E-commerce sites are flourishing all over the web, with different models. In the fashion industry, BeachMint chose to bring a personalized shopping experience to its users, with a membership and limited stock system that proves to be working.
BeachMint is a celebrity-driven style project that is built on a suite of design websites that feature proprietary products created by familiar faces and their collaborator-stylists. The Santa Monica-based company’s first site, JewelMint, launched in October 2010. Featuring a jewelry collection according to the tastes of actress Kate Bosworth and her stylist Cher Coulter, the site’s success encouraged the formation of the later entries in the BeachMint family. StyleMint carries t-shirts designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Beauty Mint has a skincare system that is a result of the collaboration between Jessica Simpson and Nerida Joy. The most recent site appeared in November 2011, and sells footwear that are a fusion of efforts from actress Rachel Bilson, stylist Nicole Chavez and footwear designer Steve Madden.
Instead of a straightforward e-commerce site, the BeachMint approach is a monthly curated membership that is gaining in popularity. To use JewelMint as an example, members fill out a “style profile” that recommends specific pieces supposed to match the user’s style and tastes. Users receive newsletters with suggested items and can also go online to their personal “showroom.” Instead of wasting time surfing on numerous online stores, users can go directly to BeachMint sites where they’re supposed to find the right pieces for them. However, the choice is therefore somehow limited.
Limited stock and small prices, for members only
Only members can shop online, have their showroom and receive newsletters. All of the opt-in pieces are $29.99 with free shipping. Stock is manufactured for that month, so once items sell out they do not come back onto the site. JewelMint creates an environment of personalization and cultivates purchases with this limited quality impetus. With their steady growth and site diversification, the model seems to be working for them and competitor ShoeDazzle, and can be inspiring for other types of e-commerce websites.