, providing personalized shopping experiences has become crucial for eCosmetics to stand out.

“If you call Amazon or Sephora, it’s unlikely you’ll speak to an actual person right away, which isn’t great if you have a question,” he says. “When you call eCosmetics, though, you’ll talk to someone here in our building. Customers love the personal touch the most, and it gives a better consumer experience.”

In addition to this personal touch, having the “freedom” to offer a more extensive range of products is also a drawcard.

“We have about 60,000 active products on our website right now,” he says. “Sephora only has a fraction of that. So, we can offer a wider selection because we don’t offer exclusive products.”

Though the name implies they sell cosmetics only, eCosmetics is branching out.

“We’re looking at apparel now, so we’ve already started testing it on marketplaces. We have some apparel on our website.”

The most important thing, he says, is that eCosmetics provides customers with peace of mind, which is achieved through hands-on customer service, and a 100% money-back guarantee on all products.

Presented by: Taylor Newman.

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