Urban Decay is pulling the in-home shopping distribution lever with a QVC partnership.
This week, the California-based cosmetics company launched 30 of its of best-selling products on QVC.com, including its De-Slick and Chill setting sprays, Perversion mascara, Naked Skin liquid foundations, Vice lipsticks and Naked Heat eye shadow palette. On Sept. 7, Urban Decay will debut on Beauty iQ, QVC’s multiplatform beauty shopping experience launching in late 2016. It will also release a new product, exclusive to QVC, in an hourlong program on the network’s main television channel on Sept. 8.
Since its Monday launch, Urban Decay has already sold out of four items on QVC.com, including its popular “Naked” eye palettes.
Urban Decay is not a new brand — in fact, it’s 22 years old — and is somewhat of an established departure from QVC’s more recent millennial-focused merchandising approach, with launches like influencer Katie Sturino’s Megababe, but Rob Robillard, vp of integrated beauty for Qurate Retail Group, said the demand was there.
Urban Decay’s average shopper sits in the older millennial range, 30- to 40-year-olds, so while the beauty brand does resonate with the existing QVC customer, it does, indeed, dip slightly younger. Overall, the network has 14 million customers, according to QVC, and its average demographic is 35- to 64-year-old women, with the majority of those shoppers over the age of 45.
“Urban Decay historically has always been one of our top-10 most-searched brands, where we don’t have a result,” said Robillard. Since June 1, 2018, QVC has fielded 2,000 empty search requests for the brand on its e-commerce site. Launching first digitally was strategic, said Robillard, to get the product on the board, though Beauty iQ and QVC’s main channel are important pieces to the playbook.
QVC is hoping to get a boost thanks to the brand’s online buzz. Social media has been a huge promotional channel for Urban Decay, according to social media data analytics firm Shareablee, which ranked the brand No. 15 among U.S. health and beauty consumer goods. In the first week of July, Urban Decay had 78.7 million actions across social platforms, i.e., likes, comments, shares and retweets. On Instagram, Urban Decay has nearly 10 million followers.
Currently, Urban Decay also sells in retailers like Sephora, Ulta and Macy’s, in its five own stores and on its e-commerce site. Still, the brand, which is part of the L’Oréal Luxe brand division, was called out for slowed-down growth during first-quarter sales in North America, according to L’Oréal Group. Year-over-year, L’Oréal Luxe saw a 14 percent boost in first-quarter sales. Other L’Oréal Luxe brands have found opportunity at QVC, like Clarisonic and IT Cosmetics, which the company bought for $1.2 billion in 2016. IT Cosmetics, for one, launched on QVC in 2010 with an under-eye concealer that sold out in just 10.5 minutes.
As Urban Decay leans more heavily into how-to tutorials and video education with its customers to distinguish itself in a crowded market, QVC could be a fitting outlet for the brand.
“Both Beauty iQ and QVC offer a highly differentiated shopping experience through visual education that helps customers more fully understand a product,” said Daphne Freeman, Urban Decay svp of sales. “With the use of video across all of QVC’s platforms, we’re able to demonstrate exactly how to use an item to fit specific needs. The ability to build this relationship with the customer adds credibility to the products they are purchasing.”
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