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Why E-Commerce Businesses Fail: Inside the Rise and Fall of MoonXCosmetics. After Selling $1.8M Worth of Products In Nine Minutes, Two Years Later the Brand Struggles to Revamp

Over the last six years, more than 733,085 new businesses were started in the United States, and of those ventures, more than 20 percent of them closed within a year of them opening their doors.

By the second year, the percentage of that same number leaped to 31.2 percent. The number of business failures, according to Shopify, inched up to 38.8 percent by the third year, and by the fifth year, almost half of those new businesses went under. By 2021, only 368,967 new businesses that started in 2016 were still thriving.

Mariee Revere, founder of MoonXCosmetics (Images: Instagram)

There are many factors that go into the success or the failure of a business such as insufficient market research, subpar marketing, overambition and inflexibility. Sometimes it is the company’s marketing and promotion are better than its deliverables or as a business, the leadership is not experienced or mature enough in the industry to move the company forward.

One example of that is Mariee Revere and her MoonXCosmetics, a company that skyrocketed with sales and then crashed hard because it could not get the product out quickly enough.

Success Despite The Odds

Revere, a 22-year-old entrepreneur in the multi-billion-dollar beauty and skin-care business, claims she sold more than a million dollars worth of her MoonXCosmetics in less time than it took her to wash her face and apply the products that she is selling.

Customers reportedly were bursting at the seams to purchase her products, virtually lining up by the thousands for her website to restock its product and dropping at least 20,000 items in their check-out chart in the first 10 minutes after they were made available.

Now with a new system, greater technology and a larger team, she is looking to strike gold twice.

Two years ago, during the thick of the COVID-19 quarantine, Revere was plotting and planning on how to relaunch her MoonXCosmetics, a vegan-friendly line of beauty products. 

Revere had run out of stock, and her faithful following waited patiently for her to re-up.

Sale Time in Real Time

On the video, she and her team documented the process of relaunching and restocking her site. They showed how through her Instagram app on her phone; she had notifications of interested customers even before the site was ready to open.

The shoppers were anxious and their comments showed their excitement about ordering, and within two minutes of her e-commerce platform on the site being operational, she had 4,394 customers checking out. Six minutes later, that number quadrupled.

The young make-up maven exclaimed, “Bro, I’m really about to cry; this is so crazy. I have no words. Shopify literally cannot even keep up. It’s literally just PayPal telling me everything right now.”

Moments later she said, “Shopify is crashing, like freaking always.”

As the orders came in, the tally started going off and her team could not believe it. Before she knew it, she had grossed revenue of $1.8 million, according to the video footage.

Teenage Entrepreneur

Originally launched online in 2017, when Revere was just a teenager, MoonXCosmetics was almost an instant success.

Because of this successful relaunching and stocking, Revere was able to purchase a new jeep for herself, pay off her mother’s credit card, pay off her grandmother’s mortgage for all of 2020, and invest in a warehouse for the business.

However, shortly after her business soared, defying the odds of other new ventures, things started to take a turn for the worse.

Influencer Strategy

One part of Revere’s marketing strategy was to align with influencers to endorse her products. Working with Jayda Cheaves, the former girlfriend of Lil Baby, went well for her.

She said in a YouTube vlog, “Since September [2019], my first celebrity promotion with Jayda Cheaves, she’s the one that blew my brand up a lot, and ever since then, it’s just been taking off…”

Many believe this was the move, tapping into Cheaves’ 3.2 million followers, that sparked the $1 million frenzy in 2020.

After that she reached out to another influencer, Ari Fletcher, to promote her products, according to sources, and this time it backfired.

Fletcher took to social media, after using the product for some time, and said in 2021,My pores was so clogged up and my dermatologist said it’s from putting oil on my skin every day. All this time, never knew.”

Reeves responded to the comment, first saying “LMAOO. bro. this gotta be a joke,” and then saying, “one thing about me imma sue ya.” 

Fletcher clapped back, “I have screenshots of you asking what products we use on our skin because you s*** doesn’t work for you… tell your lawyer that b**** @parmoonx.”

“Never once did I say you s*** trash, weak, nothing never,” wrote Fletcher. “Sell the products you really use instead of what you got us putting on our skin! Talking about suing I can’t wait! See you in court and I’m coming with all my receipts so make sure you pay top dollar for your lawyer!”

Instead of responding, Revere just retweeted another person’s comments on the controversy, “Y’all do know that all face products don’t work on everyone right. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa, everybody always looking for the opportunity to bandwagon bash someone else’s business it’s sad.”

In addition to one of her ambassadors trashing her, Revere said to her customers that her stock was low or on back order— causing weeks and weeks of delays and prompting some people to contact the Better Business Bureau on MoonXCosmetics.

Bad Customer Service Leads to Bad Reviews

Out of 56 reviews on the BBB, MoonXCosmetics has a rating of 1.07/5. Many of the complaints are regarding shipping issues and the company always running out of stock.

An unhappy customer wrote, “HORRIBLE COMPANY. I placed an order back in November, and after multiple e-mails to Customer Service with no response, I decided to call my bank and file a claim. Once [the] claim was made they FINALLY after 2 months decided to ship me my items 2 MONTHS LATER. Even though their policy states 7-14 business days. I did not want the items anymore and asked if I could return my items. They told me that sales were final and no refund could be made. I WILL NEVER BUY FROM THIS COMPANY AGAIN.”

“I placed my order on March 13th which they took the money out my account but I haven’t received any updated information on my order,” another customer wrote. “I’ve try to reach out to them via email and on their Instagram page and still haven’t gotten any type of response back. I just want my money back.”

The Re-Up

Now, Revere is stocking up for another relaunch; this time she is debuting a whole system.

“In our relaunch, we’re excited to show you all the result of the hard work that’s taken place behind the scenes in giving you all an elevated experience with MoonXCosmetics,” a post on the company’s Instagram said.

“With all of our products being dermatologically tested and approved, we’re super excited to hear all of your feedback and how you enjoy the new and improved ingredients,” the statement continued.

The new packaging is sleek and looks high-tech. The company says they have implemented five colors (pink, lavender, white, pastel blue and mint green) to usher the consumer into the phase of the brand’s vision.

The latest offering is a five-product system for skin care: Radiance Oil Cleanser, Super Cleanser, Glow Toner, Hydra Moisturizer and Rose Galore Facial Oil.

The company explained the system, “With our new formulations having effective stabilizers, our products now have a Shelf Life of 2 years. All products include our original ingredients combined with more beneficial and enhanced components which boost our products to the best they can be.”

MoonXCosmetics is no longer handmade but because of its success and the demand for a high-quality product, is “now made in a factory setting.”

“With this new change, we’ve invested more into creating amazing MoonXCosmetics products for you all with the best team and product creation!” the brand shared on social media. “With a larger team, new and exciting ingredients, more products to offer, and creating an overall elevated experience, we still hold the same values but are reaching new heights to give you all the best skincare experience possible!”

Revere will debut her new website in November 2022, and many wonder if she can strike gold twice with the new launch.

Comments on the Instagram page have shoppers fiending for their skin-care fix.

One person wrote, “I have no more left- please hurry.”

Another said, “Tryna stretch these last few drops.”

And one more said, “I need some face oil bad I’m outttt booo please hurry.”

Revere and her company believe with the new team, the consumers’ experience will be better, saying in a statement, “From shopping on our new website, receiving your products in our upgraded packaging, and using the products in your daily routine, we’re showing you the steps we’ve taken to better everything here at MoonX.”

Finurah reached out to Revere for a comment but did not receive a response.

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