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Brief Published: 17 Sep 2014

Behind-the-Scenes E-Beauty: Lush

Lush Kitchen

Aiming to establish a unique digital presence for a US audience, British cosmetics brand Lush is expanding its Lush Kitchen concept – a portal within its main e-commerce site that gives a behind-the-scenes window into the preparation of limited-edition beauty products – to the US.

Tethered directly to its brand mantra for only using super-fresh, natural ingredients, the Lush Kitchen concept (which was launched for the British market in spring 2014 via a Google Hangout from the brand's southern HQ), is based on both visibility of process and also speedy delivery; all items are shipped to consumers the same day.

Updates on products being made and related content, including how products are created, images of ingredients and tools and YouTube videos of customers unboxing their Lush Kitchen packages, are posted on dedicated social media accounts. The Lush Kitchen also streams live events like Q&As with inventors, beauty experts and special guests on its own website, as well as live streaming platforms like Google Plus and UStream.

There are currently around 300 products rotated through the Lush Kitchen production process. Users vote on what gets made, and each batch results in 35 to 400 units that regularly sell out and are often the top sellers online. The Lush Kitchen platform already accounts for about 10% of online sales – potentially a contributing factor to the growth of Lush's online sales, which have grown by around 40% over the past year.

The platform is due to go live in the US by May 2015.

Implementing transparency by revealing the production process reflects strategic ideas discussed in reports such as Revealing the Journey: Show & Tell Retail and Positive Provenance. For more on beauty retailing, see also Selling Beauty Online.