Glossier is a beauty brand founded by Emily Weiss (NYU’07) who, after years of blogging, launched an e-commerce site in 2014. Today, the digital-first brand has a physical SoHo store that is reminiscent of the many other immersive experiences New York has to offer – But unlike those, entry is free and you purchase at your own risk.
In order to attract customers into the store at this digital age, any brand needs to get creative and generous to make sure the in-store experience exciting enough to compensate for the easiness of the alternative – online shopping. Since it started as an online platform, the expectations from Glossier were even higher.
Apparently, the brand managed to satisfy the expectations because the line in front of their store is no joke. There are employees giving away logo stickers, bodyguards checking on the crowd, and about sixty people per 30 minutes in line.
The testers of their products are displayed throughout the space and customers are highly encouraged to try them out. There is also a sink area to put on masks, make-up, or whichever product stood out for you, really.
At its core, it is a store that sells beauty products; what makes it different is how it operates. There is no register and they are cashless, accepting only credit card and Apple Pay. If you like something, you consult to the employees – all dressed in the same pink jumpsuit – and once they answer your questions, they become the register. You pay to them in any part of the store and the transaction is completed at the ease of an iPad.
Following the payment, you head towards the front desk to receive your bag. This is arguably the best part because your order arrives in a custom gift bag that is pulled from a mechanism by employees.
Oh, and the product tester they put in your bag becomes the icing on the cake. Perhaps, what makes Glossier attractive is its modern twist on shopping; you go in and shop but you feel like you went to a fun museum, sort of.
Since an immersive NYC experience would remain incomplete without an artistic wall that doubles as an Instagram spot, there is a colorful logo with Glossier symbols right before you leave. Overall, the store offers customers the opportunity to try out all Glossier products as everything is on display and enables them to learn more through interaction but the outcome is yet again consumption.
Glossier, like most immersive experiences, is worth seeing the first time but it is not exciting enough for you to pay a second visit. And if you are not really into make-up, you can just go about your life and avoid the store altogether – While I appreciate the experience, I don’t think Glossier’s permanent store is a must-see. Plus, if you’ve read thus far, you somewhat experienced it, so you are welcome.
Until next time,