How beauty app Supergreat aims to stand out in the livestream shopping space

The company, which fancies itself the QVC for Gen Z, is betting on its beauty-first focus and gamification.
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· 5 min read

Upon opening the Supergreat app, I’m asked to choose my age, skin tone, skin type, hair color, and hair texture. The next screen asks about my “beauty interests.” Do I want straighter hair? Smaller pores? Stronger sun protection? Once my selections are made, a curated feed suggests videos of creators using products that might be a good fit for me. If I’m intrigued by someone’s bold lipstick, I can buy the exact shade with one click. There’s a schedule of live programming—a 60s makeup tutorial at noon, a Sephora haul at 7pm—and a carousel of popular brands to follow.

The beauty of it all is how Supergreat thinks it can cut through the noise in livestream shopping.

The startup is betting on a beauty-centric vision—and gamified incentives—to set it apart from other companies (aka Instagram and TikTok) vying for eyeballs and dollars.

  • The US livestream shopping market is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2023, according to Coresight Research.

“The community and experience component of livestream is a huge draw,” Supergreat’s head of community and marketing, Enid Hwang, told Retail Brew. “To feel like you have a connection with a brand...getting noticed and feeling like you can have input into a brand or creator’s process right in that moment.”

Beauty standards

Tyler Faux and Dan Blackman, who previously worked in product and design at Tumblr and Tictail, started Supergreat in 2018 as a short-form video app for creator-driven beauty-product reviews. The company only expanded into livestream last year, but it already fancies itself as the QVC for Gen Z.

  • Over the summer, Supergreat raised $10 million in a Series A.

According to Supergreat, its 200,000 registered users have created at least 250,000 videos featuring 40,000 products. Not only that, 25% of each week is covered by someone streaming on the platform.

Companies like Ulta Beauty and CoverGirl also use Supergreat to partner with creators, host sales events, and upload product inventory. And not to insignificant returns.

Brand-hosted sales events rack up roughly 600–700 concurrent viewers, according to the beauty app, and the highest-trafficking stream counted 1,000+ 👀s. Supergreat said its highest-grossing sales event generated $60 per minute on air. Plus, the platform sees an average of 2,500+ comments per 30 minutes of a livestream.

  • Supergreat gets a percentage of sales done on the app (though it didn’t share specifics on what those numbers are).
  • Live hosts earn a 10% commission on sales that occur during their shows, and the company is working on more ways for creators to get a cut, like product reviews.
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Hwang argued this kind of engagement is “hard to replicate on other platforms because people are joining for different reasons.” On Supergreat, it’s all beauty, all the time.

Focus pocus: That gives an app like Supergreat, with its singular focus, a unique opportunity in the livestream shopping space, Coresight founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig told us recently. Unlike a multi-category live-shopping marketplace, or even TikTok, Supergreat’s users aren’t passive. They log on with a purpose: to consume beauty content.

“The beauty conversation is truly always on. People aren’t on our app for anything else but beauty and skincare,” Hwang added. “We really can go a mile deep with beauty and skincare brands.”

But, perhaps Supergreat’s greatest advantage is the shared goals between the brands using its app, the users, the creators, and the platform itself. Companies want to raise brand awareness and sell their products. Shoppers want to learn about beauty, and creators want to teach them (and earn commission, of course). Supergreat facilitates, and profits off of, these relationships.

Game time

But Supergreat doesn’t lean solely on product discovery to keep those bonds tight. Its app has also become about winning.

Members can earn Supercoins, the in-app currency, by inviting people to the platform (five coins), participating in group challenges (20 coins), and lots more. The coins can then be traded for products during the app’s “rewards drops” every evening. For example, a limited drop of ColourPop Powerpuff Girls Palettes went for 200 Supercoins a pop.

“It’s an experience that people forget has always been inherent to shopping—the chance element, as opposed to this infinite warehouse of things that you search for and purchase,” Hwang explained. “It might be quick and easy, but it’s not fun or inspiring.”

Hwang said this “gamified slash social feedback loop” works in tandem with the livestream-shopping model. It also prevents the content from looking like a 24/7 stream of ads. Users can witness peoples’ purchases in real time during a creator’s livestream. And if a sales stream has a set number of exclusive products available, the scarcity mindset kicks in. “You would see those notifications fly by, and it kind of makes you a little bit itchy. There’s a little bit of FOMO,” she explained.

Staring contest: Weinswig echoed the importance of gamified incentives. Not only because it “keeps you in the app,” but live shopping’s potential lies in consumers’ hunger for “true entertainment” and engaging conversations, she claimed.

“Why is live streaming so entertaining? Because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.