How Pinrose stand-out quiz scaled their online business.

Alejandra Renteria · Jul 16, 2020 · Share:

Despite the competitive and fast-growing demands of the beauty industry, Pinrose excelled at selling their products beyond their own site through a unique Scent-finder application. Using custom technology and science, they are helping customers find and select perfume the perfect perfume for their personality. 

The story:  How did the idea for Pinrose come about? 

As a classic beauty product, most of the household luxury perfume brands follow the idea that customers have one signature scent.  To break into this competitive market, Pinrose took this classic idea and put their spin on it, providing a choice of scent based on your personal preferences, side-stepping the issue of purchasing perfumes clients come to dislike over time.  

So how did this all come about? In an interview in 2018, Co-Founder ErikaShumate explains that as a Yale Undergraduate, she had studied the psychology of smell and synesthesia- a neurological stimulation of one sense (i.e. sight) leads to involuntary experiences in a second sense (i.e. taste) - where people are able to for example,  “taste the color green”.  It was going in-depth on this topic and consulting olfactory scientists that Pinrose was able to develop an algorithm to select the perfect perfume for customers. In 2013, they would reverse engineer their findings of over 100 quiz questions from different women, into a seven-question quiz to select the perfect fragrance. 

What went into the launch of the brand?

The quiz, now the cornerstone of their value proposition, is based on synesthetes research and provides customers with a fragrance based on an overall score of their seven questions.  The score provides you with a preference setting where customers essentially smell what they like to taste, touch, see, and hear. On the quiz, you are prompted to select the options you’re instantly and instinctively drawn to. The algorithm establishes your scent personality (for example, “the Goddess”) and presents you with three fragrances to match it. You can purchase 30ml bottles and/or Pinrose Petal Packs, their perfectly dosed single-use fragrance sachets.

With this quiz, Pinrose was able to launch its premium line of fragrances and innovative scent-finder technology in the spring of 2014. Their eCommerce site now offers  10 science-based luxury fragrances with a variety of scents and eye-catching packaging. They continue to innovate and raise the bar for luxury fragrance companies by maintaining their products hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and vegan.

What are the key factors that have helped the brand be successful?

Scaling the business

The idea of Pinrose was to offer clients a variety of scents for this delicate product and that is what they have achieved with their quiz. The company has grown to be a popular perfume  house with an unmatched list of personalized fragrances. Besides being sold online at Pinrose.com, the perfumes are now sold at Sephora.com and Nordstrom.com as well as offline at over 120 Nordstrom and Sephora retail locations, as part of their clean beauty brands.  The brand is also among the most highly reviewed products on Sephora.com. 

What went into this success? There is no doubt that their personalized scent-finder quiz is the stand-out feature of their product. However, it was the moment they went beyond selling on their own website that Pinrose addressed the need to scale their business. Pinrose faced the challenge of embedding their quiz on other retail sites like Sephora.com, and deploying to kiosks at over a hundred Nordstrom stores across the U.S. The need for flexibility to respond to growing business opportunities became a priority. 

Investing in custom development

Pinrose had initially developed a fixed set of questions hard-coded, with the scoring written into the code. Their quiz was in need of becoming editable, so they would not have to undergo development work to adjust questions, images, or scoring for each new application needed. 

In order to achieve the flexibility to take their application to new sites and retailers, without an overly-engineered solution Pinrose partnered with Resolve Digital. Together, we designed a fully editable and responsive quiz, which fit and worked well on any third-party site or mobile device Pinrose chose to integrate with.

With the work done by Resolve Digital, the company was able to focus on their sales and marketing strategies that would bring them award-winning success. Their customer experience has now reached over 300,000 users, who have taken this quiz and contributed to the personalization of the recommendation algorithm.

Thanks to our close collaboration, Pinrose has a successful marketing and sales tool that works in a wide variety of applications and responds to the ever-changing requirements of third-party sites and mobile devices. 

Our Final Remarks

Pinrose is an outstanding example of how creating a unique customer experience can drive your business to success beyond what you initially expected.  Their “tailored to” made for an outstanding product among competitors and managed to make the brand unique and relevant in an already dominated industry. By seeking an expert development partner, they were able to maintain the unique customer experience intact and still manage to restructure their sales and marketing strategy to scale their business. 

As technology updates, competition soars, and clients’ expectations increase, we see the value of providing innovative eCommerce and SaaS solutions more and more. That is why we are proud to have worked with Pinrose on this tailored solution for their eCommerce needs and we would be happy to do the same for your brand, realizing that the need for change does not mean having to sacrifice their unique customer experience. 

Get in touch through the contact details below to find out more about how Resolve Digital can help you rethink your own company’s customer experience and allow you to fully focus on generating more revenue. 


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