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The beauty and personal care market is thriving — 2021 saw the e-commerce revenue for this niche reach $54 billion, accounting for over 11 percent of total e-commerce retail sales.

Much of this growth is due to the success of innovative influencer-fueled brands like Holo Taco. Despite the high level of competition in the beauty and personal care retail market, these brands are finding ways to thrive and make a lasting impact on consumers.

From Influencer to Entrepreneur

Long before she launched Holo Taco in 2019, Cristine Rotenberg was a YouTube influencer running a channel called Simply Nailogical. In fact, she had been running the YouTube channel since 2014, sharing nail polish tips and amassing a following of over 7 million subscribers.

With five years of producing engaging content directed at the target niche, Rotenberg had clearly put in the work to gain the trust of her audience. They knew that she provided quality advice and product recommendations, which left them ready and willing to try her original product line.

This background led Rotenberg to develop a product line of holographic top coats and base colors — something directly in line with her influencer channel, where she often focused on holographic nail polish. The name of the brand, Holo Taco, even stemmed from a joke of how online commenters thought she said “holo taco” instead of “holo top coat” in her tutorial videos.

That sense of connection is key to a successful e-commerce launch. It’s a similar formula that other YouTube influencers have followed, such as Cassey Ho with Popflex Active or DanTDM launching a store with branded clothing.

Like these influencers, Rotenberg was able to build a personalized connection with her followers to achieve a successful launch, selling out the initial batch of products in a mere two hours.

Patience and Quality Over Profits

As the saying goes, “patience is a virtue” — and that can be seen in Rotenberg’s approach to creating her product lineup. As a report from Tubefilter explains, Rotenberg “took her time developing Holo Taco, given that many bigger nail polish companies — who were eager to partner with her in various capacities — tend to value profits over quality. In general, Rotenberg prefers to use indie nail polish brands. She also notes that she hasn’t done a nail polish-sponsored video on her channel since 2017, which is when she started brainstorming ideas for Holo Taco. Rotenberg started prototyping the line in May 2018.”

Putting in the time to develop high-quality products has proven to be a key differentiator for the brand. A 2020 Yahoo Life profile of Holo Taco noted that at the time, all of the brand’s products on the website had a rating of 4.9 stars or higher, based on hundreds of reviews. Holo Taco was also nominated as the best “Creator Product” at the 2021 YouTube Streamy Awards.

The product lineup still maintains very high review scores today, serving as an indicator that even as the brand has grown, the commitment to quality has remained consistent — and that’s key to gaining loyal customers.

Leveraging Video for Growth

Not surprisingly, Rotenberg’s prior experience with video has made YouTube a key resource for Holo Taco’s ongoing marketing efforts.

For example, Holo Taco was an early partner in YouTube’s 2021 livestream shopping initiatives, hosting livestreams on the Simply Not Logical channel, which boasts over 2.7 million subscribers. Simply Not Logical now holds twice weekly livestreams on Saturdays and Wednesdays that have been used to reveal new products and provide exclusive interactions with the brand’s biggest fans.

While the livestream events accumulate tens of thousands of views on their own, they have also become a source of additional content marketing, with shorter clips pulled from the livestreams to promote the brand or help fuel a stronger connection between Rotenberg and her followers.

As Rotenberg explained in a Yahoo Finance interview, “On a livestream… I get to paint nails and answer questions from my audience in real-time, react to community content, bake things in the kitchen, play video games, and generally share what’s going on in my life, all while interacting directly with my audience through the live chat.”

According to the same Yahoo Finance report, livestream shopping sales in the United States hit $36.09 billion in 2021 — and overseas, livestream shopping is even more popular. China had an astounding $363.26 billion in livestream shopping sales in 2021.

For many online shoppers, buying a product directly through a video stream can be easier and more engaging than browsing through a full e-commerce site. While the Holo Taco website certainly isn’t neglected by any means, providing access to less traditional buying methods has helped the brand reach a wider range of consumers than it otherwise could.

Thinking Outside the Box

As Holo Taco’s growth or the recent $632 million acquisition of Hero Cosmetics illustrates, there is ample opportunity for entrepreneurs to find major success in the hyper-competitive beauty and personal care e-commerce market. 

Ultimately, finding ways to think outside the box in terms of how an e-commerce brand is marketed or sold to consumers can go a long way in differentiating it so that you can make a lasting impression.

In the case of Holo Taco, leveraging trust built as an influencer, focusing on delivering quality products and using engaging video content to drive sales has proven to be a winning combination in a highly competitive niche.

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