How Magento Gave Adore Beauty a Bold New Look

An empowering shopping experience.

Launched in 2000, Adore Beauty became Australia’s first cosmetics retailer to sell exclusively online. With a vision to empower beauty consumers, 21-year old business student Kate Morris founded the company by tapping her savings and a loan from her boyfriend’s parents. Using a web company she found in her local newspaper, Morris bootstrapped her first website in six months, for just $12,000 AUD ($9,400 USD), and hasn’t looked back. Since then, Adore Beauty has grown into an eCommerce powerhouse with a revenue run rate of $48 million AUD ($38 million USD), selling 200 brands, and 13,000 different products.

The key to Adore’s online success has been their ability to create a highly personalized customer experience. When Morris initially launched the website she went to extremes to make customers enjoy the experience, wrapping each product in tissue paper and bows, and dropping some chocolate into each box. Today, the Adore Beauty experience is still designed to give customers the empowering beauty shopping experience they deserve.

In the world of online beauty, this means giving customers lots of choices without overwhelming them; offering a variety of products, free gifts with purchase, multiple shipping options, and more. The key to providing this level of personalized online shopping was a flexible platform that could scale as the business continued to grow.

When we were evaluating platforms, it was critical that we could find developers to work on the new system, and could add functionality as we needed to. Magento Commerce was the clear choice for both.

Kate Morris

CEO, Adore Beauty

A total eCommerce make-over.

Adore Beauty moved to Magento Commerce in 2011. After evaluating many alternatives they found that Magento commerce had almost everything they were looking for. The rest they could either build with the help of the large community of Magento developers, or acquire via the rich ecosystem of plugins and extensions available on the Magento Marketplace

The idea of configurable products was critical to the overall success of the site. The ability to sort, search, and navigate through tens of thousands of beauty options needed to be presented in a way that was simple yet comprehensive. From shades of color to specific ingredients, custom product attributes are essential when matching products to customer needs. It’s about helping a customer find the perfect shade of foundation, cream color corrector, and illuminator, then helping them pair products that work together.

Offering a variety of payment options has also been key. The addition of AfterPay, which allows customers to pay for larger purchases in installments as a seamless part of the checkout process, has helped drive conversions. Adore Beauty also introduced “direct to cart” which allows customers to check out without visiting the cart, resulting in a nine percent increase in conversions.

The ability to test different approaches has had a significant impact on Adore Beauty’s business. New innovations and ideas can be tested to see how they impact conversion, revenue, and other key metrics. The brand has finely tuned various innovations, including personalized product recommendations, purchase-with-purchase options, geo-targeted marketing messages, and even same-day shipping in Melbourne. 

Tenfold business growth.

Based on the strength of its online presence, Adore Beauty has enjoyed a steady stream of successes. In 2014, they become an authorized agent for Clinique, Bobbi Brown, and Estée Lauder brands. Then in 2015, Woolworths purchased a 25 percent stake in the company, boosting sales by 70 percent in 12 months. The acquisition also gave the brand a greater ability to spend on inventory and invest in new hires. Recently, Adore Beauty started selling on Alibaba’s Tmall, one of China's biggest marketplaces. 

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Since starting on Magento we’ve grown tenfold. The fact that we’ve been able to do that and the platform has been able to scale with us and we haven’t completely outgrown it is pretty amazing, especially in this day and age.

Kate Morris

CEO, Adore Beauty