Daily Insights

The New Digital Currency

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Feb 18, 2021

In a digitally dominant environment, where does fragrance fit in?

Glossier You is a digital-first fragrance that, much like the brand it was born from, built quite the cult following. When the pandemic hit, makeup sales made a quick exit and fragrance wasn’t far behind. Afterall, what’s the point of smelling like anything other than yourself if no one else is around? And yet, Glossier You sales doubled and even became one of the brand’s top five products based on revenue in 2020. Even more impressive, in a 750-person customer survey conducted in July 2020, 25% of Glossier You purchasers said they bought it without ever having tried it at all. Furthermore, nearly 40% of customers who bought Glossier You last year were entirely new to the brand.

So what sets Glossier You apart from the rest? Even big beauty names like L’Oréal experienced losses in its fragrance categories according to Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty. Half of survey respondents said that though they wear perfume less due to the pandemic, when they do, Glossier You is preferred because of its light scent profile, an aspect that aligns with the skincare-first lens many consumers have taken up. Additionally, respondents pointed out that reviews on Glossier.com were the second most important consideration when deciding whether to buy from the brand at all—after samples, of course.

But in the age of the Coronavirus, reviews are digital marketing royalty. Glossier treats them as such by featuring three review highlights (with options to read more) directly underneath the product description and the ever-enticing “Add to Bag” button. Furthermore, all Glossier product reviews can be filtered by skin type, age range, skin tone, and reviews with photos. Reviews are also recycled as ads for the fragrance, sprinkled across social media and backed with paid advertising. And though Glossier doesn’t incentivize customers to leave reviews, it does send fragrance customers a reminder to leave a review approximately two-and-a-half weeks post-purchase.

A Google search of “Glossier You” reveals the tagline: Mostly smells like you. This hints at the lingering truth about today’s consumers—many want to smell mostly like themselves, especially when no one else is around.