menu

Online Beauty Retailer Opens Personalized Store Powered by Artificial Intelligence

Online Beauty Retailer Opens Personalized Store Powered by Artificial Intelligence
Design

Birchbox Soho uses machine learning to bring the popular subscription service to its first brick-and-mortar location in SoHo.

Kristina Denstitt
  • 14 july 2014

While e-commerce has become a staple of the modern retail experience, for many shoppers it can’t replace the tactile experience of testing products before a purchase. New York-based Internet startup Birchbox aimed to change this in 2010 by creating a strategy for tapping into the persistently offline beauty market, selling customized subscription boxes filled with full-sized product samples, which subscribers can then buy from their online store. Birchbox is now bringing their concept directly to customers with Birchbox Soho, its first brick-and-mortar store.

July_StoreAnnouncement_03_700x400.jpg

With 4,500 square feet and an assortment of beauty and lifestyle products from over 250 brands, the location boasts several features, each of which corresponds to a facet of its online experience. Similar to the survey that new Birchbox subscribers take to determine which samples they will receive in the mail, the SoHo store contains iPads and a large touchscreen that patrons use to answer questions about themselves and receive customized product recommendations. Machine learning and artificial intelligence powers these recommendations to create a personalized retail experience for each shopper.

Visitors can also create their own subscription box like the one subscribers receive in the mail at the B.Y.O.B., or “Build Your Own Birchbox” area. The brand’s beauty editors offer even more sampling at the Try Bar, a curated counter furnished with testers of trendy new products. A basement-level salon books hair and makeup appointments, as well as stocking a full selection of men’s grooming products from brands featured in the men’s subscription box. Birchbox Soho will also offer cosmetology classes that will be free for subscribers.

July_StoreAnnouncement_06_700x400.jpg

It is no wonder that Birchbox has grown so quickly with such a consumer-focused business model. Started by Harvard Business School graduates Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna around the idea that department store cosmetics counters can be impersonal and intimidating for some people, its subscriber base has doubled from 400,000 in 2013 to 800,000 this year. Their current store is the culmination of several successful pop-up store events in the New York City area, including one at STORY, (formerly A Startup Store,) in Chelsea.

Birchbox Soho hints at a possible future of retail where targeted marketing moves from the domain of online services such as Amazon and Google Adsense into traditional storefronts. The question of whether consumers will embrace this concept remains unanswered, but for now Birchbox is a unique experiment.


Birchbox Soho

via Adweek

Design
Trending

Lancôme's Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Advertising
Arts & Culture Today

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Today

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Today

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Today

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

Related Expert

Jonathan Waecker

Advertising, Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Future of Gaming, Media & Publishing, Technology, Work & Business

Fitness / Sport Today

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Today

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

Design & Architecture Today

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs Today

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

Travel Today

Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

The manufacturer is trying to patent a projection system that would allow them to project images onto a plane's interior surfaces

Latin America Today

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination

Culture Today

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World’s Largest Open-Air Gallery

Tiger Beer and a neighborhood-minded nonprofit celebrate and promote New York's creative spirit by beautifying 100 security gates

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Technology Today

How Technology Can Save The World By Saving Time

PSFK attends the Social Good Summit 2016 to see how new tech is changing the world for the better

Travel Today

Marriott’s Gravity Room Installation Gives Travelers A New Perspective

The luxury hotel chain's #MGravityRoom invites visitors to snap and share pictures of its inverted set up

No search results found.