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MARY KAY

Independent Beauty Consultants (IBCs) are the lifeblood of Mary Kay’s operations. With 3.5 million Consultants worldwide, saving even a few minutes a week for each could have profound effects on business. But how could Mary Kay support these independent entrepreneurs efficiently? Just like traditional brick and mortar retail, in-home direct selling was ripe for digital disruption.

COMMERCE | B2B | SALES FORCE EFFICIENCY | CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE | COMPUTER VISION

B2B

SALES FORCE EFFICIENCY

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

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SAVES 32.5 HOURS PER QUARTER, PER CONSULTANT

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USED FEEDBACK FROM 20,000 USERS TO REFINE THE SOLUTION WITHIN MONTHS

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HELPED ENTREPRENEURS TRACK INVENTORY, CALCULATE TAX AND RUN THEIR BUSINESSES

Independent Beauty Consultants (IBCs) are the lifeblood of Mary Kay’s operations. With 3.5 million Consultants worldwide, saving even a few minutes a week for each could have profound effects on business. But how could Mary Kay support these independent entrepreneurs efficiently? Just like traditional brick and mortar retail, in-home direct selling was ripe for digital disruption.

THE CHALLENGE

Mary Kay is a privately-owned direct-selling organization that offers cosmetics and personal care products via in-home consultations and community gatherings. Mary Kay’s 3.5 million Independent Beauty Consultants generate more than $4B in worldwide revenue for the company and operate as small business entrepreneurs. In 2015, 47% of the more than 325,000 US IBCs were between the ages of 18-34. As Mary Kay’s Consultants become younger, they are asking for more digital solutions.

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OUR APPROACH

We quickly discovered several manual processes that could be avoided in entirety through an innovative digital experience. Automating certain tasks such as tracking product expiration dates and tax calculations increased the yield per shipment for IBCs and avoided costly errors down the road. Our team employed structured design thinking to create solutions, in the form of features in a mobile app, to address these business challenges. 

To support both the current and next generation of IBCs who are becoming more and more tech savvy, we concepted, designed and developed an indispensable virtual assistant for growing customer relationships, building businesses and tracking success – anywhere and at any time. The Mary Kay myCustomers app offered in-app POS order processing, the ability to create customer notes, manage event invitations and group sales, manage orders and product catalog look up (including descriptions and pricing via computer vision functionality that could recognize product packaging, shape, size, etc.). This “business in an app” allowed the IBCs to take their businesses to the next level, including personal goal setting and tracking, while efficiently and effectively staying on top of customer needs in the moment, thus reducing their time in front of a computer at the end of a busy day.

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