10 Big Shopify Plus Beauty and Cosmetics Stores

01/03/2019, Marketing, Hannah Leary

Shopify Plus is the ecommerce powerhouse behind some of the world’s largest, fastest-growing enterprises. The flexibility, security and scalability the platform offers is a perfect match for influential brands experiencing rapid growth and high traffic volume.

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The global beauty industry is positively booming. In fact, the online cosmetics market is projected to reach $675 billion by 2020. That’s some serious money. With such huge figures in the mix, large online beauty merchants need an ecommerce platform they can rely on. Enter, Shopify Plus.

 

Here we’re taking a look at 10 huge Shopify Plus beauty and cosmetics stores that are going from strength to strength on this exciting platform. Its robust and reliable infrastructure is perfect for seamlessly handling high demand, all whilst retaining ultimate performance.

 

Let’s get started …

 

Kylie Cosmetics

20-year-old Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the infamous Kardashian clan, has recently added Kylie Cosmetics to her entrepreneurial empire. Harnessing the immense power of social media, Kylie has created a highly successful beauty business that has over 19 million followers on Instagram. This juggernaut of the beauty industry is estimated to be worth over $1 billion by 2022. This is something that other beauty giants like Bobbi Brown and Tom Ford Beauty took a decade or longer to achieve.

 

A screenshot of Kylie Cosmetics' ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Kylie Cosmetics gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Essentially, Shopify Plus was the perfect platform for Kylie’s brand because of its scalability; its ability to handle huge levels of traffic and customer demand. For example, after launching her first website with Shopify Plus, Kylie’s debut matte liquid lipstick was sold out within seconds.

Coping with demand on this scale is a major task for any ecommerce platform, yet this cosmetic empire certainly keeps the high-level traffic coming. All of Kylie’s subsequent makeup launches sell out just as rapidly time and time again.

However, Shopify Plus was specifically built to handle this kind of large-scale pressure. In fact, the platform was even able to handle 200k of Kylie’s visitors simultaneously during one of the biggest product drops in ecommerce history. It’s proved itself to be the ideal ecommerce platform for enterprise businesses’ high traffic requirements and accelerated growth.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“I particularly like the store’s ‘product-led’ approach. The design is simple and clean but with strong touches of personality throughout (such as the store’s ‘back in stock’ badges being lipstick stamps, for example).

The add to cart buttons on the collection pages, product pages and the homepage are also very strong and visible, motivating customers to reach the checkout page faster. On the store’s product pages, there is a lot of cross-selling and upselling of relevant bundles and similar cosmetic products. This is a great way to boost conversions as well.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could Kylie Cosmetics boost their conversion rate further?”

“Kylie Cosmetics could provide some kind of incentive for people to sign up and create an account. Users want more than just email updates.

The search bar could be made more prominent on desktop (it is comparatively very prominent on mobile). This would help to increase conversion rates from users searching for a specific product.”

 

 

KKW Beauty

KKW Beauty is Kim Kardashian West’s most lucrative venture yet. June 2017 marked the launch of Kim’s now infamous creme contour kits. Her marketing strategy? Uploading photos to her 205 million strong social media entourage. Her first line of products sold out within two hours – that’s an estimated 300,000 units! By the midpoint of 2018, KKW Beauty had already tallied an estimated $100 million in turnover.

 

A screenshot of KKW Beauty's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is KKW Beauty gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Much like her sister Kylie’s Shopify Plus store, Kim’s site attracts huge peaks in traffic with its highly anticipated product drops. Harnessing the power of Instagram to promote new arrivals and restocked favourites, Kim and her team create a staggering amount of demand for the KKW Beauty products. Shopify Plus was built for large-scale pressure like this though. It can handle large spikes in traffic with ease, making it the perfect platform for ambitious global enterprises.

The customised checkout on this store is evidence of the flexibility that comes with Shopify Plus. They have been able to configure this part of the site to match the rest of the store. This is important for maintaining consistency and creating a flawless, professional look. It’s interesting that they’ve decided to remove the branding on the checkout page. I’d be curious to find out the thinking behind this!

Shopify prevents automated bulk-buying by using a reCaptcha form within the checkout flow. This functionality is particularly important during big product drops where items are hotly desired. It is important to have more customers purchasing fewer items each than fewer customers purchasing in bulk, so it’s reassuring that merchants have a way of managing this on Shopify. This is also important for helping genuine customers avoid disappointment during busy trading periods.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“The KKW Beauty store continues the minimalist feel from husband Kanye’s Yeezy site. One font-family is used throughout and all text and buttons are in the same colour as the products. Ultimately, they know that the celebrity appeal carries the user around the site.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could KKW Beauty boost their conversion rate further?”

“One of the first things I noticed about the KKW Beauty site is that the search functionality is not at all prominent in the homepage header. The store doesn’t cater well for searchers, which could be negatively impacting conversions.

The menu structure is very busy as well. I would suggest simplifying the menu by leading with overarching lips, eyes, face and fragrance categories, with sub-options integrated within this structure. This would streamline the route to purchase and could contribute to increased click throughs to collection pages.

As Matt pointed out, the ‘buy now’ buttons are the same colour as the other page elements. The KKW Beauty team are clearly going for a minimalist look, but this design choice reduces the visual impact of the calls to action and their subsequent click through rate. Thus, the store would benefit from using a different, more impactful colour for its calls to action.

Finally, KKW Beauty could boost their conversion rate further by including customer reviews. These are essential for building new user trust, and are particularly influential when it comes to beauty products. They could use Okendo to capture and showcase reviews. This is a customer marketing platform built specifically for high-performance Shopify retailers like KKW Beauty.”

 

 

ColourPop

 

Promising ‘beauty that doesn’t break the bank’, California-based beauty brand ColourPop sells its products exclusively via its hugely popular ecommerce site. Their store attracted 6.6 million visitors in November 2018 alone! Owners Laura and John Nelson spotted a gap in the beauty market for amazing formulas with great pigmentation in a wide range of colours – all at affordable prices. They have harnessed the power of social media to drive sales, creating successful collaborations with several popular YouTube and Instagram influencers.

 

A screenshot of ColourPop's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is ColourPop gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Again, this is a Shopify Plus store that attracts a huge amount of monthly visitors. With so many competitors in the marketplace, it is essential for ColourPop that their ecommerce store is always performing, wherever in the world its customers are. Thanks to Shopify Plus’ unlimited bandwidth and multiple servers across the globe, it can step up to this challenge easily.

It’s nice to see the product quick view opening up on the collection page itself, rather than in a separate window. This is great for mobile visitors.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“As per their name, ColourPop make great use of bright colours throughout their store. They use intense colour combos alongside informative product pages to make an impact on the user.

Look out for cute little features like the very small circular product thumbnails that are being used as slider navigations on product pages. Very neat!”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could ColourPop boost their conversion rate further?”

“The ColourPop homepage is super-busy. There’s lots going on, with no clear calls to action. I’d suggest that the designers apply a 10% Gaussian blur and then review their designs to ensure the calls to action stand out amongst the other elements. This sort of design testing is crucial in ensuring your designs aren’t just beautiful, but functional too.

To further boost their conversion rate and drive revenue, ColourPop could consider offering a subscription service on high consumption products. Customers are likely to buy the same beauty products over and over again once they have found a brand that works for them, so there’s plenty of potential for offering subscription packages.”

 

 

Jeffree Star Cosmetics

 

With millions of site visitors every month, Jeffree Star Cosmetics is a big player in the beauty and cosmetics industry. Jeffree’s first cosmetics release was a collection of liquid lipsticks, followed by highlighter palettes, lip scrubs, eyeshadow palettes, clothing and accessories. This brand’s bold and colourful website is clearly a hit with its audience, as JSC amassed over $47 million in global net sales during 2017.

 

A screenshot of Jeffree Star Cosmetic's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Jeffree Star Cosmetics gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“With site visitors peaking at a staggering 3 million in some months, JSC need a reliable ecommerce platform that can handle this sort of demand. Shopify Plus is exactly this. It can process thousands of transactions a minute without the fear of crashes or downtime.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“JSC make great use of fun, colourful and quirky imagery to highlight the product use possibilities. The design is big, bold and bright. This is a perfect reflection of the JSC brand and what it stands for.

Furthermore, the footer makes good use of animation to bring a sense of movement to the site.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could Jeffree Star Cosmetics boost their conversion rate further?”

“It’s interesting that JSC have chosen not to feature any products on their homepage. Many brands place products here in order to increase product visibility and therefore boost impulse purchasing. This is something that might be worth A/B testing to see if it generates any uplift in sales.

I notice that JSC’s products are vegan and cruelty-free, however this isn’t communicated very well across the store. There’s lots of potential to better highlight this strong USP, perhaps with engaging imagery or fun iconography.”

 

100% Pure

 

This rapidly-growing beauty brand are on a mission to produce the purest, healthiest beauty products whilst being environmentally sustainable. From bronzers to balms, body scrubs to bath salts, 100% Pure are passionate about creating the most natural, nourishable formulas possible. Since replatforming with Shopify Plus, they have seen year-on-year growth of 40%. They have been able to more efficiently manage inventory across multiple warehouses, whilst positioning themselves to expand into China.

 

Commenting on the benefits of hosting their site on Shopify Plus, 100% Pure Co-Founder Ric Kostick said:

“Shopify Plus is super fast. It’s our customer facing portal in five countries and allows us to custom code promotions which have been extremely effective.”

 

A screenshot of 100 Percent Pure's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is 100% Pure gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“It’s good to see 100% Pure making the most of Shopify Plus’ built-in social media integrations. They are catering to their audience by including a shoppable Instagram feed on their product pages. This is particularly important for visual products like beauty and cosmetics items.

I really like the idea of offering free samples or a free gift to customers when they reach a certain purchase value. These sorts of promotions are very attractive to customers as they add perceived worth to a transaction, as well as helping them to discover new products. Shoppers are more likely to respond with loyalty when presented with a free gift, as well.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“The elegant serif fonts bring a sense of class and prestige to the 100% Pure store. This works with the calming, feminine colour scheme to appeal directly to the target market.

Also, I like how they have used drop-shadows behind the product cut-outs. This makes the products seem like they are popping off the page, creating a more engaging aesthetic.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could 100% Pure boost their conversion rate further?”

“It’s surprising that 100% Pure don’t drive subscriptions for their products, particularly for things like moisturisers that customers are likely to buy fairly frequently. Subscriptions are a huge ecommerce trend for 2019. They are a great source of recurring and predictable revenue for an ecommerce business. A subscription service would also help this beauty brand to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Although this store features product reviews, they could benefit from a more visual review platform that uses layered questions to gain more detailed information from customers.

In terms of the 100% Pure mobile site, it’s good to see that the mobile menu is well categorised and includes large selectors. However, they could potentially boost click throughs by making the menu more visual. They could use icons and/or colour highlights to breadcrumb the core user journeys to high value products.”

 

 

Morphe

 

With millions of people visiting its ecommerce site every month, this global beauty retailer is making waves in the cosmetics industry. Morphe inspires creativity with high-performing make-up brushes, boldly-coloured eye shadows and rich lip glosses. They want to help people make an impact with their make-up without breaking the bank. Its #MorpheBabe campaign has been a huge Instagram success, helping the brand garner an impressive collection of user generated snaps for its ecommerce store.

 

A screenshot of Morphe's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Morphe gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Morphe have created different storefronts for each country they sell to. As a global beauty brand with influence across the world, this means that they are able to completely tailor each store to suit the relevant audience.

For instance, on the UK storefront, shipping promotions are automatically presented in GBP and product images have been personalised with GBP values. This presents an impressive image of the brand and gives consumers more purchasing confidence. Morphe are able to deliver their fans the personalisation they expect from a global ecommerce player, wherever they live across the world.

Morphe have really thought about how they can cater to different shoppers. For instance, when it comes to their foundation products, shoppers can either choose a shade from the colour swatches or pick one from the dropdown list of foundation codes. Here, Morphe are catering for new shoppers who will be looking at colour alone and picking from the visual swatches, as well as people repurchasing their favourite shade and looking for their specific code.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“A particularly strong aspect of Morphe’s ecommerce store is the use of video and movement on the homepage. This helps to maintain interest whilst creating a slick user experience. This movement continues over on their collection pages too. Mouseover on products reveals the product in more detail, which is important for satisfying consumers’ thirst for information.

Their ‘Morphe Babes’ pages are expansive and high impact. They’ve clearly been designed and curated with the target audience in mind. They really help to distinguish this store from the competition.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could Morphe boost their conversion rate further?”

“Search doesn’t appear to be prioritised in the desktop header, even though we know that search users demonstrate more buying intent and typically convert at a far higher percentage. To really make the most out of this active product-seeking behaviour, Morphe should look to prioritise their search functionality.

Morphe don’t really provide consumers with a strong incentive to sign up to their mailing list. To boost sign-ups, they could consider adding some content to communicate the value of being on the list, perhaps with some on-brand iconography.

When it comes to Morphe’s product pages, there’s so much scope for them to improve their reviews. Currently, they are hidden at the base of each page and the stars don’t stand out because of the pale nude colour used.”

 

 

Pixi

 

Pixi are passionate about bringing out the natural beauty in all women. They specialise in ‘multi-tasking, flaw-fixing, youth-enhancing products for women-on-the-go with no time to spare’. Pixi’s award-winning Glow Tonic has amassed a cult-like following and been hailed a hero product for its ‘near magical abilities’. After noticing stagnant sales on their dated Magento ecommerce store, the brand made the move to Shopify Plus. They have enjoyed reaping the rewards ever since, with an estimated $4 million in annual sales.

 

A screenshot of Pixi's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Pixi gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Pixi are another beauty and cosmetics store making the most of Shopify Plus’ social media integrations. The expandable Instagram grid is a cool feature of their homepage. Not only does the inclusion of a social feed like this help communicate the brand’s story, it creates an appealing aesthetic that will attract the target market.

It’s interesting that Pixi are using WordPress for their blog when they could be using Shopify instead. I’d be curious to know why this is the case. If they made the most out of Shopify’s blog functionality, they could benefit from cost savings, a reduction in management complexity and assured design consistency.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“The Pixi Shopify store has been designed with subtle colours that appeal to target consumers. The pastel tones create a calming, feminine ambience, reflecting the brand’s passion for all things natural.

The product pages are very information-rich, but the white background helps create a clean style that fits in with the brand and its story.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could Pixi boost their conversion rate further?”

“The Pixi VIP Rewards program has a custom landing page, but the content and presentation here could be greatly improved. They could consider using engaging iconography to explain how points are earned, rather than using plain text. Also, it would be beneficial to specify the exact rewards on offer, as this would likely entice more people to sign up.

This is another beauty store that would benefit from more visual customer reviews. The plain text reviews on Pixi’s product pages don’t provide as much social proof as they potentially could do with the addition of user-generated photographs.”

 

 

Frank Body

 

Australian beauty brand Frank Body is a prime example of how Instagram can be used to transform a small start-up into a multi-million-dollar cosmetics powerhouse. The brand, famous for its all-natural coffee scrub, encouraged customers to share photos of themselves covered in the scrub on social media. With the help of a few famous faces, hashtags like #letsbefrank and #frankeffect took Instagram by storm. The brand now achieves around $20 million in annual revenue.

 

A screenshot of Frank Body's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Frank Body gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“This is a nice website that really embodies the brand in a way that has character and emotion. The images, text and structure all work together to communicate Frank Body’s brand values and convey the benefits of their products.

They are making the most of Shopify’s internationalisation functionality to tailor their store accordingly. For all UK-based shoppers, the store displays products in GBP and promotes free delivery for ‘all British babes’.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“After exploring the Frank Body store, it’s obvious that this is a well-developed brand with clear graphical direction. They make fun, quirky use of fonts, patterns and colours, but this is well-balanced in order to give customers clear routes to purchase. There are lots of lovely loading animations and refined iconography design. Furthermore, the lovely use of pastel colours helps to create interest and support content.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could Frank Body boost their conversion rate further?”

“Frank Body could consider capturing layered reviews. This would help to highlight the core features of their products, whilst humanising the reviews and increasing their effectiveness. Reviews are particularly influential when it comes to beauty and cosmetic products, so it’s always worth optimising review sections on stores like this.

Frank Body are clearly very passionate about providing natural, cruelty-free skincare. They use some great iconography to communicate these USPs on their product pages. It would be nice to see these icons being featured more prominently throughout the rest of their store.”

 

 

Vanity Planet

 

Vanity Planet are a ‘whole-body beauty brand that make essential self-care accessible to all’. Best known for their complexion-maintaining skincare products, this fast-growing US beauty brand uses a robust influencer marketing program to drive consumers to its Shopify Plus-based ecommerce site. Their store attracts huge numbers of users every month, with the largest proportion of traffic coming from social sources.

 

A screenshot of Vanity Planet's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Vanity Planet gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“In my opinion, this Vanity Planet store has much more character than many of the other Shopify Plus beauty and cosmetics stores I’ve explored. This itself reflects the flexibility within Shopify Plus. It shows that there is plenty of scope for merchants to create a distinctive store that goes beyond the standard themes and encapsulates unique brand values.

Vanity Planet are also making the most out of Shopify’s gift card functionality. This is a quick win within the platform and can be set up within a matter of minutes. Simply create a gift card as a product, and Shopify will use the standard product template.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“Throughout the Vanity Planet site, the blue calls to action really stand out against the nude tones of the background elements.

When it comes to product images, the homepage products burst out of their spaces, which draws attention and speaks to the power of the products. The image backgrounds are well-considered and match the neutral palette created by the site background.

Overall, this store feels very natural and very real.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could Vanity Planet boost their conversion rate further?”

“It’s interesting that only the skincare menu header option features a dropdown mega menu. All the other product types take you to unfiltered collection pages with a range of different products. To improve consistency and help breadcrumb routes to purchase, Vanity Planet should consider adding the dropdown mega menu to all their menu options.

This cosmetics brand should also seriously consider offering subscriptions across their Shopify Plus store. Products like their Acne-Fighting Power Couple are likely to be purchased on a regular basis. Therefore, it would make commercial sense to get customers signed up to recurring billing.”

 

 

Beard & Blade

 

Australia’s leading retailer of men’s grooming products, Beard & Blade, are known for all things shaving, hair styling and skin care. After migrating their ecommerce store from Magento to Shopify Plus in 2017 to help accelerate growth, they have seen retail sales increase 35% year on year. Their wholesale revenue has doubled too! They are now a multi-million-dollar company with a global  footprint.

 

Beard & Blade Marketing Chief, Adriano Salemme, couldn’t be happier with the impact Shopify has had for the growing business:

“Switching to Shopify Plus has been remarkable. We’re doing record sales since switching. This was unthinkable when we were on Magento.”

 

A screenshot of Beard and Blade's ecommerce store homepage.

 

Asking Dan McIvor, Shopify Plus Expert and Founder of Swanky:

“What is Beard & Blade gaining from being on Shopify Plus?”

“Beard & Blade are making use of a Shopify Plus-driven wholesale portal. This is a great way for the brand to get their products to distributors without the traditional admin burden. Shopify Plus allows enterprises to widen their reach with its dedicated wholesale channel, allowing effective B2B operation alongside a direct-to-consumer approach. This can be deployed in almost a few clicks, with various price controls based on tier, price list and quantity.

I really like the way that the Beard & Blade store seems like more than just products. It has a lot of authoritative content around the brand and around the culture of a person who uses products like an old fashioned razor. They present information about their brand success in fun, unique ways too.”

 

Asking Matt Giles, Creative Director at Swanky:

“What are the strongest aspects of this ecommerce store’s design?”

“The various design elements of the Beard & Blade store come together to speak to its key male demographic. For instance, they use chunky fonts with blacks, greys and whites to create a super-masculine feel.

In the collection view, they make good use of secondary images on mouseover to reveal the nature of the product. This is a great way of adding dynamic movement to their site whilst improving the user experience.”

 

Asking Sean Clanchy, Digital Strategy and Ecommerce expert:

“How could Beard & Blade boost their conversion rate further?”

“It feels like there is an unnecessary amount of filters when you reach Beard & Blade’s collection pages. I would suggest that these are set to only display on click, as they could easily scare off consumers. These filters don’t look particularly appealing on their mobile site either!

In my opinion, this store could do more to communicate the benefits of their razors on the product pages. They do list the highlights of each product, but they could consider using iconography to really engage with consumers and increase conversions.”

 

 

Feeling inspired by the success of these Shopify Plus beauty and cosmetics stores? If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of migrating your enterprise to Shopify Plus, please feel free to get in touch with Swanky’s friendly team of experts. We love to hear from ambitious enterprises wanting to improve their online presence with a Shopify makeover, so please do contact us.

 

And, if you’re after some more examples of enterprises using Shopify Plus, check out our recent series of posts on the food and drink industry and the sports and health ecommerce arena.

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About the author

Hannah Leary

Hannah is Swanky's Content Manager and Copywriter. She enjoys researching the exciting world of ecommerce and crafting engaging articles to help ecommerce managers around the world make the most of their presence online. Her blogs specialise in ecommerce strategy, website design and store optimisation.

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