The German market has long been a “next stop” for innovative U.S. business ventures. Internet start-ups modeled after Groupon and YouTube found welcome homes in Germany, so it’s no surprise that a new model for selling beauty samples is catching on quickly in Germany.
WWD reports that five beauty-sampling services began in Germany this spring, modeled on the successful U.S. start-up Birchbox, which launched a mailbox beauty venture in September with $1.4 million in venture capital financing. The service, started by young Harvard Business School graduates Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, is a $10 monthly beauty subscription that delivers five product samples from top brands like NARS, Benefit, Laura Mercier and Stila to the doors of subscribers. Birchbox now has over 20,000 subscribers and is expanding in the U.S.
Now, Germany is following with its own versions of Birchbox. German start-up GlossyBox started in March and offers products like Kiehl’s and Annick Goutal using the same business model as Birchbox. There’s also Kosmetik.de and Odorbox. The business model also incorporates social media by allowing subscribers to discuss products via message boards.The newest addition, the Douglas-Box-of-Beauty, contains perfume and skin cream samples from fragrance giant Douglas.
Based on the success of Birchbox in the U.S., the sampling service model is expected to continue expanding.