e.l.f. cosmetics puts a new face on for mobile shoppers

December 13, 2012 03:12 PM

Traffic to e-retail site stemming from iPhones Nov. 27 through Dec. 12 soared nearly 600% year over year, beauty products chain retailer e.l.f. cosmetics reports. More important, revenue from iPhone visits has jumped 500%. What’s helping is the fact that customers no longer need to try and navigate the full e-commerce site on their iPhones as they did in 2011 because the retailer just launched a mobile commerce site Nov. 23.

Smartphone traffic accounts for between 30-40% of total traffic to, the company says. So far, shoppers on the new m-commerce site are converting to buyers at a rate of 2%.

“In the first 20 days we have taken 3,300 orders for $100,000,” says Cory Pulice, vice president of e-commerce at e.l.f. cosmetics. “We know the site and the design are working, people are transacting on it.”

E.l.f. cosmetics is owned by JA Cosmetics Corp., No 503 in the Internet Retailer Second 500.

The m-commerce site, built in collaboration with the retailer’s e-commerce platform provider BlueSwitch, features a large banner of rotating hero shots on the home page that highlight current promotions. Atop the rotating banner is a site search box. Below the banner is a grid with nine icons for Shop, Best Sellers, New, Videos, Tools, Gifts, Purchases, My Account and Stores.

“We studied a lot of mobile sites out there in our category and other iconic brands we wanted to emulate. One of the mobile sites we liked a lot was from Sephora,” Pulice says. Sephora USA Inc. is another beauty products chain retailer. “We took the best of what is working on our e-commerce site; sections like Best Sellers and What’s New are where people go most and convert most. It was a blend between everything we had seen, what’s working on our e-commerce site, looking at Sephora, and then the non-commerce aspects such as making sure people could check on orders, contact customer service and access their accounts.”

Pulice believes web commerce is evolving to become more visual, and that’s why e.l.f.’s m-commerce site presents large product images and includes a section with videos. He says visits to the e-commerce site that include video views convert three times better than visits without video views. He’s hoping to emulate that success on the m-commerce site.

“We decided to use YouTube because it is free and easy to leverage,” he says. “YouTube is serving the video, and it’s just a snippet of code that sits on our mobile site. You embed the YouTube code that kicks off when someone clicks on the video. Pretty standard stuff.”

It’s extremely important that e.l.f. cosmetics has a mobile commerce site today, Pulice says.

“Because it’s important to our consumers,” he explains. “Our consumers are accessing our site via mobile devices and we need to have a presence there and satisfy their needs.”




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