“After weeks of researching, negotiating, and finagling, Thanh has snagged us a kick-ass agency to build our brand-new website (launching in Sept!)…Can’t wait to see what they come up with for Birchbox 2.0.”

Hayley Barna, Co-founder of Birchbox, 2010

When the founders of Birchbox approached us in 2010 to help them launch a website to solve ecommerce for the beauty industry, we couldn’t have been more thrilled about the challenge ahead. As Birchbox continues to grow their business in new directions, we are grateful for the partnership opportunity we had to work with a brand that inspired hundreds of subscription box businesses worldwide.

Creating an editorial-meets-ecommerce beauty hub was no humble goal—especially on a tight timeline. We designed, developed, and launched Birchbox’s digital experience in under 90 days. Debuting to the world just in time for Fashion Week, Birchbox saw over 40,000 subscribers in their first year alone.

One of the first of its kind, Birchbox was an early example of the success brands can have when content, product discovery, and commerce are strategically aligned from the start.

Editorial Content

Even before launching their ecommerce site, the founders of Birchbox were already garnering attention and establishing a story through their blog. Sharing industry news, company updates, product pointers, and inspiring snapshots, the Birchbox blog of yesteryear provided a clear glimpse into the value and purpose of the brand for a targeted audience. Soon after launch, Birchbox social channels promoted user-generated content like unboxing videos to garner attention and educate future customers.

Today, the blog, social channels, and digital magazine still support the brand’s commitment to keeping customers current with beauty trends and enable easy exploration of the products they tout. An air of approachability remains in every channel, even as the Birchbox brand has grown, maintaining trust and loyalty.

Their digital magazine includes engaging content formats that encourage discovery and educate customers on products, from how-to videos to trend reports with built-in shopping lists. Varied editorial offers a path to purchase for both current and potential customers.

Product Content

Birchbox’s product shopping experience enables product discovery, exploration, education, and purchase for customers—and creates opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. Offering advanced filters for product search aligns with Birchbox’s approach to a highly tailored subscription experience; easy to understand taxonomy allows customers to find and buy with confidence.

Integrating recommended product widgets on each page leverages massive amounts of customer data to give customers ample opportunity to discover (and purchase) more. Subtly plugging free treats through the Bonus Shop also encourages cart add-ons.

Every product page embodies the unique Birchbox brand experience through copy; consistent with editorial content, “Editor Tips” and the candid “Birchbox Breakdown” of every product adopts a tone of “approachable expert”.

Incentivized product reviews through a custom loyalty points system encourage continued engagement while generating diverse user content to integrate into product pages.

Brand Content

With a continued influx of subscription box services in the beauty industry, Birchbox has remained a leader by leveraging their brand story, unique technology platform, and extensive product offerings. Emphasizing the brand origin and journey in the About section supports their position as a market leader, and highlights a continued focus on customer-centric products.

Even brand partner pages provide easy-to-glean information about the Birchbox catalog. Clear, concise, and casual descriptions—rather than dry marketing boilerplates—subtly affirm that each brand was carefully vetted and familiar to Birchbox editors.

Birchbox is a prime example of a well-tuned digital experience that meets both customer and business goals through merging content and commerce strategically. As the ecommerce world continues to shift, it’s more important than ever that brands start to think about the two in tandem to build rich brand experiences.

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