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How Reddit Became a Font of Knowledge for Alli Reed, Founder of Stratia Skincare

Alli Reed, owner and founder of Stratia Skincare, has been hanging out on Reddit for more than a decade. But when she first entered that online social space, she never dreamed it would become a launching pad for her company.

Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

This is a podcast about digital and ecommerce, so you already know we’re big fans of the internet. It’s a portal and a tool to give you direct access to consumers, information, and communication unlike anything that’s ever existed before. And if you’re living here in 2022 and expecting to thrive as a business owner, you better be tapping into every possible resource the internet has to offer. Alli Reed has known that for more than a decade, and her company, Stratia Skincare, got its start in large part thanks to the wealth of beauty and skincare knowledge Alli tapped into to turn an interest into a side hustle and then grow it into a multi-million dollar brand.

“When I got into skincare in my 20s, Reddit was the perfect way to do that,” Reed said. “Through the subreddits skincare addiction, Asian beauty, DIY beauty, which I was actually a moderator for, for a number of years, I learned about that very scientific bent of skincare, which wasn’t really present in most of these skincare communities on the internet. I dove deep into those communities and learned as much as I possibly could. And then as I was doing my own research as a consumer, [I was] sharing that research with the community and trying to give back in a really earnest way.”

Reed began creating her own formulas and products based on the knowledge she gleaned from the Reddit community and elsewhere on the internet. She filled everyone in along the way in the threads and on her blogs, and when she found some formulas that worked, she thought maybe others might like them as well, so she started a side hustle selling her products in the most organic way possible.

“I did not ask anyone to review,” Reed said. “I did not give away free product for review. I was so indoctrinated in the Reddit cult at that point that I wanted to do be as upfront. Reddit is a wonderful tool and it is also terrifying when they sense weakness, they will go for the jugular. And so I did not want to have any fractures in my story like if somebody finds out that this person who posted a review was actually my best friend. That can tear the legs out from a company before it gets started. I wanted to make sure that I was being as authentic as I appeared to be. I really, I didn’t do anything to chase reviews. It really was that I had shared so much about the research over the years that had led up to Stratia launching, that people knew exactly where I was coming from, exactly what went into it and then were just curious about what happened. And so they tried it out and then they liked the product.”

But even though the products were a hit, Reed says it’s still hard to convert customers in the beauty space. So she relies on the powerful community she has built already to help her push her products over the line with potential new customers.

“It’s tough to sell skincare online,” Reed said. “If you’re selling clothing, you can see how pretty it looks and how great it looks on the model and the way it moves and want to buy it right then, but there’s less of a visual component to skincare. So it’s a lot harder to figure out if it’s going to work for you. I think a lot of it, it’s a several-touch process of awareness and then learning a little bit about the product and why it might work. We really lean heavily on authentic UGC and customer reviews and things, so that very much a don’t take our word for it kind of thing, but it really does take a while to convert a customer to skincare.”

To hear more from Reed, tune into Up Next in Commerce.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce



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