How Smart Brands Are Analyzing Offline/Online Reviews to Optimize Their E-Commerce Presence, Part 2
In part one of this multipart series, it was clear that L'Oréal’s e-commerce partnerships are a long-term strategy for improving the customer experience, which will ultimately lead to increased return on investment. In the second part of this series, I detail how L'Oréal is using technology to improve data transparency, as well as how the beauty brand uses online and offline data to create customer-driven content.
Use Technology Like AR and VR to Create a Valuable Data Exchange for Customers
Investing in data-driven systems allows smart brands to gather and analyze offline and online insight. This type of data can help you respond quickly and accurately to changing customer needs during a crisis. Even if stores are closed and sales are lower, online data sources from social media, email interactions and website sessions can help brands capture new purchasing patterns and preferences. As a global beauty brand that owns more than 35 different brands with over 100 million customer records, L'Oréal segments its offline and online data by demographics and spending habits. While it started working with local salons across the globe to optimize its offline presence, it also provided a salon-based customer experience online. As offline data demonstrated that a consultation with a stylist is an essential part of the customer purchase journey, L'Oreal uses technology to provide this type of customer-friendly service online.
Since 2012, consumer information from 1.3 billion data points has been collected through L'Oréal's tech incubator lab. This incubator gives L'Oreal the ability to formulate data-driven insights from a customer’s interaction with customized makeup devices and personalized skin care services. For instance, L'Oréal's virtual try-on service from Modiface allows customers to try on makeup and hair products virtually. When online and in-store shoppers virtually try on products using this service, L'Oréal says that they're three times more likely to buy a product.
Moreover, L'Oréal also believes that technology such as augmented reality (AR) will showcase the value of giving brands access to personal data. Customers will trust brands like L'Oréal more and be willing to share data if they're receiving a personalized scientific diagnosis of their cosmetic needs. It follows that brands that are transparent about what customers are getting from a data exchange will gain more access to data. L'Oréal can then use this online data from the AR device to create more value for the customer experience.
Create Content for Every Type of Customer and Touchpoint
L'Oréal’s data insights have also shown that its customers want anything, anytime, anywhere. The brand understands that content not only needs to be produced per platform and per consumer tribe, it also needs to appeal to customers at every touchpoint of their journey. This process means creating makeup tutorials for blogs or product pages, animated GIFs for Instagram or Twitter, Snapchat AR filters, as well as 30-second, 15-second and six-second ads for TV.
When COVID-19 occurred, L'Oréal needed to revamp its content to show that its products were still relevant. Looking at online data from Google searches and social media conversations, L'Oréal' shifted its focus towards self-care products. For example, a Facebook ad from L'Oréal's Kiehl's line indicated that hand lotion was still a necessary purchase, especially since individuals were washing their hands more frequently. Makeup routines focused on looking your best during virtual happy hours over Zoom. L'Oréal brand Lancome Paris also concentrated on a fuss-free approach to skincare with a live-streamed tutorial that concentrated on lip balm and under-eye concealer rather than lipstick, which would be more associated with going out. In this way, L'Oréal continued establishing relationships with its advocates, fans as well as regular customers online.
As part of its long-term strategy to optimize its e-commerce presence, L'Oréal uses offline data from past purchases to inform the use of new technology that encourages customers to share more personal data. Additionally, L'Oréal uses online reviews and data to keep its content strategy relevant so that it can continually act on customer sentiment even during a crisis. On the whole, L'Oréal has demonstrated that consistent sales are a result of a continual data-driven focus on digital transformation and the customer experience.