It’s hard to not think of Adore Beauty when we’re looking for beauty products online. The site has become one of the best loved Beauty sites in Australia and this year it celebrates 15 years in the business. When Adore Beauty started back in 2000, online shopping was a concept that Australians were just getting their heads around. Fast forward 15 years, online shopping has become the norm, and it’s site like Adore Beauty that have paved the way and demonstrated that the right strategy and hard work can lead to sustaining success online. We chatted with founder Kate Morris about the journey so far and what it was like to build a beauty empire.
Congratulations on 15 years of Adore Beauty! The website has become one of the best go-to places online for Beauty. When you started back in 2000, e-commerce was still in its infancy and Australians were not really into internet shopping. What inspired you to start Adore Beauty and what were some of the challenges you faced when it all began?
I’ve been a beauty junkie since my mum first let me wear green Australis eyeshadow to my grade 6 social. So as soon as I was introduced to the internet, I headed straight for beauty websites. To my disappointment, there was nothing in Australia at the time.
I knew that beauty and e-Commerce would be a great match. Having grown up in Tasmania, I knew how hard it was for many fellow beauty junkies to get hold of the best products. I also knew, from my uni job working on the Clarins counter, how many people found the department store experience intimidating and unpleasant. “Why isn’t anyone doing an online beauty store?” I asked. In the end I realised I’d have to do it myself!
The two main challenges were lack of cash, and the reticence of cosmetic brands to sell online. For the first few years I got used to hearing “no” all the time.
How have you seen the landscape change over the years with consumers having greater access via the internet to purchase products?
When I started out, many people told me that “nobody is ever going to want to buy cosmetics online”. I used to have to explain the benefits of shopping online. Nowadays just about everybody shops online, at least for certain products, so there is a much greater understanding of the convenience and accessibility of online shopping.
Not to mention smartphones – we all have computers in our pockets now! We can now shop literally anywhere and anytime.
What factors do you think have contributed to the continued success of the business?
We have an amazing mix of brands that you can’t get anywhere else. From department-store brands like Clinique and Lancôme, through to salon brands like Kérastase and Dermalogica, niche pharmacy brands like Nuxe and La Roche-Posay, and then hard-to-find cult brands like Sodashi and Kester Black. We’re an authorised stockist of every single brand we sell, and there’s free shipping Australia-wide. I think also our passion for customer service shows through in everything we do – for example we were recently approved as a Google Trusted Store, with average customer reviews of 4.9 out of 5 (over thousands of reviews).
Do you have any tips or words of advice for women who are looking to start their own business?
Ideas are not worth anything until you start executing them. Just get started! You could have the greatest idea in the world but nothing will come of it unless you decide to move past your fear and make it happen.
What is your daily Beauty regime?
I use a cleanser, serum, eye cream and moisturiser morning and night, with a minimum SPF50 sunscreen during the day. At night I use my cleanser with a Clarisonic, I really think it makes a difference. I use different products every day as there are so many new products I have to try. (It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.)
What are some of your favourite Beauty products?
This is a tough question as my favourites change all the time. Right now I’m loving:
- Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – everyone over 30 needs this. It’s not a substitute for eight hours sleep but it’s the next best thing.
- YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat – this foundation makes my skin look amazing, but like I’m wearing nothing at all.
- Pureology Strength Cure shampoo, conditioner and split end salve – these are doing wonders for my highlighted hair, adding shine back but without weighing it down.
- asap super B serum – my skin is prone to dehydration (thanks, air conditioning!) but this serum keeps it looking hydrated and luminous.
For all your beauty needs, visit www.adorebeauty.com.au