Creating the Beauty Box Experience

Content Design, Strategy, and Implementation for Cross-Functional Teams

macys beauty box.

Beauty and personal care has become the next big thing in e-commerce. Macy’s Beauty Box is a monthly subscription service and entry into the subscription model popular with Macy's target demographic: Millenials. Each month five deluxe beauty samples, one bonus item, a collectible cosmetics bag, and a $5 beauty coupon exclusively for Beauty Box subscribers is delivered to customers who opt in for a $15 fee.

My involvement with this project started in Q1 2016 and continued until Q1 2019.

Initial product launch was Q3 2017.

I remain a consultant on this Product for video integration and special content initives such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and other technologies interacting with Beauty.

Macys Beauty Box
Macys Beauty Box

The Challenge

Create a successful e-commerce platform with a fresh look, feel and user experience. The web experience must explore new concepts and user experiences that will transform the consumer journey on the flagship online store.

Direct-to-consumer (or D2C) companies are a new threat to Macy's marketshare. D2C brands can experiment with distribution models from shipping directly to consumers at a much faster pace and turnaround than Macy's, D2C brands can quickly form partnerships with physical retailers, and/or open pop-up shops with unparalleled flexability.

Macy’s wanted to compete and leverage its vast retail network in this emerging market with its own network of brands. Focus was on broad areas where these companies set themselves apart — in their design, how they launch, the customer experience they build, and how they market themselves. Following the customer experience and reviews helped access pathways and pitfalls and insight on how to best approach the Macy's model.

Macy’s Beauty Box is a monthly subscription service which also promotes the flagship store's Beauty Experience. Before launching Beauty Box in Hearld Square, a hallway was set up as a pop-up beauty retail experience to catch new customers, their feedback, and as market research for which products would be best to include in the Beauty Box Product and capture data on the target market.

beauty box popup
beauty box popup

  • Allow customers to easily, and in a fun way, find new beauty products that fit their style and expand their home Beauty collections.
  • Drive customers back to without the need to rely on sales promotions, but instead driving repeat business because the branded experience and product value. Marketing and Creative should be considered is useful, engaging and innovative with expectations it belongs in the Subscription model space with the same nimble schedule.
  • Deliver unique, curated experiences to individual shoppers based on their personal style and likes. Currated selections within the beauty box will provide feedback for the Personalization project and increase Beauty reach.
  • Create social exposure and word-of-mouth recommendations for Macy's as the beauty destination to further grab and maintain marketshare
  • Create, gather user engagement and loyalty data through personalized interaction and build new profiles based on Beauty segmentation
  • Provide Macy's with consumer data focused on traits, Beauty likes and dislikes, so individualized experiences can be created for each customer and featured products and brand strategy can be projected

The Process

beauty box

Competitive Analysis & Market Research Overview

In 2015, the American beauty industry in the accounted for $32 billion, or 8% of all sales in e-commerce with 70%, the vast majority of online shoppers choosing to purchase beauty products through retailers like Macy's.

  • FabFitFun
    Cost: $50 per month.
    FabFitFun features wellness, style, and skincare and makeup items. The full-size, high-quality beauty products often contain the biggest trends of the season—past boxes have included jade rollers, hyaluronic acid masks, and ingredient-conscious products. Promise subscribers over $200 of value in every box.
  • BeautyFIX
    Cost: $25 per month.
    This subscription model focuses moreso on skincare products. Occasional makeup items are included, but the focus is on skin-nourishing creams, serums, and anti-aging solutions. There's an expected $100 retail value delivered each month.
    Cost: $21 per month.
    GlossyBox will deliver full- and deluxe-size beauty products in cosmetics, skincare, and more from notable and under-the-radar brands worth knowing.
  • Ipsy
    Cost: $10 per month.
    Subscribers say they love the variety (high-end and drugstore products, makeup and skincare, beauty tools and beauty products) and personalization.
  • Play! by Sephora
    Cost: $10 per month.
    Sephora's subscription box has top products in skincare, makeup, and haircare included. Subscribers also get a fragrance sample, a book of tips and tricks, a bag, and a PLAY! Pass for in-store learning and 50 rewards points.
  • Birchbox
    Cost: $10 per month.
    Birchbox has been at the forefront of the subscription model. It has an assortment of quality samples and allows the subscriber to know what products will be delivered each month or they can opt to be surprised by Birchbox’s choice. This allows scubscribers to experience the brands and ingredients they’ve been curious about, to discover new products, and to become loyal, repetitive customers.
  • Target Beauty Box
    Cost: $7 per month.
    Each Target Beauty Box features samples of hair, bath, and body products that you can find in Target stores.

Video Content:

Enhancing product merchandising with additional collateral, such as videos, content, UGC, etc, extends the reach of the product. Video’s influence remains in full force when it comes to the Beauty segment. Research helped influence building a monthly video experience for beauty box. YouTube boasts more than two million UGC beauty videos in English, half dedicated to makeup. YouTube videos create brand awareness and an easy path to purchase: 23% of beauty shoppers indicate that video specifically plays a vital role in their purchasing decisions. In comparison to earned media, brand-owned content requires extensive paid support to achieve a satisfactory fraction of the views that vloggers command organically. A strong video strategy is necessary.

User Personas

Macy's utilizes its data of multi-channel attribution modeling and user-based visitor segmentation to create targeted personas.

beauty box
macys expired coupon

Wireframe & User Flow

Create a successful e-commerce platform with a fresh look, feel and user experience. The web experience must explore new concepts and user experiences that will transform the consumer journey on the flagship online store.

Macy's Beauty Wireframe

beauty box

Macy's Beauty User Flow

beauty box

Macy's Beauty AR App Wireframe and Flow

beauty box ar userflow

User Experience

There are two production versions of the entry page: the first approach focusing on subscribers and users who will be wait-listed when the program is full and a second version for new subscribers with a monthly view showing past boxes and outlining the subscription process. Content is to be dynamic and refreshed outside normal Creative and Code release calendars. This required a new internal system and design to work with legacy technologies and limitations.

AR try-on tools, which also will be available as in-store beauty displays in select stores, have become a popular way for cosmetics brands to market products to mobile customers.

beauty box
beauty box schematics
macys beauty experience
beauty box
Macys Beauty Box low fidelity
beauty box low fidelity
Macys Beauty Box
Macys Beauty Box
Macys Beauty Box

User Feedback - User Generated Review - Results

Marketing copy for May 2019: We’re getting ready for summer and clean skin is a non-negotiable necessity. So, we’re here for you with goodies for a fresh face and a flawless, summer-ready look.

The May 2019 box will include:

so fresh so clean beauty box may 2019

At first I was disappointed with this month’s Beauty Box, but I really changed my mind after trying the products. That Korres cleanser is on the way to becoming HG for me, it’s amazingly gentle and super effective at removing makeup without pulling at the skin. I liked the ‘fresh and clean’ bag so much, it’s now in my gym bag! -@luckykitty99 May 2019

so fresh so clean beauty box may 2019 so fresh so clean beauty box may 2019

Review by -@h0neygl0w May 2019

  • Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser Retail Value: $3.47
    I have too many other cleansers to get through so I don’t want to open it yet. It has over 3K reviews and a 4.6/5 star rating on Sephora’s website.
  • Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
    Retail Value: $6.00
    Same as the Korres, I don’t want to open this due to a backlog of cleansers. This is described as a warming gel cleanser and has great reviews on Sephora’s website (4.3/5 stars with almost 2.5k reviews).
  • Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum Retail Value: $16.33
    I also have a backlog of serums and moisturizers to get through so I don’t want to open this yet, but it has 4.5/5 stars with 700+ reviews on Sephora’s website.
  • Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen Retail Value: $22.00
    Full size item. It’s a nice, deep black color. The tip is firm but not too firm and it is easy to make a super fine line or press harder make a thicker line. This also has 4.5/5 stars and over 800 reviews on Sephora’s website. I love black eyeliners and Clinique products so I was stoked to receive this.
  • Girlactik Invisable Shadow Primer/Eraser Liner Retail Value: $17.00
    Full size item. The description says it can be used to prime eyelids for eyeshadow and to erase eyeliner smudges.
  • Marc Jacobs Eau So Sweet perfume Retail Value: $1.22
    This sort of has a cotton candy, floral, powdery smell.
  • Montblanc Explorer cologne Retail Value: $1.78
    I’m not great at describing men’s cologne, but it smells nice. I gave it to my husband and he likes it.


Visual Design

believe in your selfie
believe in your selfie
Macys Beauty Box
beauty box
typography sample: open. have fun. repeat. in italics and serif font
macys beauty experience
beauty box
beauty box
macys expired coupon
beauty box
beauty box branding
beauty box

I’m open to new opportunities.

If you're looking to connect, let’s grab a coffee and chat!

crosswalk shot across from the sfmoma with painting that reads think outside the building.