Four months after launching its iPhone app, makeup community and e-commerce startup Beautylish says its number of daily mobile sessions is double that for the Web and that it’s logged hundreds of thousands of downloads.
Today, the company, which is led by Nils Johnson, an early investor in e-commerce startups Warby Parker and Everlane, is expanding to Android. Similarly to Beautylish’s iPhone app, the new Android app gives users full access to its reviews and editorial content but doesn’t yet include the option to purchase products.
As consumers increasingly use their smartphones as in-store shopping guides, as well as for general shopping, Johnson said the overall beauty category is seeing strong growth on mobile, pointing to Sephora (s LVMH) as an example.
By the end of the year, Beautylish’s apps will likely include the ability to purchase goods but for now the site is focused on building user engagement.
“We wanted to start with content – it’s a better daily hook than just commerce,” he said. Currently, the apps let users read product review, watch demonstration videos and get tips from community members.
The new app comes on the heels of the startup’s first e-commerce option, released last month. Since launching the site two years ago, Beautylish has created a strong online community of makeup enthusiasts and artists (the company said it attracts one million monthly unique visitors). Its new e-commerce platform, called Boutiques, gives members the option to buy products from favorite brands on the site.
New York-based Birchbox has made a big name for itself in the beauty e-commerce space with its subscription boxes, but Beautylish clearly wants to challenge it as a way for people to discover and purchase beauty products in the digital age. Both companies focus on product discovery, but while Beautylish leans heavily on user-generated and original content, Birchbox (which isn’t on iOS or Android) provides samples which it hopes entices people to buy full-size versions.
For more on mobile commerce and how smartphones are changing consumer behavior, check out the live stream of GigaOM’s Mobilize conference, which starts today.