An eCommerce veteran from the salad days of online shopping, Jeffrey is Director of Digital at Juice Beauty, the organic skincare retailer.
Hi, Jeffrey. How long have you worked at Juice?
I’ve been at Juice Beauty for almost four and half years running digital and eCommerce…anything digital related, really.
How did you get started in eCommerce?
It actually started before I was out of high school. And back then I couldn’t even drive! In the mid-to-late 90s, when the consumer internet first started, I ran a basic import business in my spare time. The business model was like Nasty Gal’s (before Nasty gal), I used eBay at the beginning to grow the brand then created a separate eCommerce site.
What were you selling?
As a teenager, I had a personal passion for Japanese goods, anime, and things like As a teenager, I had a personal passion for Japanese goods, anime, and things like that. It was so hard to find it in the 90s. When Pokémon came out it went to the forefront of American culture. But no one knew how to get the unique Japanese items as the internet was still so new. I decided to import a bunch of items, toys, and games that I thought were cool, and then I re-sold them.
How did you go from teenaged entrepreneur to the beauty industry?
Selling Japanese products that people might not have been familiar with taught me a lot about designing a user experience that was frictionless and encouraged people to feel safe about their purchases. There are actually a lot of similarities between that and the beauty industry because our customer might or might have seen a certain shade of lipstick and you’re on the other side try to provide them with an option that makes them feel most beautiful.
What’s been the secret to Juice Beauty’s success?
Ingredient integrity and transparency is the secret. Today, people want to know what’s in a product, and we use certified organic ingredients. This organic, clean movement has been familiar to the food world in the last ten or fifteen years. People are a lot more cautious about what they’re putting in their bodies. Now we’re seeing the same happening in beauty. Everybody is looking at the label.
What is your digital strategy?
We’ve really focused on personalization. We segment visitors to our website based on a broad group of people: New or returning. Then, as you drill drown we can segment by previous purchase – a returning shopper might get a prompt asking if they’re running low on a product.
Do you segment by customer skin type?
We have a skin quiz that allows us to segment. We ask customers what they’re interested in. We collect info that we can use to personalize the site for their needs. Then we can send individualized messages like: “Hey, we noticed that you tried a sample of one of our top selling moisturizers. Want to try the full size?”
What big changes can we expect from eCommerce in the future?
I think it will be about powering small brands and even individuals to sell their goods and ideas. It’s happening now with content creators, it’s the self-employed revolution. eCommerce is a part of that. It’s easier than ever for individuals to create a brand on social and find an audience.
Tell us about your forthcoming breakout session at Imagine?
It’s about personalization within beauty. And it’s not just for Millennials, but for all consumers.
What’s your favorite restaurant in San Francisco?
OTD, or Out the Door right off Fillmore street. It’s a Vietnamese fusion restaurant. It’s unmissable. It’s a smaller, off-shoot of Slanted Door.
Are you iPhone or Android?
What’s the last cool thing you purchased online?
I bought a Linksys VELOP on Amazon Prime. It creates a mesh network and helps you get Wi-Fi in all areas of your house.
And how do you stay productive?
Personally, I use my inbox as a to-do list.
Wow, you’re at inbox ‘ground-zero’?
Yes. I have to get it to a manageable place by the end of every day. But that’s my work email. I use Gmail for personal emails and I have 20,000 unread messages!