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Business  6, Mar 2014

VanityTrove focuses on engagement with new social media platform

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How is the beauty box market in Asia evolving? “… Just the sampling alone won’t cut it,” says VanityTrove Co-founder Douglas Gan

Surprise, surprise. Singapore-based beauty box startup VanityTrove has started paying more attention to fulfilling its mission as a beauty discovery platform in the region. Last night, it announced, in conjunction with its ‘Get, Snap, Blingo!’ party in the city-state, that it has developed a web and mobile social media platform.

First launched in December 2011, VanityTrove has been “consolidating as early as mid-2012″. It first started with Glossybox in Taiwan, then Glamybox in Vietnam, Pambox in Thailand, and undisclosed startups in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. According to an official statement, the last market entered was Hong Kong in December 2013.

For the unfamiliar, the beauty box concept works via a subscription model. Consumers pay a monthly fee to receive beauty samples from renowned cosmetics and skincare brands. VanityTrove claimed that it works with 600 beauty brands across the region. However, the rise in competition might have called for its slight pivot in focus.

The three Co-founders of VanityTrove (L-R): Peng Kong Choy, Kulk Xiaoshi, Douglas Gan

Through a press release, the company stated that it has seen “many beauty box companies pivoting to e-commerce or forum-based or portal-based websites”.

Douglas Gan, Co-founder, VanityTrove told e27, “We want women to discover beauty. That’s our tagline. We want them to have an easy way to discover beauty through technology, but we realised that just the sampling alone won’t cut it.” However, even as they move towards the new social platform, the beauty box service will continue.

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He added, “We started to ask the users, ‘How do you find out about beauty?’ — they told us that they would search online, on blogs, on YouTube; that’s a lot of work. They also go offline. So how can VanityTrove help them in that?”

At the same time, the brands were also indicating to VanityTrove that they would like more than just a profile page for their products and reviews. They wanted something bigger, which is engagement. Brands can now run their own hashtags, collate reviews, get people to talk about their products and best of all, interact with consumers through the social platform.

Is the beauty box market getting smaller, and moving towards becoming an e-commerce heaven? Let us know with your comments below!

Elaine Huang

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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