BareMinerals was a pioneer in the clean beauty revolution, launching its best-selling mineral foundation in 1995. Today, one jar is sold globally every 18 seconds and the company has expanded its range to include clean, cruelty-free makeup and skincare products, available in 5,050 doors. Part of the Shiseido Group since 2010, the brand continues to innovate, offering over 65,000 custom shades of foundation through its Made-2-Fit app.
The brand has also innovated its customer acquisition and engagement strategies. “We’ve turned to virtual events and digital initiatives like live video shopping and live streaming, which we saw as an opportunity to engage our existing consumer and a driver of new customers as well,” says Whitney Goldman, VP of e-commerce, digital and CRM at BareMinerals. “It ultimately comes down to trying to make things easier and more seamless for our customers while also being more engaging.”
To augment its strategies and amplify the opportunity, the brand’s continuing partnership with payment solutions firm Afterpay, which has more than 13 million active customers spanning major global markets including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK and Southern Europe, where the company is called Clearpay, offered additional growth levers and sales drivers.
In the luxury, fashion and beauty industries, strategic payment partnerships have emerged as a critical opportunity to unlock value by increasing customer acquisition capabilities, conversion rates and customer experience. Buy Now Pay Later is the fastest growing online payment method in the US, as well as Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
“In partnering with us, the vast majority of our partners see an increase in average order value, conversion, more frequent shopping behaviours and repeat purchases,” says Afterpay chief revenue officer Melissa Davis. “At Afterpay, we also send a huge amount of referral traffic to our partners — in December 2020, we sent over 40 million leads to them. That converts at significantly higher rates than other affiliate channels because these are shoppers with intent.”
To discover how BareMinerals is optimising paths to purchase and engaging new customers, creating a blueprint for a best-in-class payment solutions partnership in the process, BoF sits down Whitney Goldman, VP of e-commerce, digital and CRM at BareMinerals.
How have your digital customer engagement strategies evolved?
Specifically in the digital space, we have found we want to keep focused on immersive digital experiences, like live streaming, virtual try-on and expanding on activities like that. Just like everyone else, the pandemic forced us to accelerate our digital pivot. We have turned to virtual events and digital initiatives that may not have really been top of mind prior to Covid-19. One of the initiatives is live video shopping and live streaming, which we actually saw as an opportunity to try and engage with our existing consumer, but as it turns out, was a driver of new customers as well. So far, we have seen that around 40 percent, and in a few cases, up to 50 percent of our live stream transactions are coming from new customers.
How did you pivot to acquire new consumers during a pandemic?
Being in beauty, we obviously do have a wide range of customers, but 18 to 24-year-olds are our smallest customer segment. However, we have seen that increase year-over-year, so we have seen a 40 percent increase in their share of traffic, which I think stems from a handful of tactics from product development to social media. For example, we worked with Hailey Bieber, and in that case, we actually saw over half of our transactions from the event coming from new users. About 80 percent of viewers were new to site, and we were able to capture their email and continue to engage with them. For us, it has been a great way to tap into a new audience and continue to reach new users and bring them into the fold.
Convenience and optionality are always going to be top of mind and most important.
I also think, just from a brand standpoint, we have a pretty long, firmly established commitment to doing good for people and for the planet, and we are committed to our sustainability efforts. This brand ethos resonates with the younger consumers, something that they are drawn to organically, and it is rich in our history. That certainly works to our advantage.
How have you increased conversion rates and grown sales?
Ultimately, our goal is just to try and meet the consumer wherever they are at that moment. Convenience and optionality are always going to be top of mind and most important. Whether that means from a product standpoint, offering items in many sizes or multiple sizes, so that we can have that lower price point or help get the consumer hooked on the product or introduced to the product.
I think similar to that, for payments, we want it to be easy and seamless for them. We also then want to have similar options when it comes to payments and give them that ability to make the choice. In general, we have seen around a 25 percent increase in the percentage of Afterpay transactions over the past six months based on the previous six months. The average order value for Afterpay transactions is much higher, almost 40 percent higher than our site average. For us, we are really happy to see that Afterpay usage continue to grow and see those higher AOV orders come along with it.
What consumer cohorts have you engaged by expanding payment options?
I think, when they look to implement something like that, it is going to open you up to a younger consumer base because that is where the majority of those users are coming from. For us, we actually see Afterpay transactions spread across our entire user base, which I think is a really good insight and important to keep in mind that that flexibility is extremely important to a wide range of consumers — and it’s not just your younger consumer. While the majority might sit within those younger age ranges, we see it being utilised across all age brackets.
How are you optimising the path to purchase?
It is constantly shifting target and always evolving for us. Our goal is obviously to try and get our user to the product detail page (PDP) as quickly as possible, but also inform them along the way. We are constantly optimising our navigation and on-site search. We have fully moved to a mobile-first approach and we are constantly testing and optimising our checkout flow. You might one day see something and the next day see another thing. We are really trying to balance the speed of checkout with clarity, to make sure that our customer feels secure moving from one step to the next, but also along the way, we want to make sure that they’re getting all the information that they need.
The average order value for Afterpay transactions is much higher, almost 40 percent higher than our site average.
We know that the experience is always going to be split between browsing and searching, so we are always AB testing. We don’t want to rush the consumer through the site experience, obviously our most engaged users — those who spend the most amount of time on the site and dive deeper into the content or use some of the tools that we have available — are our most loyal customers. We try and balance the speed with the content and ultimately once they hit the checkout, then we just want to focus on making that as quick and functional as possible and ensure that they feel secure each step of the way.
How do you build awareness of payment flexibility with consumers?
The fact that we consistently maintain an Afterpay banner on the homepage speaks to how we feel about the partnership and the value we put there. We do try and support the payment type pretty succinctly and consistently across the site. We advertise it on the homepage, and for us, the homepage real estate is still very valuable. While not everyone’s entering through there, it is your window into your shop. It’s included on every PDP, very close to the price, and we’ve actually gone as far as to include it on our web experience pages, which are more immersive experiences that dive into specific products or collections.
Most recently, we launched our ageless collection, which does have a higher price point, so it prompted us to consider that it was maybe a great opportunity to feature Afterpay, to remind people that they have that option and flexibility to pay over time. We worked it into our web experience page, which again speaks volumes about how much we value it because it is very valuable real estate there for us.
What excites you for the future?
We actually created a virtual villa that looks like it’s a home on the coast in Malibu, which takes in all of our brand cues. We were able to film all of our ambassadors within this space and build a BareMinerals store within the space that clicks through to the site. The consumer would realistically get this opportunity — it’s a one-day pop-up experience for consumers to come to this house to experience all of the content that’s in there.
How to’s with Hailey Bieber and her makeup artist, education from our global dermatology expert, hearing about all of our philanthropic and sustainability commitments for 2026. Then, ultimately we will be directing them to a store where they could either buy into the skin care that the dermatologist spoke about, buy products to recreate the look that the makeup artist did on Hailey, that are going to help fund this women’s empowerment fund that we have with two charities that are all about women’s education.
This is a sponsored feature paid for by Afterpay as part of a BoF partnership.